When we're making a bet, there's always the possibility of a loss. No matter how good the odds are, in life nothing is certain. (Well, maybe except for death and taxes.) So when we gamble on meeting someone new, we have to understand that it might not work out.
Interested in the bitter end of socialization, Redditor confoozulment asked other platform users, "What is the strangest interaction you've had with a random stranger?" and they received plenty of awkward, cringy, and even creepy stories.
So we thought why not take a look at this online discussion; maybe it'll teach us how to deal with the unexpected.
#1I guess not really strange, but it's stuck in my mind for over 10 years.
I had just moved halfway across the country for work. After a couple of months there, my great grandmother passed just before her 101st birthday. I got an early morning flight back to my home state. The lady next to me was probably just near retirement age.
I wasn't crying, but just keeping to myself as one does when traveling with things on their mind. Once we were able to let our trays down, I dropped mine and laid my head and arms on the tray, and just watched the city lights out the window. For nearly the entire flight, this woman started rubbing my back and told me everything would be okay.
I normally hate being touched, and honestly don't seek comfort very often. But that was one of the most comforting things that's ever happened, and I just let it happen. So wholesome strange I guess.
Image credits: wystful
However, I hope these examples won't discourage you from putting yourself out there. In a series of studies titled 'Mistakenly seeking solitude', researchers Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder asked Chicago-area commuters to strike up a conversation with someone near them on the bus or train. Those participants who followed this instruction felt better than the ones who had been told to stand or sit in silence.
Epley and Schroeder argued that when we shy away from casual interactions with strangers, it is often due to misplaced anxiety that they might not want to talk to us, but as it turns out, many people are actually perfectly willing to have a chat, and might even enjoy receiving our attention.
#2I was in a grocery store and I happened to be in the ice cream/frozen desserts aisle. While I was walking this random dude came up to me and offered to buy a gallon of pecans and cream(or something like that) icecream for me?? I said no, but he kept insisting and then talked about how much he loved the ice cream flavor. He apparently has eaten it everyday ever since he was 20(He said he was 70) and wants to one day form a religion based around the ice cream where every Wednesday they'd gather in a circle and eat a gallon each??
Image credits: Natsuki111
#3Was at a horror convention. My wife, and two friends we met at the con were at the after party. It was an out door event at the hotel's pool with a death metal band and Sid Haig serving people drinks with the money going to charity.
We were just laughing and joking around when out of the blue an older man entered our conversation. He started by laughing at whatever story we were talking about and we all kind of stopped to look at this dude.
This guy was dressed to the nines in all purple. A purple stripped suit, a purple cane and a purple tophat with ribbons. His white beard was dyed purple as was his mustache. He had purple gloves on, purple dress pants, and purple shoes. And this was no cheap cosplay - these were pretty damn expensive looking clothes.
Immediately we are fascinated with him. We welcomed him to the circle. He introduced himself as "Mr. Purple." and that he was "Curious to what was going on at the party." Apparently he had no idea there was a horror convention going on - that he was just somewhere nearby and saw the after party and decided to come by.
He was not odd or unpleasant. He was actually quite nice, joyous, and fun to talk to. He never got into who he was or what he did or why he was purple ; but just made small talk with all of us as we continued sharing stories. Eventually he tipped his hat and thanked us for chatting with him before heading off. We did not see him for the rest of the party.
I will never forget you Mr. Purple. Whomever you are.
Image credits: Videowulff
#4A store cashier once blessed me for being tall, so that was interesting.
Image credits: Leharen
#5I work in a hospital on the third floor. One evening I was washing up in the coffee room the sink is next to a window. It was getting dark, and I glanced out the window, and at exactly the same time a woman on the other side of the street glanced up at my window. I decided to wave, and as I raised my hand she simultaneously raised hers. We both had a little chuckle about it and went on with our lives. The whole thing took about 5 seconds but I still think about it.
Image credits: Nim2019
#6I was at Busch Gardens in Virginia, maybe 9 years old when an elderly man walked up to me and gave me a 1 million dollar bill with his face on it. I still have it
Image credits: LeoThyroxine
#7Just arrived at a music festival in the Faroe Islands back in 2005 with my friends and this girl I'd never seen before leaps around my neck, gives me a kiss on the cheek and wishes me a happy birthday before running off into the night, check my phone and its literally just struck midnight on my 21st birthday.
Image credits: SigurVid
#8A pleasant looking middle aged woman came up to me on a bus, sat beside me, and then told me in a whisper "my teeth are trying to kill me." And then sat out the ride in silence.
Image credits: Worldly_Salamander_
#9I was in a mostly empty locker room at a pool, a random older man walked up to me and asked, "Do you want a pickle?" I answered no, and he responded, "How about a nickel?" He proceeded to hand me a nickel. Very odd.
Image credits: ridemooses
#10Not sure if this is the strangest but fresh in my mind. Bought a Honda Odyssey for the family car. Had a guy stop me in a parking lot, maybe mid to late 50s, asked me if I wanted to join his odyssey club. He then proceeded to tell me it’s more of a cult and I can’t have any felonies but must be willing to commit one. He was clearly joking about that but dead serious about the club. I regret not finding out more but I was just so confused at the time.
Image credits: treetreestwigbranch
#11I was in Boston one night with friends and started to sing show me the way to go home. A girl on the other side of the street walking in the other direction sang every other verse with me for over a block and a half. We were quite loud before we ended.
Image credits: Boxdog
#12Guy was wearing the exact same outfit as me. Like same shoes, same colored jean, same sweatshirt and even same hat. Wouldn’t have been surprised if he had the same underwear even. But it was definitely the biggest glitch in the matrix moment I’ve ever had.
#13In Portland OR I was walking into the Pearl District around 7:00am, I was the only one walking on my side of the street and a guy walking the other way on the other side crossed over and came *right up to me*. I took my headphones out when I saw him coming and thought 'oh this can't be good' and then he asks me very intensely,
"**DO YOU LIKE THE X-MAN WOLVERINE**?"
