The Bitter Truth About Fighting Chronic Pain Without Opioids

If you’ve tried to get painkillers from your doctor recently, or read literally any news story about white rural America, you know that we have an opioid epidemic. Fortunately, it turns out there is a clear, simple solution to the problem. Here’s a quote from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, breaking it down for the rest of us simple-minded shits:

“The plain fact is, I believe — and I am operating on the assumption that this country prescribes too many opioids — I mean, people need to take some aspirin sometimes and tough it out a little. That’s what General Kelly — you know, he’s a Marine — he had a surgery on his hand, a painful surgery … he goes, ‘I’m not taking any drugs. It did hurt though.’ He did admit it hurt. But, I mean, a lot of people, you can get through these things.”

As someone who lives with awful chronic pain, I of course agree with him. Sometimes you do have to just tough it out. It really is that simple. I’m not being sarcastic at all. Allow me to share my inspirational story.

Note: Former Cracked editor John Cheese is now the editor in chief of The Modern Rogue!

5

Simply Plan Your Entire Life Around The Pain

When I was a kid, I had a diving accident that did permanent damage to my neck and back. The details aren’t important — it really is the kind of thing that could have happened to any sensible person — but the result was that from ten feet in the air, I landed headfirst on a sandbar that was covered by just a couple of feet of water. I was completely vertical, like a goddamn Tom And Jerry cartoon. It hurt. And I didn’t even get the dignity of a wacky *boing!* sound.

As a result, for the last 30 years, I’ve dealt with chronic back pain. At its worst, it feels like a star collapsed inside my body. Sometimes, though, it changes gears and feels like someone hammered a red-hot nail into my neck and left it there. When that happens, sneezing or coughing will send a lightning bolt up my spine, a jolt of agony that makes me feel like I’m going to piss my pants. That can last for weeks. I’ve had broken bones that didn’t hurt like this. Other times, the muscles will suddenly get so weak that they just turn to Jell-O. Here, try this: Drop to the floor and do crunches until you physically can’t anymore, and then keep doing them for several more minutes. The muscle death you feel, coupled with that pulsating burn? That’s what I feel on most days, from sunup to sundown.

But I of course can power through it without the help of my painkiller prescription, via the irrepressible power of the human spirit. It just takes a little extra planning if I know I’m going to be doing anything extreme, like being on my feet for a couple of hours. For example, I recently took my daughter to the mall for some birthday shopping. After an hour and a half, I physically couldn’t walk anymore. By the time we got back to the car, I thought I was going to have to beg a stranger to help cram me into the driver’s seat, urging them to press on through my screams. Had I planned better, I could have simply quadrupled my dose of aspirin and Skyped with my daughter from the car while she shopped.

That’s the key to pain management: planning ahead and not doing the thing that causes you pain, and also remembering that nearly all things cause you pain. For instance, I pace when I talk on the phone. I can’t help it. This means a 20-minute phone call can potentially seize up my back so completely that I have to execute the sitting process in slow, gentle stages, looking like a GIF loading on a spotty LTE connection.

Of course, if I was smart, I would just stop talking on the phone forever. Or I could plan ahead by taking a few aspirin and toughing through that shit like a tank. I just need to cue up some Jeff Sessions and remember his inspirational words: “But, I mean, a lot of people, you can get through these things.”

4

Let Societal Scorn Work Its Magic

Over the past eight years, my wife has been through the following:

— An injury that resulted in two knee surgeries

— Her ACL torn right in half, resulting in a third

— Chronic migraines that regularly send her to the ER

Fucking brain surgery

When her ACL popped, she couldn’t touch her foot to the floor without crying so hard that she was close to vomiting. After the first doctor visit, they sent her home with two ibuprofen and a pair of crutches. It wasn’t until a week later that they did a scan and saw the tear. Between this and her original surgeries, the doctors said she’d likely be in pain for the rest of her life. Yet any time she complains to them about the pain, they look at her like she’s trying to bullshit her way into some sweet, sweet drugs. As if she went into the joint and popped that ligament with a pair of bolt cutters just so she’d have the pretense to take an occasional flight on Opioid Airlines.

I get the same. Any time I have to ask for pain medication, it’s followed with a suspicious look and “Are you sure the ibuprofen isn’t helping?” I understand. Even though I’m just asking for weak-ass Tramadol (a synthetic opioid specifically designed to be less addictive), you can still get hooked on that. I’m aware that addicts fake their way into prescriptions all the time. I also know that they sell them on the streets, and to be perfectly honest, I’d have an easier time buying the pills off of them than getting them from an actual doctor. The doctor is the only one who will judge me as a piece of shit.

Fortunately, feeling like a scumbag addict is a great motivator for staying away from opioids, despite the fact that they do take away 100 percent of my pain and allow me to physically function through an average day. Politicians say you’re just weak. Perspective employers see you as a potential pill-popping train wreck. Co-workers and subordinates look at you like you’re Dr. House. Friends and family will compare your pain to theirs and blow it off. (“Your back hurts? That’s nothing. I lost three fingers working at the guillotine factory. You don’t see me suckin’ down pain pills”) I simply have to measure the physical pain against the psychological/emotional pain and realize that the latter is greater. Problem solved.

3

Trust The Professionals To Let You Know When To Endure Excruciating Pain

The absolute best way to stay away from opioids is to let the medical profession do what it’s currently doing: restrict the everloving shit out of them in a completely arbitrary way. For instance, did you know that CVS announced in late 2017 that they would be limiting opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply? And that patients would have to try the immediate-release pills before switching to the much more effective extended-release pills that chronic pain sufferers need? Thank. God.

Here I was, worried about my own willpower and aspirin-taking toughness, when all I had to do was wait for doctors and pharmacies to step in and say, “We got ya, buddy. We will fucking die before letting you abuse your medication.” I wish they’d take it a step further and just have me come in every time I need an individual pill. Just hand it out at the counter with a little cup of water, like Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

Of course, “seven-day supply” doesn’t really have much of a meaning. My wife’s 30-day supply of Tramadol is 30 pills. Take a look at the instructions:

Now, if we’re talking about someone who has pain once per day during a specific four-hour time span, that is definitely a 30-day supply. But if we’re talking about someone who is dealing with chronic pain, then taking the recommended dosage makes that bottle last seven to ten days. And that, my friends, is one hell of an awesome way to beat opioid dependence. Just make them up and vanish for 20 days per month. No more worrying about willpower. No need to toughen up. It’s totally out of your hands. “You’re out already? Well that sucks. You shouldn’t have taken what we told you to take. Oh well. Come back in 20 days, and we’ll get you some more. In the meantime, here’s some aspirin. How’s your toughness?”

2

Don’t Worry, Self-Care Is Your Ticket To Complete Opioid Freedom

Have you ever shopped for computer chairs at an office supply store? They always have little tags with a single-digit number on them. If you never looked up what those mean, they’re “suggested hours of use.” So if the tag says “5,” they’re saying, “Don’t sit in this for more than five hours per day, you lazy, computer-using turd.” I routinely work in a computer chair for 18 hours a day. There are no computer chairs with a rating of “18”.

