Even if you've never, say, pulled a gun on somebody who cut you off in traffic, you've probably imagined yourself doing it. It's just that most of us have a mental safeguard that suppresses our urge to slap the guy working the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, converting our crazy revenge fantasy into a mild look of disapproval.
Not everyone is capable of such restraint.
We don't know if you've heard, but America is in the middle of a series of elections that will determine whether or not the country descends into an age of unspeakable darkness. If you didn't realize how dire the situation was, check your Facebook wall sometime -- you'll see that these disputes over complex policies that no one really understands can bitterly divide even tight-knit families. That was the case during the 2012 Wisconsin recall election of its governor, when a man named Jeffrey Radle supported Republican Scott Walker, while his wife, Amanda, intended to vote for Democrat Tom Barrett.
Clearly this will not stand, we guess.
When Jeffrey learned of his wife's inclination, he became determined to prevent her from reaching that polling booth, or die trying.
As Amanda pulled out of the driveway to vote, Jeffrey made his last stand by leaping in front of her car. Not really anticipating her husband risking fatal vehicular injury on the off chance his wife was the deciding vote in a Midwestern governorship, she ran him down and, probably wisely, drove to the police station to report it rather than help him up while being berated for her lousy liberal driving.
"Damn it, a good Republican wife would have reversed to make sure she had killed me."
Jeffrey was taken to the hospital for the back and neck injuries he endured while saving America from a socialist apocalypse. Jeffrey's brother, Mike, knew who was really to blame -- after the media asked his opinion for some reason, he replied that "These crazy liberal nuts are always pulling this crap." The "crap" being "Not stopping fast enough when a Republican flings his squishy body in front of your Dodge Durango to stop you from voting."
Scott Walker wound up winning anyway, but the couple have yet to solve things and are now in the middle of a divorce. This is why you always ask your partner's party affiliation on the first date, kids.
"Oh, I like Ron Pau-"
Eleven-year-old Matthew Migliaccio was warming up the pitcher before a friendly game of Little League baseball when, apparently underestimating his own strength, he lobbed a ball that flew straight over the pitcher's head and hit Elizabeth Lloyd, who was sitting nearby, in the face.
Migliaccio ran over quickly to see if she was OK, at which point she allegedly shrugged it off and told the kid that these things happen. If you know that balls are going to be tossed around, you should be prepared to take one on the chin every now and then.
This also applies to those of you working in porn.
Apparently, Lloyd changed her mind, because fairly soon after the ordeal, Migliaccio began receiving threatening letters from her on a regular basis. But perhaps she was just blowing off steam the way that most of us like to do, by mercilessly harassing an 11-year-old. But the situation only escalated -- two years later, the woman went ahead and sued Migliaccio for a mind-boggling $500,000. In her suit are the allegations that his throw was "intentional and reckless" and that Migliaccio "assaulted and battered" her. Apparently, it wasn't so much a bad throw as a really, really good one.
Migliaccio's lawyer has replied to the claims sarcastically: "What are we gonna do, take his bike? He's 11." But the fiasco doesn't end with Elizabeth Lloyd's lawsuit -- on top of that, her husband is also suing Migliaccio for "the loss of services, society and consortium of his wife," which is to say that the middle schooler hit her so hard with a baseball that they couldn't have sex for two years. Holy crap, can even Roger Clemens throw libido-erasing fastballs? And this kid is just 11! Hey Yankees, sign him to a deal already!
"Coming in for relief, Matthew 'Vagikil' Migliacciooooooo!"
In 1974, Robert Preston was accepted into the U.S. Army and was training to be a helicopter pilot, but unfortunately for him, he flunked out of the training. It's understandable that someone might take that pretty hard, but Preston decided that he would show them just how well he could fly a chopper. By which we mean he decided to show the president directly.
So he stole a helicopter from Fort Meade and proceeded to fly it to Washington, D.C. Once there, he hovered it above the White House for six minutes, presumably thinking that the president would run out onto the lawn, call up the Army and say, "Hire this kid! He hovers with the grace of an angel visiting from heaven itself!"
"Once I've endangered his life with stolen government property, he's sure to let me fly Army One!"
Naturally, the Secret Service was not amused by these antics. Preston landed the helicopter after his stunt, but once he realized that those armed men weren't coming over to congratulate him and declare him the president's personal helicopterist, he took off, and a helicopter chase over Washington, D.C., ensued, with Preston actually forcing one of the police choppers down with his skillful flying.