Took me by surprise but I answered "uh, yeah?" and he extended his hand to shake and said,
"**HI I'M WOLVERINE**."
This was a clean shaved blonde white dude, about 6'1" 150 pounds with busted up knuckles, and while he was presenting as friendly he was *not* trying to make a joke about his identity. He believed what he was saying. So I just rolled with it and said "Oh cool man, good to meet you. Yeah, I didn't recognize you without the costume." We talked for a second and then I did the I-have-to-go stutter walk thing and as I left I told him to watch out for Magneto.
Image credits: rabiddutchman
#14No one in my family wanted to ride the Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster with me so I went solo and got seated next to a guy who didn’t speak English. I knew ahead of time that they take your picture as the ride blasts off so I made a face (rock fist, tongue out). At the end of the ride, my ride partner and I went to look at our photo and amazingly, unknown to the other, we had both made the same face and gesture. We both laughed when we saw it. He said something to me I didn’t understand, gave me a hug, and we parted ways. I still think about him 6 years later.
Image credits: VariousGnomes
#15I was in the backseat of my friend’s car, one friend driving and one in the passenger seat. At an intersection a truck pulls up next to us and in the most Southern U.S. smoker accent he says out the window, “Hey kid! What do you know?” And my friend replied “I know a lot of things, what do you know?” And this crazy dude, without missing a beat, said “two plus five equals nine and crime is only illegal if you get caught, so drunk drive safely. Have a day!” And then sped off, timing the light perfectly somehow so that it switched to green as he finished the sentence. Felt like something out of a fever dream.
Image credits: FermentedPickles
#16I was studying in a uni library when I see the guy sitting next to me turn his head to look at me for a moment too long. I turn to look at him and he sticks his arm out and offers me some cheetos. I politely turn him down and we both go back to studying, he doesn't make any attempt to interact with me again.
Fast forward a few months, I'm heading back to my home State from a completely different State 3 hours away on a bus with assigned seating. It's relatively empty other than maybe 10 others max all in random areas of the bus. I'm minding my own business when the guy in front of me gets up on his knees on the seat and turns around to face me. It is the same guy from the library. And what does he do? Stick his arm out and offer me cheetos.
Image credits: ThrowRARAw
#17A woman who was clearly not sound of mind in a macdonalds told me with deep and serious certainty that we are not to eat figs as they are the fruit of the devil.
I had watched a nature documentary the previous day and explained to her in great detail the anatomy of a fig (which is in fact, a flower) and the life cycle of wasps and how they use figs to their advantage.
She was very confused.
Then she turned around and went to find somebody else to hassle about not eating the devil's fruit.
Image credits: anon
#18Was sitting in a Brooklyn McDonalds. Middle-aged white guy wanders up to my table and asks me if I’ve ever seen the TV show “Empire.” I tell him no. He tells me that it is based on his life and then immediately leaves.
Image credits: Guzzery
#19I was around 16 (F) at the time and at the mall with my two guy friends. We split up in the food court and while I was aimlessly walking around trying to pick out food, someone bumped into me from behind. I assumed it was my friends but as I turned, I was handed a BABY from a man I’ve never met. He then backed away towards a woman and they started laughing. It looked like she was taking pictures of me with her phone. They spoke in a language I didn’t recognize and kept backing up further away while looking at me and laughing almost as if trying to make me follow them. All the while I’m holding a strange baby in the middle of the mall food court too stunned to move. After what felt like hours but was maybe a minute or so, my friends walked over to me very confused and why I had a baby. Before I could even utter a word, the man and woman ran over, took the baby and left. 11 years later I still have no explanation.
Image credits: olivebean217
#20in the dollar store by the hollywood theater in portland oregon, (its like 20 miles from my house) i was buying some soda when i saw a guy in a "vietnam veteran" jacket. i, being the patriotic m**********r that i am, said that i appreciated his service. then he said "that will be $100". i thought he was joking. he was not. i did not have $100, and i said to him as much. he said "well give me anything you have." i gave him five cents, as i only carry what i need to buy stuff on me, and that was the change. he just walked away without thanking me. it was weird as all hell.
Image credits: the_hentai_merchant
#21A few stick in my mind, but this one I have just never understood.
I'm at a busy downtown intersection, on a sunny Saturday, waiting for the light to cross. Guy beside me starts making small talk. Very chatty. We had quite a wait for the light for ... some reason I don't remember... so it was a bit of a chat.
He made some unusual remarks asking me about my ethnicity (somewhat accurate). Then it was him telling me his life story, out of the blue.
Ok, maybe he's hyper for some reason. I'd just moved to the city from a more rural area so I was polite and didn't elbow him away. Not sure if maybe I should have. His story about himself was just a bit memorable because it involved some globetrotting and a few other random details.
I thought nothing more about it after crossing the street and we went separate ways.
Then a couple of months later I'm in a downtown mall. Same guy walks up to me, out of nowhere, and starts chatting to me again. I interrupted him and said "Yeah, I remember meeting you before," and I repeated the life story ramble that he'd done earlier. At that point he does a disappearing act.
I have no clue to this day what that was about. Just odd.
Image credits: anon
#22On a two month trip to Costa Rica with one of my besties. Another friend was meeting us about 2 weeks in.
When we first arrived in San Jose, we stayed for a few days. Started going to this tiny piano bar. There was this Jamaican man there every time we went, and he would stare at us the whole time we were there. No smile, no hello, just hours long staring.
We soon set off to a different locale for almost 2 weeks and returned to San Jose to meet up with our friend. That night, we took her to the piano bar and our buddy was there. As usual.
So we had a few drinks and caught up. We were all holding hands on the table, and dude comes over, says something under his breath in a different language. He then puts his hand over ours, and says "the third witch has finally arrived" and threw some John the Conqueror root in the ashtray on out table, then left.
We came back to San Jose a couple more times before we left, and that guy always seemed to find us. 2 nights he followed us around town. Kinda freaky.