Office Depot“Intensive” rated doesn’t even meet half of that.

In order to prevent my vertebrae from permanently fusing together, I follow the rule of thumb to get up and walk around for five to ten minutes every hour. And that will absolutely work for all of you too, because you also work from home and have no boss who will walk over and say, “Every time I see you, you’re walking around aimlessly, doing nothing. Do you want me to fire you?”

Now, if you’re one of the rare people who does have a boss (loser), you should just explain to them that experts recommend that you stand for two to four hours during your work day, and you’ll either need two desks (one for sitting and one for standing) or a sitting-to-standing desk for your office. Those generally only cost around $400. They should be fine with that.

Duro-Med“How about an $11 hemorrhoid pillow instead?” “But I don’t … *sigh* whatever.”

If you work in physical labor, you’ll need to do the opposite, taking plenty of breaks to get off your feet. The great thing about physical labor is that it’s a job known for its reasonable, empathetic supervisors and flexible project deadlines. They will have absolutely no problem with you pulling up a chair once every hour for some pain prevention. There is no way they’ll say, “I didn’t hire you to sit on your ass. Get back to work or allow me to go spend the three minutes it would take me to find a replacement.”

1

You Will Definitely Become Tough

Here’s the thing about chronic pain: It doesn’t just affect you or your throbbing body part. It turns you into a dick, because it’s impossible to maintain a positive, healthy state of mind when all you can concentrate on is *throb, throb, throb, throb, throb*. Unless you’re showing exaggerated physical signs or you outright tell someone about how much pain you’re in, other people have no idea why you’re being a douche. They just think, “Man, screw that dude.” People in my situation usually know what it’s like to ask for a promotion and be interrupted with, “I’d really love to give you the position, but you really are a piece of shit, Chad.”

Also, chronic pain is often linked with depression, and the two feed off of each other like the Auryn, only made out of human shit. The pain makes the depression worse, and the depression robs you of the motivation and energy to manage the pain. It’s a perpetual motion machine that often ends with goddamn suicide. “How tragic, he was always so sad for some reason.” YES, MAYBE IT WAS BECAUSE THE ENTIRE TOP HALF OF MY FUCKING BODY WAS ON FIRE.

The upside is that if you survive a few decades of this, you’ll be tough as hell. You could be catapulted anus-first into a cactus made of metal and be like, “Pfft. Just give me a couple of aspirin. I’ll be fine.” Hell, Jeff Sessions may even put you in one of his speeches.

“I knew a writer who couldn’t walk the length of one shopping mall,” he’ll say. “His pain was so severe that he only slept a few hours per night. It gave him chronic depression. He had been in the hospital multiple times for nervous breakdowns. His kids learned to not ask him to go on long trips, because he couldn’t physically handle the car ride. But by God, he didn’t take opioids, because that man, he was as tough as a leather dildo.”

You can find John and lots of your favorite writers at The Modern Rogue, where he is editor in chief. You can also follow him on Twitter.

And heck, maybe leatherworking could be a fun hobby to take your mind off the pai–nah, not really.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-bitter-truth-about-fighting-chronic-pain-without-opioids/

I’m In A Wheelchair: 5 Ways Dating Can Be Super Dark

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My wheelchair often becomes a small elephant in the room wherever I go. That’s especially the case when that room is full of the most frightening type of people to me: strangers. Their inability to process someone using a wheelchair has become so commonplace that I often fast-forward to resenting them before they’ve even spoken to me.

Because of that, I often find myself in angst mode, which can be a real problem when it comes to dating. Dating requires meeting new people, and I can’t meet someone new without them being far more interested in the wheelchair than any aspect of my personality. Admittedly, my personality sucks, but being reduced to a set of tires, axles, and motors isn’t going to endear you to me either. Dating while confined to a chair is an altogether different and more challenging experience — though it makes me a much more efficient speed dater.

5

People’s Reactions Have Fundamentally Changed Who I Am

It’s inevitable: Upon meeting me, my date will do absolutely everything in their power not to mention or look at my wheelchair. It becomes my defining feature. After about ten minutes of stilted small talk and eye contact so intense I sometimes fear they may actually be trying to explode my head with psychic energy, the desire to know why I’m confined to such a contraption takes over. When the pretenses fall away, I’m asked to casually adapt the painful origin story of my disability into light and breezy chitchat. The person who can turn a virus that eats the protective tissues around their brain into quirky conversation deserves a large trophy.

What’s worse is that I now expect this reception from every single person I come across. When I can’t meet anyone new without spending the entirety of the conversation wondering when the small talk will veer to the painful memory, I start planning exit routes that ensure I run over as many feet as I can on the way out. I anticipate people’s judgement before they’ve even spotted me rolling along at crotch-level. I visualize them asking me to relive the moment when I was lying in bed, not even sure if I would live to see my life go to shit, and I shut them out before they get the chance to prove me wrong. Humanity’s prejudice has induced my own prejudice against them. It’s a sick kind of poetic justice, but not the deep, introspective kind. It’s more like annoying slam poetry.

All this is probably why I’m marrying the first person who could actually see past my wheelchair. That’s not a joke. I’m literally about to marry that person. You have to lock down the good ones before someone else takes them.

4

People Think My Date Is My Carer

When people see me out with my able-bodied counterpart, they assume he’s only there to wipe my ass at regular intervals, not to buy me cake and watch superhero movies with me. People don’t seem to get that the person with me isn’t a registered nurse I pay to spoon-feed me when I’m out to lunch. I’m trying to have sex and fall in love with that person, and I’m hoping they’re willing to reciprocate.

Depicting my partner as my carer is fine when he is helping me to get on a train. It is not fine when we are simply out together wandering the streets, and anyone who has to interact with us refers to him as my carer. They don’t speak to me — they speak to my date, as if I’m miles away. Meanwhile, I sit there trying to pass my hand through someone’s body in case I didn’t realize I was a ghost this whole time. To them, the chair I sit in reduces me to someone not worth speaking to directly, but instead through an intermediary they assume I’ve been assigned. And it’s automatic for a lot of people. Without a moment of hesitation, they assume I’m a vegetable.

No one ever sees a relationship when they look at us. It’s an idea so deeply burned into the brains of society that no one thinks twice about it before deciding that my capacity for a relationship extends no further than requiring someone to help me do normal-people stuff, because clearly I am incapable of normal-people emotions, thoughts, or even speech. When it’s pointed out to someone that I’m wearing an engagement ring for a reason, they look like someone just gave them a surprise prostate exam. Once they’ve dealt with the fact that wheelchair users are, in fact, human beings like everyone else on the planet, they start to become suspicious that something sinister is taking place. “But … but how can you love WHEN YOU HAVE W-W-WHEELS?!”

