The 5 Worst Things People Have Woken Up To
Waking up in the morning is rough. If you didn't get enough sleep the night before, it's particularly awful, and there is no such thing as enough sleep. But no matter how you woke up this morning, whether you were hungover or late for work or next to a mostly naked clown, it will never be as bad as these folks' mornings. Well, maybe the clown. But imagine waking up to ...
Gradually Realizing You've Been Shot In The Head
When Florida man Michael Moylan awoke at 4 a.m., there was blood streaming from his head, which is generally a good indicator that something is amiss. He assumed that he'd had some kind of aneurysm, because that's the sort of thing that leads to blood leaking out of your ears, maybe, I guess. Michael urged his wife April to call 911, and she seemed reluctant to do this. This should have raised a few red flags, but it's hard to think about red flags when your skull has seemingly exploded.
April finally drove him to the hospital herself, though she took her time doing so, and once he was there, doctors discovered a bullet in his head. "It appears that you've been shot," said the nurse. "No way!" said Michael. "Ha ha!" said you, because you're watching this play out from the future.
Hospital personnel pressed him further about what happened, and Michael slowly figured out who must have shot him. But he initially covered for April, changing his story to say that'd he'd shot himself out of depression. Authorities weren't buying it. Noting that the man was a convicted felon, they figured something criminal was going on, and he was at the center of it. They considered arresting him but decided against it, because that would put the sheriff's office on the hook for his medical bills.
April, meanwhile, fled the hospital as soon as the bullet was discovered. Police caught up with her, her story conflicted with Michael's, and she finally admitted that she'd shot him. The burglar alarm had gone off, she claimed, so she fired the gun she kept in bed with her. And this reaction would make sense if the twist ending to this story was that the burglar was coming from inside the bed.
Police told her that even if it was an accident, she wasn't off the hook (she was still facing a weapons charge for the gun, as she had an arrest record herself for cocaine), so she further confessed that, whoops, she'd shot Michael on purpose. She was charged with attempted murder, but eventually managed to broker a plea under the battered spouse syndrome defense. Yep, there's the real twist: Just because you got shot in the head doesn't make you the good guy.
Related: I Woke Up Blind: 5 Dark (And Drunk) Realities After Sight
Finding Out That ISIS Took Over Your Town
The night of August 8, 2014 was a normal one for Mohammed Abu Ali, and the following morning seemed normal as well. He stayed in, watched a movie on TV, and tinkered with the AC. And then, in the evening, when he went out to go to the mosque, he discovered a giant hole in the street, and behind it a truck with guns pointed at him. The men in the truck were ISIS. They had taken over the town, and Mohammed was the only resident left. Cue sad trombone noise.
I guess I could have mentioned that this was Makhmour, Iraq, and it had already seen some fighting between Peshmerga and the Islamic State. But ISIS seizing control still took Mohammed by total surprise. During that night, as he'd slept, the Peshmerga had managed to evacuate the entire town in anticipation of ISIS's victory ... except for Mohammed. Some of them had driven toward the relatively secure capital, and others had literally run for the hills. Then the Peshmerga themselves got the hell out of there.
The ISIS members who spotted Mohammed assumed he was some kind of enemy fighter, but he convinced them he wasn't. He let them into the shop where he sold clocks, showed off a photo of himself as a young man (which the ISIS people mocked, as is the duty of all people upon seeing someone's teenage photo), and then followed them to the mosque, which was now occupied by men with guns and a rocket launcher instead of the usual crowd.
They let Mohammed go back to his house, and the last he heard from them was one screaming "Don't go outside!" He hunkered down for days, hopefully having stocked the place with enough food. He heard bombs outside. And guns. And shouting and crying. Then he finally peeked out and saw the Peshmerga had reclaimed the town. He ran up to his rescuers and hugged and kissed them. Then he decided to get himself a gun and become a fighter himself. Those ISIS folk might have managed to go head to head with the Peshmerga, but now they were going to taste the wrath of the clockmaker.
