5 People Who Straight-Up Had the Worst Day Ever
Life may have its valleys, but it also has its peaks. At least, that’s what people keep telling me. Sure, life is an unending, ichorous downpour, but sometimes you’ll get to eat soup dumplings, so keep on truckin’! Occasionally, though, you have one day particularly jam-packed with misfortune. A layer cake of well-earned god-damnits that feels like you might have accidentally dug up some sort of sacred artifact.
Usually, that’s still just something that exists within your own personal sphere. Some people, though, get so spectacularly, singularly unlucky that your extremely unlucky day is worthy of making it into public record. An L for the ages, if you will.
Here are five people that had a truly terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
As a general rule, the fewer projectiles you get hit with over the course of your life, the better. Even ones that only border on the inconvenient, like a hot bit of bird turd, are still enough to ruin a day. Ones that cause genuine and unexpected grievous injury? Those are in a category all their own. Worse yet for Ann Hodges, when hit, she was soundly napping within the confines of her own home, a place that, by definition, should be considered shelter.
Unfortunately for her, one particularly exotic bit of debris disagreed, and in the middle of her siesta, a bit of space rock slammed into her side. Hodges, in November 1954, became the only known human to be injured by a meteorite. As if that wasn’t enough, she then immediately found herself in a legal battle with her landlord, who claimed they owned the artifact because it hit the house they owned. After all, what is empathy but an obstacle to owning a cool space rock?
George Lawrence Price
Dying in World War I? For sure, not an ideal day, but far from a unique one. When you’re waging war, catching a bullet is a distinct, if unwelcome, possibility. Being killed in World War I, after World War I had already ended? Now that’s an incredibly unlucky oxymoron to find yourself in the middle of. Yet, it was the fate of one Canadian soldier named George Lawrence Price.
It was November 11, 1918. At the crack of dawn that morning, word was sent out that the war was over, though, in some sort of weird managerial twist, not officially until 11 a.m. By business hours, the news had made its way to most everyone who needed to know. In the situation, any plan of action outside of “stay exactly where the fuck you are” was inadvisable, but inexplicably, George Price and a few other soldiers were still on the advance. There’s conflicting accounts of exactly why, but the end result is inarguable: George Lawrence Price was shot dead by a sniper at 10:58 a.m., exactly two minutes before the war was officially over.
The legal system is not kind to the layman. A Gordian knot of knowledge spread across a metric ton of densely typed books, it’s not anywhere close to intuitive. That’s why you’ve got to fork out the big bucks to a lawyer in return for them sacrificing a couple years of their life to the library. The idea is that they’ll do their very best to get you through unscathed, no matter how murky things get. Aitabdel Salem is a man who almost surely wants a refund. Salem had spent five months in prison at Rikers Island, not exactly a TripAdvisor recommendation, when he learned some information that would have been highly useful: He could have left at any time by paying $2 in bail.
Salem was sent there on his arrest for three charges: assaulting an officer who arrested him for shoplifting, and an unrelated charge each of tampering and mischief. The bail for each offense was set as follows: $25,000, $1 and $1. Twenty-five grand was out of his reach, so to jail he went. What his lawyer and every failsafe beyond forgot to inform him, though, was that they failed to indict him on the first charge, meaning he was only in jail awaiting trial for tampering and mischief. If you think it sucks seeing an item go on sale the day after you buy it, try having a day where you learn you just spent almost half a year in jail for less than the cost of a fancy yogurt.
Unlike the other people on this list, Denise Rossi’s worst day ever wasn’t entirely faultless. A rash decision earlier came back to haunt her in dramatic fashion with a legal ruling that would empty her bank account and then some. Even worse, it was a direct result of one of the best days you can imagine: winning the lottery. She hit the jackpot in December 1996, while she had another big life change in the works — divorce from her husband Thomas Rossi.
Now, it’s understandable that given that they were in the final fumes of their marriage, she wasn’t eager to split these winnings with her ex-husband-to-be. So, she decided to hide the winnings until the divorce was final. Concealing something like that, with a clear, government-owned paper trail, is not a recipe for success. Via a bit of incorrectly addressed mail two years later, her ex found out, took her to court and the judge did not approve of her chicanery. Instead of ending up with the worst-case scenario of half, she ended up being ordered to pay the entire sum (some of which had surely been spent) back to her ex-husband.
Me When I Made A Joke to the Amtrak Guy and He Said Nothing
Look, I know it wasn’t the most clever thing in the world, but I become anxious in silence. So is it so much to ask, that, when at the front of a huge line in the Amtrak cafe car, I said “guess everybody skipped lunch today,” that the cafe employee give me so much as a lip curl? Instead, I’m left, devastating, my words echoing off a sneeze-guard, while I become lower than a worm to everyone behind me? I will remember this embarrassment as my last breath sifts from between my teeth.
Eli Yudin is a stand-up comedian in Brooklyn. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @eliyudin and listen to his podcast, What A Time to Be Alive, about the five weirdest news stories of the week, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever else you get your podcasts.