Sadly that’s not the worst thing people think about the people I’ve dated …

3

People Think My Date Is A Creepy Pervert

Before my fiance and I started dating, we attended a social event for a university society, where he befriended a young woman who was struggling with severe mental health issues. After she couldn’t cope in the overly crowded room and the rest of the group simply wanted to send her home in a taxi so that they could drunkenly enjoy their night out, he made the heinous mistake of daring to comfort her. The seeds of suspicion were sewn.

Months later, he and I were dating. We met up with members of said society. The reception was a little icy when they realized we were more than just friends, but nothing was said at the time. Behind our backs, however, it was perfectly obvious to them that he was taking advantage of me and my vulnerability to satisfy his own desires. I wasn’t consulted on the matter, as it turned out I was a ghost, and as such, my opinion was invalid. There was no relationship between two consenting adults. To them, there was only a sexual predator and his dimwitted prey.

The rumors led to his exclusion from events, and even the people he planned to move in with the following academic year forced him out based on rumor alone. Having spoken to other disabled people, I know that when they hang out with someone able-bodied of the opposite gender, the general assumption of those around them is that the disabled person is a weak and pitiful creature falling foul of evil intent. It’s difficult enough to lead a normal life as it is. It’s even worse when idiots assume the non-disabled friends and lovers around me are only there to get some kind of sick thrill out of it, like I’m a character in a David Cronenberg movie. When they’re not doing that …

2

People Think My Date Is A Hero

If my partner is not assumed to be a criminal, then he’s at the other end of the spectrum: a hero we should all aspire to be one day. Did he save the family from a burning house? Did he singlehandedly save the world from an alien invasion? Nope! He’s a hero for having sex with a wheelchair girl. Let’s give him the key to the city!

As we travel down the street together, some people will give him genuine looks of admiration. Their eyebrows raise a fraction, they flash a warm, condescending smile, and then they turn to their companions to discuss how sweet he is in whispers so loud they’re more accurately described as breathy screams. Few ever speak to him directly. Why would they? Doing so might break the elaborate fiction they’ve created of a Superman walking among us, throwing lonely disabled girls a pity boning.

Short of shutting ourselves behind closed doors all day, it’s inescapable. My fiance has mentioned to me more than once just how uncomfortable this makes him feel, and I can hardly blame him. He’s here because he likes me, and he knows that I’m more than the wheels everyone else uses to define me. I read books. I write. I listen to music. I wear too much eyeliner. I attend wrestling shows. I like superhero movies. I’m terrible at Crash Bandicoot. I swear like a motherfucker. These are the reasons he’s with me. Pity isn’t one of them.

Besides, the closest he gets to heroism is when he remembers to put his underpants on before his jeans when he’s drunk.

1

People Are Utterly Baffled (And Way Too Curious) About How I Have Sex

I’ve been asked whether I can feel anything. Can I orgasm? Can I satisfy my partner? Can I go for a normal length of time? Do I have to use special positions? Do I have to use contraception? Can I have sex at all? Has my vagina been sealed by a magic curse which can only be lifted by the love of a prince? I get these questions all the time. Fortunately, most people have had the decency to stop short of asking if they could watch.

You’d imagine that the worst offenders here are drunk men outside of pubs, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. When I was collecting my contraceptive pill from the pharmacy, the middle-aged woman who was behind me in the queue asked me why I needed them. Out loud. In front of everyone. Truth be told, I take them for medical reasons as well as baby prevention, but that wasn’t what she was driving at. So I turned around and told her it was because I got laid more often than she did. If I could sculpt her stunned expression in bronze and put it on my shelf as a little trophy, I would.

On another occasion, my male best friend, who I have never dated and never will, was spotted leaving my room at 1 a.m. after a movie marathon. The first thing one of my female flatmates said to me the next morning was, “So you can have sex, then?” Had I been less hung over, I would probably have had some witty response, but instead tried to create the kind of silence that lets people know you’re quietly calling them stupid.

Sadly, this happens on a pretty consistent basis. I don’t know what it is about the wheelchair, but the second someone gets comfortable enough with me to start asking personal questions (and it doesn’t take long), the topic of sex comes up, and they get pretty goddamn blunt about it. I’m still confused as to why the wheelchair generates these kinds of behaviors in people, and why they take offense when I take offense to these queries. What are they expecting? For me to crack and give up all the juicy details like it’s a police interrogation? No. I owe them nothing and they should expect nothing, other than a punch to the face as they’re doubled over in pain after I’ve run over their foot in yet another perfectly executed exit.

Emma Steer, a.k.a. “Mini” (long story), has her own blog, “Diary of a Disabled Person,” with new posts discussing her life released every Sunday. She also has a Facebook page accompanying the blog, sending out notifications with every new post, as well as the obligatory silly photos.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/im-in-wheelchair-5-ways-dating-can-be-super-dark/

5 Devastatingly Brilliant Insults (Involving Famous People)

Sick burns are not confined to the realms of skate parks and unsupervised kitchens. The internet has made it possible for anyone to slam a hated foe or rando with an incorrect opinion on the other side of the world. Weirdly, some of the people most adept at this sacred rite are celebrities. Consider these famous roast machines …

5

Roger Ebert Savagely Dunked On A Pretentious Filmmaker

Back in 2003, director Vincent Gallo decided to make a movie about a motorcycle racer on the run from his demons and called it The Brown Bunny. You probably haven’t seen it, and we’re comfortable spoiling it because you’re also probably not going to watch it. There’s an awful lot of rape, and everything in it was a dream, and it is a terrible movie, and you’re welcome.

Wellspring Media
Also, the poster’s the wrong color.

Predictably, the film’s debut at the Cannes Film Festival visibly shook its audience. Critic Roger Ebert was in attendance, and would later report that Gallo himself apologized to journalists for putting them through the mess. But Gallo denied this, and later said: “I never apologized for anything in my life. I like the movie. I had 100% creative and financial control over it, and if I didn’t like it, I would have changed it … The only thing I am sorry about is putting a curse on Roger Ebert’s colon. If a fat pig like Roger Ebert doesn’t like my movie then I’m sorry for him.”

Ebert — who, to be fair, probably did devastate a few buffets in his time — didn’t take that kindly. Moreover, as a man with intimate familiarity with his own colon, he had a perfect angle for a response: “Gallo has put the heebie-jeebie on my colon and prostate. I am not too worried. I had a colonoscopy once, and they let me watch it on TV. It was more entertaining than The Brown Bunny.”

Lovely! And this isn’t just a series of jokes about poop-chutes (you can get those in any other Cracked article). No, something inspiring happened next! Gallo reconsidered his stance and made substantial edits to the movie. And Ebert re-reviewed it, and gave the new version a thumbs-up. It’s nice when things work out in the end, unlike most journeys involving the haunted passage that was Roger Ebert’s colon.

4

Captain America Takes On The KKK

Chris Evans, star of Captain America and possibly some of your dreams, is known for being handsome and outspoken on Twitter, often at the same time. He’s generally an advocate for progressive issues, and earlier this year, he was pretty upset about the pending confirmation of former Alabama Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III — yes, apparently there have been three of them — to the position of attorney general. You see, during his confirmation, Ol’ JeffBo had to defend himself against some pretty serious charges of racism — a process made somewhat stickier by a former Grand Wizard of the KKK, David Duke, publicly advocating for him. Evans wasn’t pleased by this particular development:

Chris Evans/Twitter
He’s adapted well to social media for someone who’s been frozen almost a century.