Image credits: VolcanicDoorway
#23I was in a bakery in my small town USA, when the patissier was slack jaw staring at me. She told me she was from Germany and I looked like her daughter--even my glasses looked the same. She thought her daughter had come over from Germany to visit her. Sorry to disappoint and even sorrier she didn't have a pic to compare.
Image credits: iamnobodytoo
#24My family and I were traveling cross-country and stopped in this tiny rural coffee shop for lunch. The waitress came out to take our order, she took one look at me and said “Hey Kim, how’s your mom doing? I said “I’m sorry, I think you’re mistaking me for someone else, I don’t live around here and I’m not Kim.” She kept insisting that I was just joking around and teasing her. This went on for quite some time, until I had to convince her with my drivers license that I was not this person that she knew. She was blown away and said I could be a twin to this person that she knew, as I look exactly like Kim, talk like Kim, everything.
Image credits: Chinooki
#25I was about 14-15 years old. Walking home from the gym. I take a shortcut and walk through the train tracks into my neighborhood. As I cross to the other side, I see someone up ahead. He has the classic cholo outfit: bandana, long socks, cargo shorts, and of course a boom box. My city is known to have a lot of them so I was expecting to maybe be asked about money or something. As I draw near him, I hear hip-hop but it wasn’t stuff I knew. He asks me “you know what this is?” I shake my head no. He says “it’s Christian rap”. Talks a little bit about it and then says he wants me to recite a prayer with him. I say that I can’t because I’m in a rush when I just didn’t really feel comfortable but he’s super persistent. To avoid any further exertions, I accepted. Then this man, puts his hand on my head like a priest and has me recite a prayer after him. After the prayer, he says “god bless you” and we part ways. For the rest of the school year, I had walked that way and never saw him. I was convinced that was god himself contacting me.
TLDR: Person who I thought was a cholo turned out to be a devout Christian and made me recite a prayer. Thought he was god himself.
#26Working as a nurse In a nursing home, suburb of Boston. One day one of my residents get a visit from two elderly residents. One is his friend, the other a stranger to him, who gave his friend a ride (they were in their 90’s and only one of them drove). The driver started a conversation with me while his friend visited with his friend. He asked me where I was from, parents, grandparents. Told him my mother was originally from Dorchester Boston. He asked me which part. I said Ashmont station area, ocean Street. He asked me if my grandfathers name was Hugh. I told him yes and my grandfathers last name. He then named all my aunts and uncles names, including my mothers and asked me who’s child I was. Turns out this man, who drove his friend into the country to visit a dying friend, was my grandfathers business partner (who I never met). My grandfather had died about 15 years before. What a small world. I couldn’t wait to get home from work to call my mother and update her that I met Saul Goldman. (She remembered him and his family fondly). Made me happy to be alive. I know he enjoyed meeting me as well. It was as if thru both he and I, my grandfather came back alive for a few minutes, just then.
#27When I worked at Target, me and this other guy were doing a carry-out for this guy who bought a heavy-a*s above-ground pool. He pulls up his truck, and in the bed is this large lumpy thing wrapped in a tarp. Guy says, “just throw it on top,” so we do.
As we’re walking away, the guy turns to us with this weird smile on his face and says, “don’t worry, the dog’s dead.”
#28i'm 6'1 and over 200 pounds. as a result of that, i could easily get to the front of concerts and stay there the whole time. i was at a small metal bar watching a black metal band when all of a sudden i felt someone grab me and move in front of me in one go. it was a woman that couldn't be taller than 5'2 or 5'3. i guess it's because you can never really find good footing at a concert, and because she caught me off guard, so she managed to do what she did. she mainly just wanted to get a good look at the band while they were playing, and once they were done, she pushed me back to the front, said thanks, and left.
#29I remember holidaying in Greece and I needed to catch a bus to the police station to report a missing phone (just for insurance purposes). Anyway I was walking to the bus stop and asked someone who looked like they would speak English for the street name, he kindly gave me directions and then said I had nice hands and started giving me a hand massage and asked if he could bite my nails. This guy has looked like a super regular middle aged guy. I don’t know WTF happened.
#30My best friend and I stopped to use the bathroom of a jack-in-the-box that was in a town we were passing through on the way to the airport. We were going to pick up my now-husband and I was dressed up to see him so obviously I was a little out of place. On my way through to the bathroom a little girl was sitting in a booth with her family and went "wow you're pretty!" I felt very flattered because kids are brutally honest and I took that as a sincere compliment from this child.
The light hearted mood of this innocent child's compliment was dashed away pretty quickly. When I came out of the stall I was using, a strange and very pushy foreign lady I didn't know the origin of wanted to take my picture. The only reason I knew this was because she held up a camera she just happened to have on her which gave away she was a foreign tourist.
I just kind of looked at her confused and proceeded to wash my hands and just try to ignore her after shaking my head no. She still tried to take pictures of me and get my attention to look at the camera. I quickly dried my hands and dashed out of this very tiny bathroom I was trapped in with her. I still wonderto this day who she thought I was, and if she had these random awkward pictures of me trying to avoid her camera and tells people she met someone I am not.
#31I was on a leadership trip in Dallas for a week. It was lunchtime and I decided to walk to the Subway that was about 2 blocks from the hotel. As I'm coming back to the hotel with my food, this guy approaches me. In my head I'm like"ok, what's this dude want." Proceeds to talk to me for like 20 minutes about all kinds of random s**t but keeps telling me I'm a good looking guy. Also should mention. He had one of those massive big gulps that was most definitely 75% alcohol.
Anyway, I keep inching away since I don't really want to talk to this guy anymore and just tell him I'm headed back to my room to eat my food. Finally he says, "that's cool man. Hey, you got any cash on ya? I just got outta the penitentiary and could use a couple bucks."
I told him I don't carry cash and noped the f**k outta there. Just stuck with room service the rest of the week after that.