A Missing Testicle And A Guilty-Looking Dog
People who feel no pain are always at risk for injury, like one man from Arkansas who liked to sleep in the nude -- a habit he foolishly continued even after taking in a stray dog from the street. This man was paralyzed from the waist down, so he didn't feel what was happening until it was too late. Instead he woke to a "burning pain" in his abdomen. Then he opened his eyes and saw the dog between his legs. The fluffy fur around its mouth was red with blood. So were its feet -- evidently the guy's blood had pooled to the ground, and the dog had trod through it. And oh yeah, one of the guy's testicles was gone. "I've heard of a dog eating a person's homework, but that's ridiculous!" he would say if this was a goddamn terrifying episode of Seinfeld.
As for why the dog stopped at eating only one testicle, it's possible that the man woke up just in time. Or the dog got full from one hearty nut. We'll never know, because the man made it to the hospital and the dog was put down. But then again, since it was a stray, maybe there's a long line of one-testicle'd men who will never adopt a pet again.
Related: The Shittiest Ways People Have Woken Up From A Bender
Find You're Seated Beside A Corpse
In 2007, Paul Trinder was flying British Airways first class from New Delhi to London. Mid-flight, he woke up to see the cabin crew were seating an elderly woman next to him. It generally kind of sucks to learn you're losing that nice empty seat beside you, but first-class seats have plenty of room anyway, so Paul didn't really mind. But the woman looked frail, and Paul thought she had to be sick. Oh, Paul. I'm sooooo sorry.
Due to turbulence, the old woman kept falling down to the floor, and eventually had to be propped up with pillows. Finally, Paul asked an attendant what was going on, and they revealed that the woman was dead. "Talk about bad airline service!" you'd say, since again, every scenario on this list is a potential Seinfeld plot from Hell.
British Airways eventually issued a public statement, in which they noted that ten passengers die in the air every year. It's unclear, however, whether that was an extenuating fact or a threat. A crew's options for dealing with a body, they explained, are limited. Planes don't generally have a whole lot of space to spare. The body cannot be put anywhere that blocks an exit, and perching one directly on top of the drink cart is disrespectful and could ruin a nice vodka soda. In this case, they saw some seats were free in first class, so they moved the woman there and put her relatives close by. Aw, that's ... touching?
While some airlines stash dead bodies in bathrooms, the award for the most elegant solution goes to Singapore Airlines, whose A340-500 business aircraft includes a special mortuary drawer (aka the "corpse cupboard") for precisely this purpose. You might ask what was going on with this one airline that they alone had enough bodies to justify such a drawer, but it might have something to do with the last guy who asked that sort of question.
Related: I've Got Narcolepsy: 6 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About It
The Jonestown Massacre
You've surely heard of Jonestown. A cult called the Peoples Temple put together a settlement in Guyana, and the venture ended with over 900 dead by poison. It's one of largest mass suicides in history (if you can call being forced to drink cyanide at gunpoint by a deranged reverend "suicide"). And one member slept right through it.
Hyacinth Thrash, owner of the best possible name, admired Jim Jones when she first met him. She was black and born in the Jim Crow South, and he was a white man of God preaching integration and helping black families with charity. She sold her house and gave Jones all her money, and then she and her sister Zipporah followed the reverend to California, and then to Guyana. If you've dealt with bigotry your whole life, any community where everyone is equal and gets along sounds pretty alright.
When the Peoples Temple squad went door to door rounding members up on November 18, 1978, Hyacinth hid under her bunk. That probably makes you think she was hiding for her life, but she wasn't. In fact, she had no idea that any kind of death buffet was being served up. As she put it, she had just grown "sick of Jim Jones," so she waited till they'd passed, then undressed and got into bed, hoping to avoid taking part in whatever the big event was. Probably some routine meeting.
The following morning, she left her cabin and saw bodies everywhere, with Zipporah among them. And there was nothing she could do but return to her cottage and await rescue. It was almost enough to permanently shake her faith in this Jones guy. Almost. Though she said at the time that Jones was possessed by the Devil, she went on to forgive him. Years later, she beat breast cancer, and credited Jones with healing her from beyond the grave. If true, it means he really is better dead than alive.
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