Duke, a man who dreams of a world without hot sauce every day, was quick to dismiss Evans as nothing but an actor:

David Duke/Twitter
This gets even more meta when you realize that Duke looks like Red Skull wearing one of his shitty fake skin masks.

Evans wasn’t having it:

Although the burn itself is only a “zesty” on the heat meter, the real impressive thing here is that Evans crossed swords with the KKK, which is apparently a thing we need heroes to do for us now. Also, there was genius in using that particular embedded link, which made it crystal clear that a man who looks like a physical god is arguing with a pink, weasel-nosed demon with hair borrowed from at least two different people. There’s no coming back from that.

3

Gwyneth Paltrow Silences Martha Stewart With A Cake

You probably wouldn’t think a confrontation between homemaking icon Martha Stewart and professional aloof person Gwyneth Paltrow would be anything approaching entertaining, but much to our delight, you would be wrong. Dead wrong.

It started when Stewart said of Paltrow in an interview: “She’s a movie star. If she were confident in her acting, she wouldn’t be trying to be Martha Stewart.” This was a dig on Paltrow’s hilariously overpriced lifestyle website, Goop. Stewart went on in another interview to say: “She’s a charming, pretty person who has a feeling for lifestyle. She wants to be a lifestyle arbiter. Fine. Good. I think I started this whole category of lifestyle.”

OK, nice start. Pretty clear Stewart feels a little competitive toward Paltrow, what else you got? Well, Paltrow, to her credit, tried to downplay this confrontation and said she was flattered that Stewart considered her competition. But Stewart would not let the fuck up, possibly understanding the importance of establishing the dominant position from her time in prison. She next took a stab at Paltrow’s divorce from Chris Martin, which she famously referred to as a “conscious uncoupling.” Stewart put a Thanksgiving spread in her magazine and called the feature “Conscious Coupling.” It was nominally about pie flavors that go well together, but with the highlighted language about the “perfect marriage,” it’s hard not to see it as a further dig at Gwyn’s divorce.

Side note: The pie genuinely did look amazing.

Finally, Paltrow decided enough was enough. One month later, she published a recipe for “Jailbird Cake,” a not-too-thinly-veiled reference to Stewart’s time in prison for insider trading, and it looked even more delicious.

And then Stewart responded with … radio silence. Game recognize game, apparently.

2

J.K. Rowling Tricked Piers Morgan Into Insulting His Own Writing

Piers Morgan is not a likable guy. In fact, not liking him may be the core part of the Piers Morgan Experience. One of his more famous dislikers is Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, who earlier this year expressed delight on Twitter at seeing him get told to fuck off on live TV. Morgan responded as childishly as we’d come to expect, claiming he’d never read a single word of Harry Potter. So Rowling lit into him again:

But that’s normal Twitter bickering — all in a day’s work for a woman who’s written more words than most people can count. Where it gets really fun is a few days later, when Rowling baited Morgan like a master fisher. She shared a shining review of herself which someone had supposedly sent her:

For those unfamiliar with the Twitter interface, a couple key points here: She posted this to her own feed, with no tags, no response to Morgan’s tweet, nothing to involve the dude at all. But Morgan saw it, which meant he was looking for it. Predictably, he dismissed the tweet, calling it a humblebrag, which it was. But in doing so, he had no idea what he was walking into.

You see, this review was from a list Morgan wrote himself. Mr. “I hate The Harry Potter Lady” had at some point found the time to pen an extremely glowing write-up of her, and plain forgot about it when his fur got up, as if he was hit by an extremely childish memory charm. Rowling had made him look like a fool, which can’t happen to him more than seven or eight times a day.

1

Rihanna Is The Goddess Of Twitter Shade

Rihanna is a fantastic celebrity. She makes amazing music, loves interacting with her fans, and dazzled word scientists everywhere by discovering several extra syllables in the word “umbrella.” Her biggest legacy, however, may be the scorched earth she’s left behind on Twitter.

Take the time some members of TLC wagged their fingers at her for an outfit they thought was too revealing. Rihanna responded by digging up a pretty damned revealing photo of them, and then making it her Twitter cover photo:

TLC wisely chose not to escalate the confrontation, because who knows what other photos Rhianna might have. T-Boz chasing or even catching a waterfall? The ignominy.

Even fans aren’t safe. One adoring follower tried to copy one of Rihanna’s dresses, and posted a picture of it on Instagram. RiRi was standing at the ready to roast her.

Neither is the media. Here’s MTV criticizing her for rolling a joint on her bodyguard’s head, along with Rhianna’s response:

Similarly, when some garbage TMZ knockoff called Celebuzz had the gall to criticize Rihanna’s outfit, they found themselves incinerated shortly after:

Isaac is on Twitter and hates confrontation.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25141_5-devastatingly-brilliant-insults-involving-famous-people.html

Creepy British Fuckboy Will Not Stop Playing The Piano In Public Until His Ex Takes Him Back

This weekend while you were busy focusing on the 15 hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and tsunamis that were bearing down on the U.S., you may have missed news of another horrifying natural disaster than unexpectedly struck Bristol, U.K. this Saturday. I’m talking, of course, about 34-year-old Luke Howard, who went viral setting up a piano on College Green so that he can play continuously until he “gets his girlfriend back.” Now, if you’ll excuse me, I just groaned so loud my coworkers demanded I go to the hospital.

Ugh. Where to begin? Reading this guy’s fake-romantic scheme literally made me want to fly to Bristol, befriend him, and date him, just so that I could dump his ridiculous ass myself. And before you go all, “Aww! But people do crazy things to win back their true love!” fucking pause yourself because Luke Howard had not found his true love. In fact, he and the “girl who changed his life” had actually only been dating for four months. FOUR MONTHS?!? If I’m dating a guy for four months and he so much as breathes in my direction after I break up with him, that’s grounds for a restraining order. A four month relationship is like, nothing. Was this guy low-key a contestant on ? Serious question. 

More importantly, unless this girl broke up with him for not playing enough piano (broken up with guys for weirder reasons TBH…), this scheme is not going to work. Hey Luke: Maybe instead of creating an embarrassing public spectacle to try and shame this woman into returning to your creepy arms, you should just like, work on whatever it is she dumped you for? Radical idea, I know, but maybe, just maybe, this girl broke up with you because of your insane, stalker-ish personality, and playing the first few bars of Vanessa Carlton’s   over and over again isn’t going to help with that.

And to anyone who says this is romantic: please take every fucking seat. This is exactly the kind of stalker-ish, Edward Cullen-esque behavior that makes women the subject of a Netflix true crime documentary. IDK how laws work in the U.K., but this guy should be arrested immediately on suspicion of being a dumbass. It would def save his poor ex girlfriend a lot of trouble.