#32In south New Jersey (lindenwold), I was buying drinks and going to the bathroom. I walked into the bathroom I heard a wet noise almost like a slurp I guess and almost immediately after hearing that a wet faced man jumped backwards from one side of the bathroom to the other. He said nothing and rushed past me. I still have to p**s at this point so walk up to the urinal and was pretty shocked to see, p**s all over the floor and wall, pissy hand prints EVERYWHERE, and the cherry on top… a urinal cake ripped out of its plastic cage with a bite marks in it and a single chomp taken out of it. I figured he was a meth head because apparently meth stays active (still gets you high) in urine
#33I was working at a Safeway in college bagging groceries. (This was in Oregon, where I grew up, though I was born in Wyoming. This will factor in.) One afternoon I went out into the parking lot to gather carts and this red drop-top Caddy pulled into the parking lot with Wyoming plates. I waited for the driver to get out of the car and I walked over and asked him what part of Wyoming he was from. He said Casper. I told him I was born in Riverton. He asked if I had any family left back there. Yes, my father retired to Riverton and was still living there at the time. He asked my father's name. I told him "Walt Lucas". And he said in reply, "Well, then you have to be Matt. I was your dad's roommate in Shirley Basin while your parents were getting divorced. I heard a lot about you." Understand, this divorce had occurred sixteen years prior, and I had never seen this man before and my father had not been in touch with him for probably fifteen years. What are the odds? It's a weird, small world we live in.
*Names have been changed to protect the unstupid.
#34I said hi to a wino one evening. I guess he thought I was going to rob him or something and he hit me with his cane. Lol!
#35I was in a coffee shop in Cambridge, MA and a seemingly normal man struck up a conversation with me while we waited for our coffee.
Asked how I was doing, if I came to that coffee shop much etc.
Then he asked me how well I felt my immune system was functioning. I thought it was odd and really didn't know how to answer. He reached into his coat and pulled out a board with a load of bracelets on it. He went into this really contrived pitch about how the bracelets had powers that would give me the strength of 100 men and that he knew I would be okay and outlive everyone around me. If I had had the $10 he needed I absolutely would've bought one. He was a cash-only operation and he quickly moved on to another person with the exact same approach.
#36I probably have more strange interactions, but recently I was staying at my uncle's house in a pretty small city in New York. I had only ever visited once before and knew basically no one outside of my family's friends in the area, and I rarely ever even interacted with them. One night, an hour or so before midnight, I go outside to get my daily things done in Pokémon GO, and I'd taken my mom's phone too since she likes to play. She hadn't joined me that night because it was too cold for her to bother.
After walking back and forth in front of the park for about half an hour, a man came out of a house across the street from the park and unlocked his car. He went around to the side I was standing near, opened up the door and started looking for something inside. In the near dead-quiet night, he turned to me and said my first name (which isn't very common, but isn't too uncommon either). I was certainly startled, and I think I reacted to that quicker than I'd ever reacted to anything before, just replied with "hello." He didn't say anything else, I didn't say anything else, he closed his car door, locked it, and then walked back inside.
No idea how the hell this guy knew my name, or if it was a lucky guess, or what. The rest of my time outside that night was spent running through a million different explanations in my head of how he could've gotten my name, some situations more realistic than others. Anything ranging between my cousin's friend messing with me, or grabbing my name from a nearby device list, to crazy things like time travel or omnipotent influence.
#37A friend and I were sitting in a car parked on the street waiting for someone to come out of a building. This bald guy with a huge Santa beard and a bald head walked up to my buddy in the passenger seat and shook his hand, had a round of “how are doing?” Santa then pointed at my friend and said “Sixteen chickens and a tambourine” and carried on down the street.
I asked my friend if he knew that guy and he said he had no clue who he was.
About 5 minutes later he come back from the direction he came and stopped and pointed at my friend. My friend pointed at him and said “Sixteen chickens and a tambourine.”
Santa shook my buddy’s hand again and said “ribbity boo ribbity bibbity boo” and walked off.
For weeks after that every conversation somehow included sixteen chickens and a tambourine
I s**t you not
#38I used to sneak out and go for longboard rides when I went back to visit my parents from college. One night I was smoking riding around, it was around Christmas and I liked looking at all the lights. It was close to 12am or 1 and I was almost back to my parents house when I turned the corner on to our street and there was someone standing in the middle of the road. This immediately freaked me out as I'd never seen anyone out this late and why were they standing still in the middle of the road. I kept longboarding forward and as I got closer I saw it was a girl about my age college or highschool. I just politely waved as I was going to pass when she said, "Hey what's up?" I said"not much just riding around, how about you?" Then she said, "You're really gonna act like you don't know me?" I had never seen this girl. I just said, "Yeah no it's just I was heading home so I gotta get going but I'll see you around. I rode off and she stared at me still standing in the middle of the street. I was right next to my house but there was no f****n way I wanted her to see where my parents place was. I rode past my parents place and rode around the neighborhood again. When I got back to my street she was gone, I double checked around and didn't see her so I got the f**k inside and struggled to fall asleep. I have no idea who she was but her strange behavior and how she thought she knew me really creeped me out.
#39My friends and I (all females in their 20s) were at a wild Irish bar. Live music and beer flowing. We had a pitcher of beer on our table. Some man came up and chatted for a moment with one of my friends. The next thing I know, he sits down at our table and is pouring himself some of our beer. The friend he had spoken to had turned away, and I don't think she even saw what this guy was doing (She said llater he had asked her a random question and she really wasn't paying attention because the band was pretty good). I said, "Who are you?" But he ignored me, tossed our beer down his throat, and waved over a friend to help him drink our beer. I said, "Here, let me help you." I picked up the pitcher and proceeded to pour it all over him. Half a pitcher all over him. He jumped up, swore at me, and threw his glass at me. Bouncers swooped in and removed him and his friend. The bar must have known him because the bar gave us a free pitcher of beer.