Possibly figuring that that might have been enough to prove himself, Preston returned to the White House, probably hoping for a warmer welcome. Instead, he was met by gunfire. He finally got the hint and landed, then was promptly arrested. He received a measly one year in jail for the stunt. Amazingly, he still wasn't allowed to be a pilot.
It's not just emotionally unbalanced individuals who can blow a situation way out of proportion. Sometimes entire federal agencies can do the same.
For instance, British tourists Leigh Van Bryan and Emily Bunting probably didn't appreciate how on edge the American Department of Homeland Security can be at times. Otherwise, just before their American vacation, Bryan would not have sent a message to his friend on Twitter reading "Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America."
In the U.K., this is apparently a slang term for partying really hard (wait, is that also what it means in Iran? Because that would explain a lot), but Homeland Security didn't get the reference.
"We think we can also get a domestic violence charge based on all these 'I hit that' tweets."
Bryan and Bunting were pulled aside at the airport and interrogated by Homeland Security agents determined to get to the bottom of the plot of two British citizens to single-handedly destroy America (God knows what the agents thought the "quick gossip" mentioned in the Twitter message was slang for). As if that wasn't bad enough, the department had scoured Twitter for further information on the British terror plot, and found another tweet by Bryan where he said he was going to "dig up Marilyn Monroe," a quote from Family Guy. This led to an awkward search of their luggage, apparently to try to locate any shovels they might be smuggling in.
Then U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a statement about the incident detailing how they were trying to "show the world that the United States is a welcoming nation." See, because we could have killed them and fired their bodies back across the Atlantic in a giant catapult as a warning to everyone else. But we didn't!
Don't worry, Deportapult. Your time will come.
New Jersey resident Daniel Collins had apparently been involved in an ongoing noise dispute with his neighbor, which isn't unusual. We don't know the details of the feud, but it was evidently no small affair, as Collins reached his breaking point when his neighbor, passing by the front door of his apartment, farted loudly enough for Collins to hear it.
Rather than light a match and breathe through his mouth for a few minutes, Collins answered the door with a .32 caliber revolver. From there, he pointed it at his presumably very surprised neighbor, stating that he was going to "Put a hole in his head." Because of the fart, you see.
"Silent, loud, I consider everything deadly."
Collins never went beyond threatening, but that was obviously enough for his neighbor to call the police to report that a man had pulled a gun on him for farting. After the presumed lecture over fake 911 calls had ended and the police realized that he was serious, they were dispatched to Collins' home. There they found the gun he had used in his car, and arrested him for possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Wait, that's not a legal reason to pull a gun in New Jersey?
"Don't be ridiculous ... we repealed that last year."
Of course the best part of this story is the fact that it got reported at all -- when the cops got involved, apparently both the gunman and the victim acknowledged that the fart was the instigator. It wasn't just some crazy heat-of-the-moment thing, and no one felt the need to tell the story in a way that made them look less like neighbors from a wacky sitcom. No, hours later, everyone involved was like, "You see, when I heard the fart, I knew that this was a situation that only firearms could solve. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go tell the press the same thing: I want the world to know."
When Mary Bach reached the cash register at Walmart with her pack of Brown 'N Serve sausages, she knew that something was very wrong -- the label on the product read 98 cents, but the cashier tried to charge her a full dollar. She wasn't impressed, and neither, we assume, were the people lined up behind her with their groceries while she haggled over the two-cent outrage.
Walmart offered to defuse the situation by refunding the two cents, but the damage was done, and this grandmother wasn't about to take it lying down.
"Especially not with how long it takes me to sit up these days."
So she sued their asses over those two cents, alleging that it was totally intentional and they were trying to rip her poor ass off.
According to Bach, the suit wasn't about the money -- it was about principle. How can you justify overcharging customers two cents? The kicker is that Bach won the suit. The courts awarded her $100 for her suffering and $80 for her trouble. On one hand, that's a trivial sum compared to the time and energy she must have devoted to pursuing it. But that is also 9,000 times the disputed amount, making this the world's most successful and dumbest lawsuit at the same time.
Which kind of makes it the Walmart of lawsuits.
For more people who went a bit too far, check out The 7 Most Bizarre Fast Food Industry Lawsuits and 6 People Who Died in Order to Prove a (Retarded) Point.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 5 Movies That Prove the Action Genre Won't Let a Dog Die.
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn how to punch someone through the Internet.
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