Oh, and of course, this guy looks exactly like you’d imagine him to look. Seriously. Take a moment to picture him in your mind. Did he look like this?

See what I mean. And let’s not even get into the fact that this Piano Man 34 years old. This is a grown-ass man. He should be scheduling his first prostate exam, not subjecting his classmates to some pathetic public Seth Cohen impression.

Even more infuriating? While Luke didn’t give up the name of his beloved (how kind), he has referred to her in the media exclusively as his “Rapunzel.” Barf. Every barf. So much barf that it fills up College Green and the area is forced to evacuate. This woman isn’t a princess, dude. She’s a student who is trying to go to class without running into her ex, his piano, and some washed out Sam Smith cover. And let’s not even get into the troubling “I want to trap you in a tower” imagery that comes into play here.

So why did he do this? Apart from like, wanting attention, which I can low-key respect. He said the breakup, “Wasn’t anything nasty or bad, it was just life getting in the way. If it was anything bad why we split up then. I wouldn’t be doing this, but it’s the only thing I can think of doing. I know people in this situation usually send flowers or text or write letters but that only ever seems to make things worse.”

Okay, so, first of all, if there wasn’t a “reason” why you guys broke up apart from “life getting in the way” then the “reason” is that she’s just not that into you, and you should leave her the fuck alone. Second of all, you are literally making it worse. Way, way worse.

And if anyone out there isn’t convinced that Luke did this 10% for love and 90% for the likes, check this out:

That’s right. He put up a sign with his Instagram handle that asked people to “please like and share my page.” I’m sorry, but I thought this was for your girlfriend? Does she not know your Instagram handle? Did you break up because not enough people liked and shared your page? I’m confused. Also, your handwriting looks like shit. Don’t you have a girlfriend who could have written this out for you? Oh…wait…

If I were this girl’s friend, I would tell her to run, not walk, away from this forlorn fuckboy. Here’s hoping he’s stuck playing that piano for a very, very long time. 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/bristol-piano-man-luke-howard

5 Insanely Wrong Health Tips Your Parents Taught You

Much like any DIY project, adjusting your healthcare practices should only be done based on the advice of professionals, not some random person on the internet or the voice your dog uses that only you can hear. Because just like what Dr. Von Fluffles whispers through the walls at night, some advice that sounds good at the time may instead turn out to be murderous.

5

If You Swallow Poison, Don’t Force Yourself To Puke

The logical reaction when somebody swallows a toxic substance is to try to get that shit straight back out as soon as possible. For years, pediatricians recommended that parents keep ipecac syrup on hand in order to induce vomiting in cases of accidental poisoning.

But more recent studies have concluded that by inducing vomiting, you actually risk dehydrating the subject on top of the poisoning. Plus, you’re far from guaranteeing that all of the harmful substance has been evacuated from their system, and in the case of a victim falling unconscious, you’re introducing the very real possibility of them suffocating to death on their own vomit. That’s got to be, like, the third-worst way to die.

R&H
It doesn’t bode well when the stuff meant to cure poisoning has its own entry with Poison Control.

As for ipecac, a study of 750,000 poisoned children found that its use resulted in “no reduction in resource utilization or improvement in patient outcome.” Not only that, but (perhaps unsurprisingly for a substance so noxious that its sole purpose is to make you launch your lunch into the next room) too much ipecac syrup can damage your heart or outright kill you. It’s so unhelpful, in fact, that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you toss that shit straight out. But that’s the kind of talk Big Vomit doesn’t like to hear.

4

You Need Some Time Outdoors Without Sunscreen

Sun exposure increases your risk of skin cancer. Statements don’t get much simpler than that. Use sunscreen all the time, or the sky will eat you. Your call.

The problem comes when we overcorrect our behavior to ward off the skin cancer boogeyman and completely neglect the fact that our bodies require sun exposure in order to produce vitamin D. And not only is vitamin D crucial to a healthy immune system and necessary for proper tooth and bone development, but low vitamin D levels are strongly correlated with higher rates of asthma, various cancers, heart-related ailments (including dangerously low blood pressure in pregnant women), and dramatically higher incidences of multiple sclerosis in northern U.S. states. Hell, even melanoma — the very bad guy we’re trying to ward off by bathing in sunscreen — occurs less in people who get regular doses of sunlight. That’s why in places like Australia (where more than a third of the population suffers from vitamin D deficiency), medical experts are backpedaling on decades of preaching against the sun and are instead encouraging people to spend a healthy amount of sunscreen-free time outdoors.

Our “all or nothing” mentality has even ushered in a comeback of rickets in the UK and the Northwestern United States. Yes, rickets — aka the Tiny Tim disease from A Christmas Carol. Nobody’s saying you should abandon sunscreen altogether; just that the sun is not your natural enemy, and you don’t have to armor up every single time you see it.

3

If You Haven’t Had A Heart Attack Already, Don’t Take Aspirin Daily

Everybody knows that a daily low dose of aspirin does for your blood what lunch at Chipotle does for your bowels: keeps things flowin’. But the fact of the matter is that while aspirin’s blood-thinning effects can sometimes help prevent heart attacks in a very specific subset of people (namely, those who’ve already experienced a heart attack), it was never recommended by the medical community at large as a catch-all preventative solution. Yes, we know it’s a shocking revelation that you can’t put your trust in marketing slogans, but despite what that “Heart Health Advantage” logo subtly displayed on your bottle of Bayer might suggest, studies have shown that aspirin’s benefits as pertains to preventing a first heart attack or stroke are just about bupkis.

That wouldn’t be so bad if the misconception resulted in nothing more than who knows how many people popping a daily placebo, but that’s not the case. Taking regular doses of aspirin contributes to all manner of maladies, including gastrointestinal bleeding in otherwise healthy women, fatal bleeds in elderly patients, decreasing the effectiveness of prostate cancer screenings in men, and effecting a net increase in the likelihood of a repeat heart attack or stroke in the 30 percent of cardiovascular disease sufferers who are aspirin-resistant. As a result, Bayer’s aforementioned marketing campaign was not only deemed false, but has also earned them a hefty $15 million class action settlement. Not quite a heart-attack-worthy amount for such a massive company, but slightly better than a placebo.

Bayer
Or about 1/3,500th of their earnings that year. Yippee for the FDA, we guess.

2

Don’t Deep-Freeze Any Severed Appendages To “Keep Them Fresh”

Kitchen knives slip, passing comets bring lawn mowers to murderous life, hands turn evil and must be chainsawed off. You know, shit happens. And we all know that the proper course of action in such a circumstance is to stop the bleeding, clean the wound, and toss the recently separated body part on a bed of ice like shrimp at an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet.

But that’s not always the best solution: When Seattleite Jim Beaty table-sawed the tip clean off his finger while doing home renovations in 2010, he and his wife tossed it in a Tupperware container and covered it with ice. When they arrived at the emergency room, they discovered how bad an idea that was. Especially in cases involving small body parts, such as fingers and toes, direct contact with ice rapidly causes freezer burn and damages tissue beyond repair. Instead, they should have wrapped the finger in a clean, damp cloth and kept it cold, not frozen. Basically, treat your severed body parts less like Hot Pockets and more like a fine steak, and you might get to keep that hand.