Anyway, this is where the stranger stepped in. I am now shaky, angry, near tears, ready to tell my friends we needed to leave. This guy comes up, swoops me up in his arms like a romance novel and kisses me. A great kiss. He gently put me back in my seat and was gone. And I wasn't upset anymore. I felt confident and happy. It was so unexpected and funny.
#40So I was 16 I am going to the amusement park with some family. It's the time for the roller-coaster and my family is paired, so I guess I'll ride alone, no problem. This kid os around eleven sit next to me and starts talking to me. We engage in a conversation, tells me that he is being the third wheel because he came with her sister and her boyfriend. We platicated all the ride through the roller-coaster. Not a single scream, not even when when we were upside down. Just a calm conversation in roller-coaster.
#41This is definitely not the strangest interaction with a stranger I've had, but it just happened yesterday.
I walked up to the store with two of my sons. We got a snack before we actually went in to get what we were there for (just leisurely spending time together) and sat outside eating and joking around for a few minutes.
We went inside and this lady — a black lady who was at least 70 with a serious-looking mask on — caught my attention and said, "I guess you sat down on some cement or something? Here, I'm just gonna..." And whips out some wipes with a flourish and begins to vehemently wipe my a*s.
#42When I was 30, I had a sword fight with a boy about 11 or 12 in a Rite-Aid. He was standing there looking at the plastic swords, and when he looked up at me, I held my sword out and gave a nod, like let's go. I was at the other end of the aisle, so we run towards each other and take a huge swing. When the swords connected, and they shattered into a thousand pieces. I mean they exploded. He's got a look of utter shock. He starts looking around and I gave him a, don't worry about it, I'll pay for them. I think they were about 3 bucks each. His mom didn't notice as she was checking out. He's gotta be in his 30's now. It was fun.
#43Going into my hotel room. (This was a s**t hotel, I was low on money and just needed somewhere to stay for a couple of nights.)
On the phone with my husband, a guy walks up to me as I'm pulling out my key card. He gestures at himself and the door, in a 'can I come in' kind of way.
I say "No" and look at him, he keeps standing there, then he goes a few steps away. I stupidly think we're done and open the door and he moved forward to come in with me. I slam the door without entering and book it down the stairs to the front reception desk.
If I hadn't been on the phone, distracted and tired, I would never have let him get so close to me. What could have happened but didn't? Just so strange.
Image credits: darkest_irish_lass
#44I've shared this story before, but one New Year's Eve, a friend of mine and I were standing outside of a liquor store. Both of us were underage, but another friend of ours was 21, so he was buying the alcohol for the night.
I was smoking a cigarette and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man approaching. He looked homeless and I assumed he wanted a cigarette or some change. the first words out of his mouth were, "Happy New Year's gentlemen, how you doing?" We both said we were good and commented about how nice it was. Although it was mid-winter, it wasn't that cold that year in Chicago.
He laughed and said, "Yeah, me too. Y'all got any plans?" We told him we were going to meet up with some friends after our buddy came out of the store. He smiled and said, "Well, y'all be safe now. Me, I got myself a joint from the Mexicans at the car shop. I'm gonna go to my spot in the alley, smoke, put out my sign when I don't want nobody around, *Do not disturb the rat in the hole*. Then they know, this is the condominium and leave me alone."
My friend and I both looked at each other right after he said that. We were both writers and instantly recognized how beautifully weird what he had just said was. I asked if he wanted a cigarette, but he declined saying, "Nah, thanks."
Our friend came out of the store at that point and we told him we had to go. He shook our hands and the hand of our other friend and told us again to stay safe. As we were walking away, we heard him shout to us, "Happy New Year!"
He never asked for change or a cigarette and even declined my offer to have one. He just genuinely wanted to talk to us, which is rare in Chicago. He didn't want anything, but he did give me an anecdote and a phrase that has stuck with me for years; *Do not disturb the rat in the hole.*
Image credits: -eDgAR-
#45Two that happened to my best friend, years ago.
1. He’s walking across campus and some guy walks up to him, holding an unwrapped Twinkie. He puts it close to my friend’s face and says, “Look at it! Look at it! YOU CAN SEE THE PRESERVATIVES!”
2. He’s in the men’s room in the physics building after an astronomy seminar. Some guy comes in and stands next to him at the urinal, staring at him, and says, “The Earth is flat. You know it is.”
And one that happened to me.
I’m in a restaurant in Washington DC, a thousand miles from home. It’s my first time in the District, I’m eating alone, so I decide to sit at the bar instead of taking up a table. A man my age sits down next to me, somehow we get to talking, and long story short, my mom was one of his mom’s bridesmaids and I’m named after his grandfather.
Image credits: krisalyssa
#46Every conversation I have ever had…and I wish I was joking there…but while
In Roswell at the alien museum a lady started talking to me about Legoland after she asked if we were on vacation and I told her I was taking my son and nephews there…anyway, all of sudden she said, “You know…I’ve been abducted by aliens my entire life.”…sweet I thought, I can’t wait to hear this…she told me it all started with her mother who was abducted by the “greys”, there are three alien races btw and the only thing right about the lizard ones are the way their eyes close…anyway, her mom was abducted several times and was impregnated with this lady by one of the greys. So after she was born they started abducting her and you shouldn’t believe what the TV says because the greys are not nice aliens…so she has three trackers in her body, one behind her ear, one in her arm pit and one behind where her knee bends and she’s had them removed before, but finally stopped because she didn’t want them to abduct her again just to put a new one in. She ended it by telling me that she can’t tell me why, but she knew that I was the person she was supposed to tell this to, she just a had feeling. ??♀️
Image credits: TypicalFantastic
#47For the purpose of this story, my name is "Buster."
I was visiting my brother who lived in a fairly big city at the time. He lived in a townhome amongst a bunch of other townhomes which all look identical. I got in late on a very delayed flight and made my way there on my own. My brother left the door unlocked for me so I could make my way in without waking up his family.
