We all have those chance encounters. You know, the ones where we’re so, so thrilled to know that we’re never going to see the other person again, ever?
Chance encounters with strangers always have the potential to be awkward, but these 15 people’s stories take the definition to a whole other level.
#15. Nothing makes sense
“I was riding my motorcycle a month ago when the light ahead of me turned red. So I slowed down and stopped behind the car that was also waiting at the red light. A guy in sweatpants jogs out between me and the car, and for some reason, a TV remote flys out of his pocket and smashes like it was made of glass, all over the street.
The sheer randomness of a guy having a TV remote in his pocket made me burst out laughing, and the guy was staring at the shards of remote in the street like he didn’t know how it got in his pocket. I’m laughing so hard that I ease of my clutch a bit, and scare myself by moving forward an inch, causing me to stall my motorcycle out. I can’t stop laughing, and now my motorcycle engine isn’t covering the sound. So the guy slowly looks up from the shattered remote and stares directly at me with this pained look on his face. He does this until I stop laughing, fired my bike back up, and drove around him and down the street.”
#14. One of us is a stalker
“Ended up going to a gas station and filled up my car while this older guy was there doing the same.
We both drove off and ended up at a Starbucks about 2 miles away.
We then both ended up at the gym and ran a few treadmills apart.
We both knew. It was awkward.”
#13. Never trust the Internet
“(I’ve told this story before, so if you’ve already read it I apologize and Hello again!)
I ordered pizza online from Dominos and tracked it as it was being made. (If you haven’t ordered online before, it tells you by name who is preparing your pizza, etc).
Anyway, it told me Diego was on his way to deliver the pizza, so when the delivery man buzzed I opened the door and said a very friendly, “HELLO DIEGO! Thanks for delivering my pizza!!!”
The man (who happened to be of Latin descent) just stood there and looked at me for a minute. Then said, “My name is Luiz.”
…I could have tried to explain, but I was really hungry. So I paid the man and ate my pizza.”
#12. Not impressed
“When I was 13, I was at the local convenience store with friends in the middle of winter. We all decided to get some frothy cappuccinos to warm our spirits. I decided on the French Vanilla, while my other friend went for an English Toffee. We paid while our other friends were perusing other items and started walking towards the door, with me walking in front. As I approached the door, I took the cap off my frothy beverage, smelled it, and turned back to my friend with my eyes closed while giving an over-the-top and obnoxious “Mmmmmmmm” sound.
When I opened my eyes, I realized it wasn’t my friend but an extremely unimpressed middle aged woman with glasses. We stared at each other for at least five seconds, me rooted to the spot in shock, and her judging me. She then moved past me and left.
It turns out my one friend doubled back to go talk to the other friends perusing other things, and the middle age woman had purchased her things right after mine. My friends saw it all and were dying of laughter.”
#11. Rules to live by
“As a straight male – Never look a man in the eyes while he eats a banana. Trust me.”
#10. Terrifying indeed
“Today, I went to the bathroom on my office building’s floor, and proceeded to push open a stall door. Turns out, the guy taking a shit there had forgotten to lock the door. We both just kind of froze, terrified and shocked, and made eye contact for a split second. I nope’d the fuck out of there and went to the floor below’s bathroom. Oh god, why?
What do you guys got?”
#9. Steady as she goes
“Actually, wait. I was riding the train one day, and it lurched to a stop and an Asian woman grabbed my boobs to steady herself. That was way more awkward.”
#8. Nobody said a word
“I was at a wedding reception at a golf course once and thought the entire patio was filled with wedding guests. Drunk and hungry, I also thought all the food at the tables were wedding appetizers. Turns out there were regular country club members on the patio as well. Feeling social, I sat at one of the tables, started eating part of their shrimp cocktail appetizer and chatting them up. Unfortunately they weren’t part of the wedding, and I was stealing their food. I probably sat there for 10 minutes until I came to the horrible realization of what was happening.”
#7. Pretend like it didn’t happen
“I was walking through the shopping mall in my home town, looking at some clothes in the windows. I’m just minding my own business and turn around with a bit of arm-swinging. Well, my arm swung directly into the balls of a complete stranger.
The guy slumped down, moaning in pain. I couldn’t even say sorry. I just walked away as innocent looking as I could. I was to embarrassed to say a word…”
#6. Wait for it
“I was out at a Walmart picking up a few things back when I was in High School and I ran into a girl I had just started dating a week prior (I was actually about to go over to her house for the first time). She ran up behind me and did a kind of groping hug on me which had surprised me at the time because well I wasn’t expecting. She told me she was just about to be leaving after grabbing a few last minute things so I told her I would see her at her house. Well I was walking around the store and I saw her again in the soda isle in the back so I figured hey I’d do what she did to me. I went up behind her gave her a hug and groped her all in one motion. It wasn’t her, it was her mom.”
#5. All hands on deck
“Without thinking, I once tried to shake an amputee’s hand. He stuck out his arm in a non-offended way to show that he was unable to shake my hand, and to diffuse the situation with only minimal amounts of awkwardness. I, for some reason, took this as a gesture to shake his handless arm (it was cut off at just above the elbow so I had to really reach for it) which resulted in uneasy laughs and goodbyes.”
#4. Swing and a miss
“I have a minor social phobia. I was on the bus the other day, and I decided that I want to live my life, goddammit. I wanted to just start a conversation with a stranger, and I didn’t know how. This woman and I were the only two people on the bus. I had this comic in my head, and I figured the best thing I could do was just be honest.
I looked at her and said,
“Isn’t it funny how we’re so afraid to just begin a conversation with another human being?”
She just stared at me.
So to answer my own question – yes, it is funny, in a very tragic way.”
#3. Over and over
“Freshman in college (I’m a guy), during the first week of classes. I was taking the campus bus as it went down this horribly bumpy hill. Having grown up in the suburbs, I wasn’t used to standing on the bus so I lost my balance and fell. Into the lap of this guy. Over and over again, apologizing profusely all the while.”
#2. It happens all the time. Probably.
“I was getting onto an international flight and the flight attendent asked for my passport. I didn’t hear him though and I just saw him extending his hand out towards me so I reached out and shook his hand. It was at that moment when I realized what he said to me. He just laughed and tried to save us both from a really awkward moment by saying ” Nice to meet you. Do you have your passport?”. I apologized and opened up my bag to look for my passport. I looked behind me and a line of people had started to form so I tried to hurry. I had a newspaper in my hand so I tucked it under my arm. As I started opening up all of the pockets in my backpack trying to find my passport, I dropped my newspaper. I went to pick up the newspaper and as I bent over the contents of my backpack fell onto the floor. I felt so awkward that I was apologizing to other people for subjecting them to my awkwardness. I found my passport, showed the flight attendent, and proceded to gather up my things. At the end of the flight though the flight attendent shook my hand so I think we’re cool.”
#1. Scare tactics
“A friend and I were at a restaurant once. My friend didn’t know where the bathroom was, so I decided to show him. As I left, I decided it would be brilliant to jump out and scare him as he exited the bathroom. When I heard the door open, I knew the time was right. I sprung out from the staircase where I was perched and yelled…right at the waiter who was exiting from another door with food.”