1

Don’t Do Pretty Much Anything You Think You Should Do For A Snakebite

According to classic Western movie wisdom, the steps to treat a bite from a venomous snake are 1) tie a tourniquet above the bite to prevent the poison from making its way into the rest of your body, 2) hack into the bite, probably using the same knife you employed to kill that bastard snake, and 3) suck out the poison. If you can’t manage to reach the site of the wound with your own mouth, a companion’s mouth will do. This is what old-timey cowboys referred to as “bonding.”

And that is a great list … of things you absolutely should not do in the event of a snakebite.

While tying off a tourniquet seems like a no-brainer, keeping all the venom trapped in one area only serves to cause necrosis, meaning that the venom effectively kills whatever part of the body you trapped it in, thereby leaving doctors no choice but to give it the ol’ Civil War Chop. Cutting the wound only serves to introduce more damaged tissue for the venom to interact with, and increases the chance of infection. And sucking on the wound is, let’s face it, just plain gross. (And also completely pointless.)

What you should actually do is remain calm (getting your heart rate up will only serve to spread the venom faster), not drink caffeine or alcohol (the latter of which, of course, flies directly in the face of the “remain calm” bit), remove any jewelry and tight clothing before you do a terrible Michelin Man impersonation, and, most importantly, get your snake-bitten ass to a doctor for a nice fat dose of antivenin. No tying of ropes, cutting, or sucking at all. That makes for a boring Friday night, but it is how you survive a snakebite.

For more ways we’re likely destroying ourselves, check out 5 Well-Known Tips for Healthy Eating (That Don’t Work) and 6 Well-Known Health Tips (That Don’t Work At All).

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_24968_5-common-sense-health-tips-that-are-actually-bs.html

6 Times Movie Directors Read The Book And Said ‘NOPE!’

Hollywood adapts ideas from so many non-movie sources, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the drunk text you sent to your friend asking them to pick up some Taco Bell is being optioned for a three-movie deal.

The best places to farm content is books. Dark books. But in order to make literary content more “approachable” to general audiences, Hollywood will often have to leave some things out. Things that might be a little hard to stomach. Things that might be a tad — okay, screw it; things that are pants-shittingly horrifying. Like …

6

In The Hunger Games, The “Mutts” Are Actually Dead Kids

When Harry Potter proved that people will pay all the money in the world to ignore real-life teenagers and watch them on the big screen, the world was hit with a storm of Young Adult fiction. One of the sturdier life rafts in that flood was The Hunger Games, and the films more or less follow the plots of the books: Cool but poor kid uses a bow-and-arrow and her sense of style to overthrow a brutal dictatorship. You know, as one does.

The books are much more violent than the movies, though. They’re both generally about the same thing: copious child murder. But a gruesome death in the books, where one of the tributes gets their head smashed in repeatedly, might be replaced in the movie with, say, a bloodless arrow-to-the-heart. That’s a bit more cuddly, right?

In the first movie, Katniss Everdeen, her boy toy Peeta, and some dick tenth-grader are doing some serious Hunger Gaming when they’re attacked by creepy dog-like creatures called “muttations.” The mean kid slips off the high ground and it’s looking like he’ll soon be dog food, until Katniss mercifully sends an arrow into his head. But in the book, he is chewed alive for hours by these rabid animals, overnight, until Katniss just can’t take the screaming.

Oh and those dog things? In the universe, it’s explained that the makers of the Hunger Games can spawn enemies and change the weather at will to mess with the tributes, basically making it Survivor: Playing God Edition. In the film, it’s implied that these “mutts” are just some weird-ass hybrid animals. But in the book, it’s explicitly stated that these are actually the dead tributes who have been turned into these creatures, their DNA spliced with that of dogs. (Katniss recognizes one when she looks into its eyes. Plus they have collars with the tribute’s District numbers on them, if the symbolism wasn’t clear enough.)

So if you were watching this wondering “Wait, what do they do with all the dead kids? Is there, like, a pile?” Oh, it’s just that they perform brutal, Nazi-like mad science experiments on them and then send them out to the arena to eat all of their former friends. Christ, author Suzanne Collins. I can see why the films cut it. Hard to get 12-year-olds emotionally involved in a story about re-animated dog-child cannibalism in any way that doesn’t involve one long shriek.

5

Slumdog Millionaire Was More “Premeditated Murder” Than “Inspirational”

Slumdog Millionaire was an indie darling of a movie about an Indian boy named Jamal who goes on the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? to try and find his old girlfriend and win a nice chunk of change. The key conflict in the movie is that the producers accuse him of cheating, but for each question we are treated to a flashback in which it’s revealed how he knew the correct answer. Anyway, at the end of the movie, Jamal wins the big bucks, his childhood crush is alive and well, and the characters have a Bollywood-style dance-off. As they should.

Except the book that it’s based on, Q&A, was much less light-hearted. In fact, the main character’s motivation is completely different. The show’s host plays a minor role in the film — during a bathroom break he subtly tries to feed Jamal the wrong answer to the final question because he’s embarrassed that he’s being outwitted. So, he’s only sort of a shitty guy. However, in the book, he is way more than “sort of.” In fact, the main character goes on the show specifically to get revenge on him. And not, like, a moral victory. The shoot-ey kind of revenge.

Jamal’s character recognizes the host from a billboard as the man who abused his prostitute girlfriend when they were younger. During that bathroom scene, it’s actually the protagonist confronting the host with a goddamn gun, threatening to kill him, as that was his whole plan in the first place. This isn’t in the film, because premeditated murder tends to overshadow inspirational endings.

Ultimately, he can’t go through with it and spares the host in exchange for the correct answer to the final question. So he actually does cheat, wins, and later marries Nita, his girlfriend … which seems like the complete opposite lesson that was taught by the movie. The host? He ends up killing himself or maybe is murdered by the gangsters rigging the game show. It’s left ambiguous but we know it ain’t a fall down the stairs. Cue extended Bollywood dancing scene, because it’s time for the feel-good movie of the year!

4

The Island In Jurassic Park Is Bombed Back To The Stone Age

Jurassic Park is a Spielbergian classic, and if we ever invent time travel, it will do for dinosaurs what Jaws did for sharks. It is renowned for both its thrilling sequences, its unforgettable pacing and sense of terror, and for the weird puberty it sends everyone spiraling into when they gaze upon a bare-chested Jeff Goldblum.

The Jurassic Park novel is much more graphic than its film counterpart when it comes to the dino-eatin’. In fact, Dr. Malcolm and Hammond die pretty shittily. Hammond gets eaten alive by a pack of procompsognathus, little foot-high dinosaurs that munch on him for what feels like an entire chapter while he struggles to get away. Meanwhile, Dr. Malcolm is critically injured and presumed dead by the time the island is fire-bombed (though he “miraculously survives” to return in the sequel, because, like Godzilla, a Goldblum can’t be killed with any conventional weaponry).

