Bad things may happen to good people, but bad things aren't supposed to happen because a person is good. If life were going to be a Marquis de Sade novel, it'd be nice if it took after the more naked parts. But sometimes the old adage is true: No good deed goes unpunished. Pretty sure these people will have that particular phrase tattooed on their foreheads after ...
In 2001, Danny Sigui witnessed a fatal stabbing in Rhode Island, and did exactly what all the PSAs say -- he saw something, so he said something. He ended up serving as the key witness that put the murderer away ... then he promptly got deported to his native Guatemala.
This wasn't some bizarre act of karmic irony. Sigui was reported by the office of the Rhode Island attorney general, the same people he had just helped convict a dangerous criminal. The best part is that his undocumented status was discovered during the preparation of the case. They kindly turned a blind eye juuuust long enough to allow him to testify before tearing his life apart.
Although the state attorney general's office petitioned to let him stay, it was too little, too late, and Sigui was unceremoniously sent back to Guatemala. When asked if he would have come forward again, knowing what would happen, Sigui said that he would of course do the right thing, regardless of the pain and misery that might befall him. Kidding. He said, "Hell no, y'all are on your own with this stabbing business. Hope you like chain mail."
In 1999, Reverend Steve Jamison was renovating his church in Columbus, Mississippi when he and his workers discovered a sludgy substance in the soil. Jamison suspected his land was contaminated by creosote, a waste product of the creation of railroad ties, courtesy of the nearby Kerr-McGee chemical company. He called Kerr-McGee to take a look, but when the plant manager arrived, he said it wasn't their creosote -- must be some other guy's creosote -- and anyway, it wouldn't hurt anyone. He then twirled his mustache and jaunted away to steal mittens from orphans.
Shortly after, Jamison and some other church members developed breathing problems, skin rashes, and kidney failure. Finally, the Kerr-McGee guys came back (wearing full hazmat suits) and paved over the problem, because actually removing the infected soil might have taken a few more minutes. Kerr-McGee offered to compensate Jamison, but only if he kept his big mouth shut about the whole thing.
Jamison instead hired Tennie White, an environmental crusader with a lab that performed environmental tests for various companies. White had a little experience dealing with Kerr-McGee: over 15,000 settled contamination lawsuits, and another 9,450 still pending. She was also something of a troublemaker. After the city refused to test some potentially contaminated soil, White ripped a hole straight through the concrete covering it, forcing the city's hand. To be fair, they did discover that contamination levels were six times higher than normal. Regardless, The Man wasn't exactly her biggest fan, and by teaming up with Jamison, she had crossed the line.
The EPA then hired the clearly evil-sounding BorgWarner to dig up some dirt on White. They discovered that White once lied about having finished her college degree, and also claimed that three wastewater tests they commissioned from her (at a rocking $150 a pop!) may not have been performed. Those two measly charges resulted in a 40-month prison sentence. Kerr-McGee ended up settling for $5.15 billion and going bankrupt in the process, but that probably wasn't much comfort to White during her 40 months in prison for trying to help a church with their poisoned ground.
Sixth-grader Adrionna Harris saw one of her fellow students cutting his own arms with a razor blade, so she did the reasonable thing, snatched the razor out of the boy's hands, talked him down, then went to the school administrators to tell them what happened. They also did the reasonable thing, and suspended her for ten days, then threatened to expel her.
Reasonable is a ... relative term.
It seems that by taking a razor away from a self-harming student, Harris had run afoul of the school's zero-tolerance policy. Yes, by holding the blade in her hand for the fraction of a second it took to remove it from the possession of a person actively using it to harm themselves, Harris was in violation of school rules. And what's worse, she admitted it.
Fortunately, school officials soon realized the error of their ways, but only after they were forcibly educated by a social media campaign and local news expose. Harris' suspension was revoked after only seven days, and the incident was removed from her record entirely. Hopefully she won't think twice about helping another student in that fashion, but if she did, could you blame her?
In 2017, newlyweds Mike and Rachel Brumfield were waiting for their flight to Italy to take off when they took a gander out the window and noticed that fuel was pouring out of the left wing.
"Passenger, please turn your cellular device OFF. You are threatening the safety of the flight."
Mike informed the flight attendants, who of course told him to sit down and shut up. To be fair, The Twilight Zone probably ruined the whole "You have to look out at the wing!" thing for everybody. Eventually, the Brumfields convinced one of the attendants to check it out, and the pilots were notified. They shut down the engines while fire trucks were dispatched and the passengers evacuated, along with everyone's bowels.
In a show of gratitude, United Airlines rewarded Mike and Rachel with ... a food voucher. OK, it's not much, but it's something! At least they weren't getting punished for helping. Oh wait, they had to sleep in the terminal, as their replacement flight wasn't leaving until the following evening, and United wasn't about to spring for a hotel, even if they just saved one of their planes.
The next morning, another passenger offered to let the Brumfields use their hotel voucher until the replacement flight was ready. The takeaway here seems to be that if you ever find yourself in a position to save an aircraft, you might want to let someone else take the credit.
Earlier this year, an unidentified Florida man was out enjoying a normal day of baseball and sensationalist news headlines when he spotted a two-year-old girl who looked lost. He asked where her parents were, but she, being a toddler, didn't have anything worthwhile to say. So he picked her up and began the search. Meanwhile, her parents had undertaken their own search effort, and some bystanders reported that they'd seen a man carrying the girl ... unhelpfully adding that he was "probably a child molester." Guess he had that "I have an underground sadness hole where I store my innocent lives" look about him.
It ended predictably, with the girl's father punching the would-be rescuer in the face several times. Thankfully, at least one witness testified that they'd seen the man trying to find the girl's parents. Otherwise it could have ended a whole lot worse for him.
Spoiler alert: It ended a whole lot worse for him.
Before that information could trickle down to the parents, they had already posted the man's photo and information on Facebook in order to warn others of this child-protecting scourge in their community. The local sheriff, who probably didn't see this coming when he first watched those Police Academy movies, had to take to Facebook himself to remind people to not to be social media Batmen. Despite the litany of horrendous crimes committed against him, the man declined to press charges. He's basically a saint.
On New Year's Eve 2013, in the Guangdong province of China, Wu Weiqing was riding out the old year on his motorcycle when he saw an elderly man collapsed by the side of the road. Wu's first clue that something was off: The man accused Wu himself of hitting him. Wu logically assumed the man was disoriented, so he paid it no mind and carried him all the way to the hospital anyway. He also went ahead and paid the man's ER bill, about 600 American dollars, and thought that would be the end of it.
Imagine Wu's surprise when he found out that not only was the man asserting that Wu had hit him with his bike, but he was also now demanding that Wu pay more than $30,000 for the rest of his treatment. Wu soon found himself hounded by calls from the man's family. Rather than bankrupt his own family paying for a crime he didn't commit, Wu killed himself. After hearing of Wu's death, the man revealed the truth about who truly hit him: nobody. He had fallen on his own and couldn't afford treatment. That's it. There's no winner in this story. It's a sadness-coated pill, filled only with more sadness.
John wrote a book about cruise ship passengers with explosive diarrhea. It's as delightful as it sounds.
No good deed goes unpunished? Say "f--k you" to the wrath of the unfeeling universe with this complete first aid kit. You can never be TOO prepared. Just ask Batman.
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