I am exhausted when I arrive and open the door and start heading up the stairs. The door at the top of the stairs opens and I figure it's my brother who I've woken up. I hear a voice shouting "Buster, get back! YOU STAY THERE!" he yells this a few times and turns the lights on. I'm starting at a man in his 70s in his underwear, terrified, and a little barking dog is trying to attack me. I am terribly confused as to who this person is, why he's in my brother's house and why he knows my name and is yelling at me.
After a few moments of exchanges it occurs to me that my brother doesn't have a dog and that he is yelling at the dog, named Buster, and that I've entered the wrong house. I try to stumble through and apology and just back away. My brother was pretty amused by it all but I felt horrible for scaring that guy.
#48I was a senior in high school and was waiting for a bus at the local mall near my school. I went there a lot senior year to relax. I always kept my headphones in so no one would talk to me because I am painfully shy and awkward. On this day, a man tapped me and gestured for me to take off my headphones. I was struck by how bold this was of him and he didn't seem weird so I obliged. He greeted me and asked me if I had a moment to talk about the lord ☠️
Now, I am not a religious person at all. I don't believe in God really in the same way other people who read the Bible do. Nor do I know much of anything about the Bible. However, I usually let these people talk to me if I have nothing better to do because I like to hear about other people's ideas. This guy gives me the whole usually run down of a Bible passage, what it means, we do a little prayer, and then I expected him to be like oh come to my church. That's what usually would happen, because that's usually the aim of these interactions.
However, this man looks me in the eyes and says "I came over to talk to you today because I can see you're going through a tough time. If you're comfortable, I'd like to know your name so that I can add you to my daily prayer." I was struck by this because I actually was going through probably the worst time of my life so far. I obliged again and gave him my name. He then takes out a notebook (full sized, college ruled) flips to almost the very end and writes down my name. This man had a whole book full of thousands of names (I am not good at math so this may be an overstatement) which he said he included in his daily prayer. He said he made it a point to approach people who he saw were struggling and to include them in his prayer. He was very aware he would never see these people again, seeing that he travelled a lot, but always wanted to be sure they were acknowledged by the Lord (something like that).
He went on to say that he doesn't care if I believe in God, or if I go to church or anything. He just wanted to take the time to show me that he as a human wanted to assist me in the way he felt was best, which in this case was through prayer. After that my bus came and we parted ways. I still don't believe in God or anything, but this did strike me as strange in a sort of wholesome way. Strange because idk how he knew I was struggling. The majority of people who knew me on a surface level or saw me day to day at the time who know me better now have said they didn't know I was struggling. To be fair, I did my best to hide my emotions to anyone I wasn't close to. Tbh, that interaction left me wondering if maybe that dude was some sort of psychic. I could also just be easier to read than I think. I think it was nice of him though, it definitely made me feel somewhat positive in a very dark time.
#49Baton Rouge, Louisiana. About 15 years ago I lived with a few good friends in an apartment complex. There was a "bar" called the Jefferson Lounge about 2 minutes away from our apt., but I had never been as we generally hung out at a friend's bar close to campus. One night I was headed home from said bar and decided to stop off at the Jefferson and see what it's about. It's probably around 1:00 a.m. at this point. I walk up and there are a couple of girls sitting on the front steps. I think I chatted with them for a second then headed inside. It was dark, mostly empty and had a jukebox off to one side. I get a whiskey and go play a few songs on the jukebox. My first song, "Nights in White Satin," starts playing. A gentlemen who was at the bar introduces himself. He seems nice, but with a very strong and unusual energy. I introduce myself too and reach my hand out to shake his. The exact moment that our hands touch, the power in the entire building goes out. Immediate silence. Darkness. Freaked me the f**k out. Paid cash for my drink, gtfo of there and never stopped back by ever again.
#50I was in NYC for the first time to help my friend move a mutual friend out of his apartment. It was about midnight and we had just gotten to the city, and we knew we were somewhere close to where we were going to stay for the night, so my friend parked the U-Haul and walked around the corner to ask for directions. While I was sitting alone in the dark in the cab, a guy walks up, taps on my window and says, "Midnight run?" I didn't know what he meant, so I just shook my head no. He then walked up to the car in front of us where an old lady was just parked doing nothing. He tapped on her window, talked to her for a minute, then got in on the passenger side and stayed there talking to her for the next 20 minutes at least. I have no idea what that was about.
#51I was given a $3000 coin collection by a nice lady I met briefly on the Amtrak when I was 11.
#52I'm Canadian, so keep that in mind... (also pre-covid)
I bought a coffee and package of cookies and sat outside on a bench to enjoy the summer day. I sat on one end and put my things in the middle of the bench.
Another guy sat down on the other end of the bench and put his things down. Then he opened my cookies and ate one.
I was surprised.
I reached over and took a cookie and ate it. He looked at me sharply, then, keeping eye contact, he reached out and took another cookie and ate it.
I was again surprised and I'm sure it showed on my face.
I reached out and took another cookie and ate it, washing it down with coffee. He did the same.
We continued on that way, each eating a cookie and staring at the other.
When I ate the last cookie I stood up and picked up my things. That's when I saw the unopened pack of cookies under my coat.
#53One day I met an Indonesian guy at the airport, I was 20, I was waiting for my flight so I was reading a book (The Subtle Art Of Not Giving a F*ck) and he came to me asking what the book was talking about and ended up having a deep conversation about life, happiness, even futilities. At the end of the conversation he asked me my Facebook, we exchanged contacts and we became friends. It’s kinda sad bc he told me he would be happy to meet me in Indonesia one day, show me his culture, and watch a soccer game (cause we’re both fans of Chelsea FC), on my side I told him that I’d be happy to see him in my home country, but now 4y later we lost touch. There’s some cool guys in this world. Yeah.
Image credits: Shunrholoto
#54Quick background: I'm from the UK, I'm a recovering alcoholic (nearly 4 months sober now) and used to sit in this beach shelter at night after work and drink 8-10 beers. One night this guy came over holding a glass of wine and randomly started chatting to me. He said he regularly jogs past that shelter in the mornings and picks up the empty beer cans and bins them. He basically got me to admit it was me, he knew my name and where I'd bought the beers. This freaked me out at first but it turns out he'd been picking up the receipts id been leaving there which had my name and the shop location on cos of my clubcard.