Wait, did we say “fire-bomb”? Yeah, the Costa Rican government deals with the threat of dinosaurs stuck on a water-locked island by napalming the entire thing while Grant and the other surviving characters watch from a departing chopper. We can assume, based on how the protagonists escaped by the hair on their chins, that low-level employees who stuck around didn’t have that luxury and perished. Perished to death.

In case it wasn’t clear, the epilogue goes way out of its way to tell you that, yup, every janitor went up like kindling.

3

Children Of Men: The Hero Becomes An Evil Dictator

This might be an unpopular opinion on the internet, but Children Of Men is one of the best movies ever made. The film follows a guy named Theo as he navigates a war between English totalitarians and violent rebels fighting for power. The entire world (other than England, conveniently) has completely collapsed due to an apocalyptic mutation that has killed off humanity’s ability to breed. You can probably still get to second base, though.

At the end of the film, Theo sacrifices himself for Kee, the first woman to give birth in years, in order to protect her from both sides of the battle. The ending is left ambiguous, but is generally understood as hopeful, as the rumored humanitarian boat they were searching for appears offshore right before the credits roll. But for all we know, it could be filled with zombies. It’s a shame we never got Children Of Men 2: Afterlife.

The book, though, ends a liiiiittle differently. There’s another character named Xan who’s not in the movie. He’s Theo’s cousin, and he also happens to be the dictator of England, a detail that would make Christmas dinners a tad awkward. Xan and Theo have a bit of a falling out, with Xan, King Of England And Poor Timing, showing up to fight Theo just as the first baby in the world is born. The baby startles Xan by crying about boobs or something, and Theo uses the opportunity to kill Xan by shooting his ass.

With Xan laying at his feet, Theo slips the coronation ring off his lifeless finger and puts it on his own. Theo bursts into a ball of pure energy, and Kee is forced to take him on in a climactic boss fight that is super difficult unless you’ve done some grinding. Man, I wish. In reality, this makes him the new dictator of England, because the politics of apocalyptic London are based on the principles of Captain Planet.

So it turns out that if you don’t die a hero, you do live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Of course, this was later changed in the film to focus on a more optimistic ending. Or maybe test audiences couldn’t deal with the idea of Clive Owen as Prime Minister For Life. Has to be the first one.

2

The Life Of Pi Is Extremely Graphic And Disgusting

The Life of Pi is the story of a boy who survives a shipwreck after his parents’ zoo-boat sinks. His entire family drowns, and the only survivors other than Pi are a zebra with a broken leg, an orangutan, a hyena, and a tiger named Richard Parker. Through happenstance, they all end up on a lifeboat, and it becomes Pi’s story of survival and also the basis of one of those logic puzzles where you have to get all the animals to one side of the ocean without them eating each other. This book proves that the voyage of Noah’s ark was nothing but constant carnage.

It’s a wonder that the book was filmable at all because all the animals die horrifically in it. In the movie, most of the death happens off-camera or is implied and bloodless, but the book is fucking disgusting (any card-carrying members of PETA out there might want to burn your computer after this). For example, the hyena is the first to get hungry, and decides to bite off the zebra’s broken foot while it’s alive.

No big deal? A couple pages later, he chews through the zebra’s organs and eats it inside-out, again while it’s still alive. This is described graphically, including the part where the hyena finds himself knee-deep inside the zebra’s body. The reader, tragically, is also still alive while all of this happens.

Oh yeah and the zebra survives this, despite it spending the night snorting out its own blood. Here’s how that scene played out in the movie. If you look closely, you can juuuuust see a small bloodstain on the zebra’s hide.

The hyena then goes for the orangutan and eventually rips her head clean off. There are more details in the book that would make a vet puke, such as how Pi later eats the ape’s poop to survive, so I’m baffled as to how some producer saw this text and decided, “We need to find a way to market this to families that have nothing to do with their Sunday afternoons.”

1

Hannibal Lecter And Clarice Bang At The End Of Hannibal

Hannibal, the 2001 sequel to the classic family flick The Silence Of The Lambs, finds our hero Clarice Starling caught in the middle of a feud between kooky scamp Hannibal Lecter and one of his surviving victims, a rich sex offender named Mason Verger. It’s revealed that Clarice is falsely held back at her job due to the actions of a vindictive FBI agent (played by Ray Liotta), who accepts a bribe from Mason to get her off his trail. By the end of the film, Clarice tag-teams with Hannibal to take down Mason, and he rewards her by very literally serving that asshole agent’s brains up on a silver platter.

Thus begins the greatest film scene since Luke Skywalker found out who his deadbeat Dad was. Hannibal drugs Ray Liotta and starts feeding him his own brains. Clarice uses the opportunity to hold Lecter for the authorities by handcuffing herself to him, but he chops his own hand off and escapes. Cut to him on a flight eating the rest of his “meal.” He also gives some to a random kid who apparently wasn’t satisfied by the in-flight pretzels.

That scene is where the film and book differ in a major way. There’s a weird subplot where Hannibal is trying to brainwash Clarice into thinking she is his sister, Mischa, but just try and focus here on the fact that Clarice takes a bite of some brains and just adores it! And as the FBI agent dies from his head-mushies not being there anymore, Clarice “gives herself” to Hannibal who “accepts her invitation” and they … they bang, guys. Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling get nasty. Remember those iconic, suspenseful scenes between Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in Silence? Those people eventually do it.

Suitable for a book that starts as a nice cigarette and descends into a knee-high pile of cocaine, the final chapter is a vacation diary of them living as escaped lovers in Buenos Aires, and the text explicitly says they have sex daily. And no, this didn’t immediately cause every screenwriter attached to it to throw the novel out of their office windows, because this was all included in the original screenplay. Someone charged with preparing a movie read this novel, and for a period of time decided “They bone? Interesting …

Oh, one more eensie, weensie thing. The character of Margot Verger, Mason’s sister/rape victim, is left out of the film as well. Mason is eaten by giant pigs in the movie, but Margot is the one that kills Mason in the book, suffocating him by stuffing his pet eel down his throat while shoving an electric cattle prod up his prostate so that she can forcibly collect a family sperm sample for her lesbian lover.

Oh.

On that note, Chris has a fun little party card game called Cheer Up! that’s coming soon. Pre-order today!

Did you know Jurassic Park comes in words-form? Weird but true! Come have a peek. 😉

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_24905_6-books-that-were-way-darker-than-their-movie-adaptations.html

6 WTF Excuses Companies Actually Used While Getting Sued

For plenty of businesses, lawsuits are almost like a rite of passage. You’re not successful until someone is trying to sue you for every last staple in the office. But in order to win, companies are often willing to exploit every legal loophole known to man — or whatever species corporate lawyers are. Sometimes that means admitting to far worse than what someone’s actually being accused of. For example …

6

Coca-Cola Claims Only An Idiot Would Think Vitaminwater Was Healthy

Back in the old days, being a snake oil salesman was a tough gig. Promising an expensive tonic that could cure all ailments could get a person tarred and feathered in a heartbeat. These days, however, all you have to worry about is getting slightly plucked in court for false advertising. And even then, like a bad craftsman, you can simply blame your tools — the “tools” in this case being the gullible consumers.