Anyway, he basically went on to ask why I drank so much and if there was anything that had happened in my life to make me live that way. For some reason I told him some of the dark secrets from my past that made me turn to drink. It turns out he was a policeman, and not just any policeman, but the one who arrested Roy Whiting (the killer of sarah payne) and after a bit of a conversation he told me about himself, and what he said to me I'll never forget. He said "I have 4 kids, and you never know, you could be number 5" and that hit me hard. A random stranger just decided to talk to me and offer me a love that he somehow knew I'd never been given. Well fast forward a year or so and i no longer drink, we stay in contact on Facebook and whenever i see him around we have a hug and a catch up. He always beeps me when he drives past. Thankyou, Paul.
#55when i was in the army, i was doing a detail where you took peoples prescriptions to their car (it was early covid). so i go up to a car with an old white man sitting in it and as i hand off his bag of prescriptions he says “mmm mmmm MMMM ! i love me a redhead in uniform“ and then whistled… i was in uniform, but i’m definitely NOT a redhead.
#56Three come to mind, and they all happened while I was working as a cashier at a grocery store in high school.
1.) A woman comes through the line and while I'm scanning her groceries asks, "How was your trip to Washington?" I had just gotten back from a week-long stay in D.C. for Presidential Classroom, and was understandably taken aback that a stranger knew I had just been to Washington D.C. She seemed a bit familiar, and told me that we had been on the same flights to and from D.C., and that she lived in my neighborhood. She frequently walked and recognized me as someone she had seen on her walks. It was still weird.
2.) I was working with a cold and a family comes through my line, they hear how I sound and ask if I'm okay. I tell them it's just a slight cold and I'm alright. A few moments later I hear a voice behind me, I turn and it's one of their small children standing behind me. I say, "yes?", then he says, "can I pray for you?" I said, sure he could do that. I figured he meant when he says his prayers at night, or at church, and I turn back to continue scanning their groceries. Suddenly, I feel some one wrap their arms around my lower legs and feel unstable for a split second. I look down, and the kid is on his knees with his arms wrapped around my legs praying for me to get well right there. I was surprised, and definitely not something that had ever happened to me before.
3.) I once had a customer ask for their $20 in change to be in "small unmarked bills". Internally I was thinking: "is a twenty not a small bill?", "why do you want it in small unmarked bills?", "do you think I take the time to mark the bills?", "how would I know if they're marked?", "how would you know if they were marked?" I just said, "would two fives and a ten be okay?" She said, "yes", and she went on her way. I, however, stood their perplexed, questioning the mental state of the person I just sold groceries to.
#57Back 2017 I was in Russia (Siberia - 20 C) visiting a friend ... Now this town was a normal town not a touristy place.... Almost no one speaks English...
Anyway we went to a night club and I somehow managed to get drunk and have an intense dance battle with random Russian dude. To this day no one knows how the thing has started or why...
#58Strange, but wholesome one.
I was 16 and was at a local country club. I was with my friends, and we were just chilling and talking by the main hall as we were waiting on someone.
A drunk middle-aged woman walked up to me, and looked at me. She smiled and hugged me, then told me “You are beautiful, I’ve never seen such a gem. You’re energy is so pure”
Then she kissed my cheek and left.
Somehow, I’ll never forget that.
#59I have a friend who I’m still very good friends with, has 2 younger brothers, the youngest at the time was about 5 or 4. I was having a sleepover with my friend, I got in the car and his mum was picking us up and we all said hi and all the usual things you would say at your first sleepover. My friends youngest brother was also their in the car, and me not knowing him too well barely talked to him, abt 2 mins into the drive back to my friends house, the younger brother interrupted me and my friends convo by saying to me “why aw you black” at the time I thought it was a little funny cus everyone was quite for a few seconds and I still find it a little funny
#60Back in April of 2019, I was working at a seasonal job grading standardized tests, and on the first day, none of us knew each other. I started talking to this woman about how I thought the city we lived in lacked a good culture(and trust me, this was a *very* popular opinion in this area), and this one woman overheard me, and the rest was history.
She stormed over to where I was talking to this woman, and told me this "great city"(it's actually a sh*thole) was "thriving" with culture. She then told me "You Germans don't know what 'yer talkin' about"(we live in the United States of America, and I've lived here my entire life), and then she told me "You must be a drunk then, if you don't think there is any culture here". Then, she told me that one of these days, I would be walking around with a cane like her, and singing about the culture in this city. She then smiled, and let out a loud chuckle.
Rumor has it, she's still talking about that city's culture.
#61I was at a train station one evening and a father and his small daughter was roaming the station as if looking for something.
I sat on a bench and after sometime this guy also came and sat on the opposite side. I was in college and had time till my train so I asked him, Did you lose something? Can I help you?
Dude said, "Not really. Her mother (my wife) pointing to the kid wrote a letter than she's eloping with her lover and he should forget her and I should raise the kid."
I asked, "When did this happen?" He said, I came back from work and saw the kid and the note was in her hands so came to the train station to check if she might be here."
I didn't know what to say, so I told him hope you find her man. He said thanks and walked away with his daughter.
#62I was at a science fair and this lady comes and asks to take my picture I was with a friend so I thought he knew her so I said sure but when I asked later he had no idea who she was and thought that I knew her
#63Background so the interaction will make sense:
My Dad died May 3, 2020 at age 83.
Many years ago, my grandmother told me that whenever you see a cardinal, it's the spirit of one of your ancestors coming to visit you, so always say hello to the bird when you see one.
My wife and I were walking on a trail in our hometown of Allen, Texas. We walked the trail hundreds of times passing strangers every day, and not once in 8 years did anyone ever say a word to us. A month after Dad died, an old man wearing all red is walking the trail in the opposite direction and when we pass each other, he stops and says "I'm 83 years old." We freaked for quite some time. I still get chills thinking about it.
#64I was splitting up with a long term partner (house together but not married) but I didn’t have a lot of cash on hand for my relocation. I went to the bank where I did have some very modest savings and was apologizing for not being able to keep things up. (My most recent contract had ended the week before & with the relationship ending… I didn’t have a job, a home, or a car).
This super nice bank teller led me over to a desk on the side (I was getting a bit tearful) and told me not to worry. This was the kind of thing that savings were for. And that I was going to be okay and build whatever new life I wanted.
I needed that talk, and I didn’t have nearby close friends to talk to by that point. So her encouragement really helped me get through the next week until I could move to a city where I had friends and family.
And yeah, my life got better little by little after that.
#65I was in the queue at Starbucks & sporting my end if winter full beard & long white hair some guy behind me asks me with a very ernest tone "are you Santa Claus".
Being as it was a long queue & I was in a playful mood I replied, "not until 2038 son, which is when the present guy goes off shift, you see we are on this 'ere three shift cycle of a century each & Nick 7 is on until then"
He does not act surprised but starts asking me other questions about how that works & if I recognise him.
At this point I realise that out of the two of us only one of us is pretending, fortunately just then the Starbucks partner asks me for my order, so with a smile I say "Gingerbread Latté & an oat bar please", pay & head for a dark corner near the pickup counter putting my toque back on & trying to look inconspicuous.
#66I once met a dude who was either the whackiest person on the planet, or he was from an alternate universe.
He drove a car that shouldn't exist, the engine in his car has like 3 known examples in the world. Looked at the casting number, was wrong, but consistent in font, position and numbering system they used.
He tried to pay me for my help with obviously fake money.
And claimed Nazis had been occupying half the country for decades.
#67At IHOP in the keys somewhere, like 2004. I'm at breakfast with my family on vacation. An older lady dressed in bright colors gets up and starte dancing to the music playing in the restaurant. My mom tells her she admires her for her dancing like no one is watching. She says you have to live while you can, her husband died recently, she's had 3 husbands and they've all died "I didn't kill them though". .... no one thought she had killed them... until then.
#68So the shrooms just hit, like literally just hit. And this guy immediately pulls up in a white Mercedes’ SUV with black tinted windows and 2 German shepherds uncontrollably barking in the car beside him. Dust flying everywhere cuz of how fast he pulled up. He asks me if I was his brother (definitely twacked out) and looked like he was getting ready to get out the car and kidnap me or something. Then luckily my friends walk up behind me and he just sped off. Why does s**t like this only happen when you’re tripping lmao
#69First: I had a job in a small restaurant, we were closing I was cleaning. Somehow weird guy came and ordered just a drink in a cup on a way. I didn't have a problem with that it was summer and very hot, he gave me nice tip. Well he wasn't leaving and my colleague was out in her car looking for something. Suddenly the guy asked me if 15cm is satisfying enough for me, I was speechless and shocked, so I was quiet and continue with the cleaning. He continued with telling me his sexual stories... I asked him to leave and he pointed out that we still have open for 10 minutes. Then he said something like he will wait for me and walk me home, finally my colleague arrived and the guy was out of the door faster then speed of light.
Second: I was waiting on a bus stop, it was a nice weather so I wear skirt long enough to cover my knees. Suddenly a car stopped, driver had his penis in hand satisfying himself and asked me where is some street. Again I was shocked and silent, bus arrived, he left, I was horrified.
In both cases I was only 20 shy and scared, nowadays I am able to tell them to f**k of or even threat them with calling police.
Sorry for my English
#70They came up to me at uni held me by the shoulders and told me I had honest eyes before walking off. In hind site they were definitely tripping.
#71Not that weird. But at in 8th grade I was at a track meet and my friend called me over to a little group they were in with a few other girls from a different school and looks at one of the girls I’ve never seen and goes “this is her”. I must of looked confused because the girl looks at me and goes “I’ve heard about who and just wanted to see who you were”. And that was that. I haven’t talked to her since and it was just kinda strange occurrence because I’m not one of those people who people know about. I’m no one special, I’m just me.
#72Not as weird as some of the other ones here but still- I was at a public library and this random women came up and hugged me from behind, I pulled away and turned around and she was like “oh sorry I thought you were my daughter”
I’m a guy…
#7320 at the time, worked at a pharmacy on the counter, was the only one there (pharmacist was on lunch). Crusty old guy who reeked of cigarettes comes in, slyly asks my age, asks creepy questions about where I live, talking about how I’d make some guy really happy some day. He’s like 50 odd talking about how we’d make a good couple and tells me to step out from behind the counter so he can get a good look at me. My heart was pounding out my chest lol.
He comes back a little bit later when the pharmacist is back, goes through that gross convo again, tryna get him to agree until he’s asked to leave. Yuck
#74Ooooh I've got a good one.
I'm Canadian, but I've lived in Korea for a long time. One weekend I went to a different city to meet up with some guys I'd been gaming online with. Fun dudes, did some drinking and gaming then went out to go bar hopping.
After a quick taxi ride we were walking in a pretty busy area to the first bar. Suddenly some dude walking towards me sees me, then calls out my name, like first and last name. Tall guy, over 6 feet, big white man afro.
He starts talking to me like we're old friends, and I respond as if I know who he is, but I have no f*****g idea who this guy is. Don't recognize him at all. After talking to him for a minute or 2 I notice the guys I'm with are getting pretty far away, so I say my goodbyes, still having no idea who this guy is.
Full night of drinking and bar hopping, 5 am rolls around and some guys want to get McDonalds before we go sleep, so we head over there. Sitting at the first table when we walk in is the dude who knew me. Tall guy, big white man afro, same jacket, he's unmistakable.
I go up to him and admit that I don't recognize him and asked where we knew each other from. He looks at me confused, and says "I don't know what you're talking about. Who are you?"
Dude was 100% the same guy, but he maintained that he had no idea who I was.