WebSubstance/iStock
“But wait! I have more products that suckers like you seem to love! At less-than-reasonable prices!”

When Coca-Cola first introduced their “healthy” beverage Vitaminwater, its slogan was “vitamins + water = all you need.” That equation was missing eight teaspoons of sugar and 120 calories per bottle, it turns out. But Vitaminwater’s false advertising didn’t stop there. The drink had also claimed it would improve the drinker’s metabolism, boost their immune system, and reduce the risk of eye disease. Given a few more years, they could also have promised to grow your hair back, make your nails as sharp as talons, and let you see a whole new color.

It didn’t take long for daughter company Glaceau (which is French for “garbage fountain”) to be sued for misleading the public with their advertising. But that wasn’t the case, according to Coca-Cola’s lawyers, because “no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking Vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.” Essentially, their legal strategy was to call anyone who thinks drinking a Coca-Cola product wouldn’t give them diabetes a goddamn imbecile. And honestly, what kind of rube would think that this drink …

Coca-Cola
… this drink …

Coca-Cola
… THIS DRINK …

… would be healthy for you? What, were we born yesterday? On a planet where words have meanings?

After six years of tying the courts up with their nonsense, Coca-Cola finally agreed to stop its misleading advertising, and added “with sweeteners” in the smallest font possible to the label of the bottle. Their team of lawyers concluded: “Although we remain confident in our legal position, it simply made no sense to continue this costly legal battle” — the “You’re not worth it, bro” of legal statements.

But Coca-Cola isn’t the only company that has had to go back on ridiculous health claims made by its sugar water. PepsiCo’s 7 Up Antioxidant dropped any reference to antioxidants (including its name) after being sued for containing so little artificial vitamin E that it wouldn’t even keep a single daisy alive. Meanwhile, Pom Wonderful was slapped by the FTC for claiming its drinks “could treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.” Then again, how else are you ever going to break into the middle-aged male demographic with a name like Pom Wonderful?

5

Fox News And Alex Jones Admit They Aren’t News

To the bleeding-heart liberals among us, right-wing news can sometimes feel unreal, like we’re suddenly in a world where up is down, right is wrong, and human rights are for pussies. Lots of conservative pundits often appear like caricatures of what a right-wing mindset ought to be. But acting like they’re the Muslim-hating offspring of Ayn Rand and before-the-ghosts Ebenezer Scrooge might be working in their favor.

Around the time of Obama’s first presidential run, Fox News realized that straight-up picking fights with him netted them a lot more views, like a TMZ paparazzo secretly excited that Sean Penn is about to punch him in the face. As a response, the Obama administration refused to acknowledge Fox News as an actual news station, instead referring to them as an “ideological outlet,” with communications director Anita Dunn even stating “we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”

So that’s what Fox did: It stopped pretending. The network responded to these accusations by proudly boasting that “its news hours — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. on weekdays — are objective,” thereby admitting that the 24-hour news network has about nine hours of news in it. C’mon, even hot dogs have more meat in them than that. And those other 100+ hours of television each week? Those are for entertainment, obviously. According to Fox, it’s the viewer’s job to tell the difference between the parts that are real news and all the baseless rumors that are nothing but the opinions of some guy. Who is dressed exactly like the newsreaders. And sits behind the same desk. And uses the words “Fox” and “News” every 30 seconds.

Other right-wing pundits have also picked on this possible get-out-of-libel-jail-free card. Alex Jones, a cartoon gorilla brought to life by his intense hatred of Jews, was recently in a fierce custody battle with his ex-wife. In order to demonstrate what an unfit parent and human being he is, her attorney showed the judge several tapes of Jones’ show in which, when he’s not shouting conspiracy theories like a syphilitic medieval town crier, he frequently strips off his clothes like he’s reliving his failed audition for Magic Mike.

To counter this hard evidence of him behaving like an insane mountain man, Jones’s lawyer claimed that he’s just a performance artist. You know, like what he said those children murdered in Sandy Hook were. His shows, by extent, are “political satire,” a savage mockery of the kind of sad losers who would believe anything that would come out of Alex Jones…’s persona’s mouth.

Not that it did Jones any favors. He wound up losing custody of his kids, partially because he claimed he couldn’t remember basic details of their lives because he “had a big bowl of chili for lunch.” Like with all great performance artists, it’s almost impossible to tell where Alex Jones the artist ends and Alex Jones the caricature of a sad MRA troll begins.


The face of a man about to either turn into the Incredible Hulk or have a chili-related pants-shitting.

4

Melania Trump Sues For Libel And Admits She’s Trying To Cash Off Being First Lady

Being the first lady is all about reputation. You’re expected to be the perfect wife and mother, and to care a lot more about fat kids than you probably do. So when someone attacks your good name, it threatens everything you’re hoping to achieve. Which, in Melania Trump’s case, is to cash in on that good name by scamming people into buying her jewelry.

During the election, British grief merchant The Daily Mail published a story claiming Trump once worked as an escort. After becoming the first long-distance first lady, she immediately took the tabloid and its corporate overlords to court. But not just for libel; Melania’s legal team also claimed that the false rumor could impact her financially, which is a very polite way of saying that while it may not be true, it’s believable enough that it’ll probably stick.

But how could this rumor impact Melania financially? She’s the first lady of the United States — a position that makes you the world’s most high-profile charity worker. Well, doing good may have been reward good enough for the Nancy Reagans and Jackie Onassii, but according to her lawyers, Melania sees the sacred office more as …

the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person, as well as a former professional model, brand spokesperson and successful businesswoman, to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world.

Those relationships could be hurt if people might think she sleeps with men for money, and not that she involves herself with men like Donald Trump because they’re great listeners and ace cuddlers. Which is why Melania felt that The Daily Mail now owed her $150 million.

Ethics hawks quickly jumped on the wording in the lawsuit, noting that this statement made it sound like Melania’s treating her role as the first lady like it’s a modeling contract with Versace. Her defense team countered this accusation by claiming that was a gross misinterpretation of the wording. Of course, it didn’t help their case that at the time, Melania was still running three different companies which make between $15,000 and $50,000 in royalties from her accessories line. And that same accessories line was advertised on her official White House bio page mere days before the lawsuit. That sure makes it look like Trump is using her position as FLOTUS to hawk her jewelry, like some bored housewife mentioning her Etsy store in every conversation.

When the matter was finally resolved, Melania had to settle for a public apology and less than $3 million in compensation. Not the bonanza that she was hoping for, but now she at least got something out of the presidency. She’s certainly in no rush to take any trips to the White House in the next four years.

3

Gawker Defends Showing The Hulk Hogan Sex Tape By Saying They’d Also Publish Child Porn

Freedom of the press is one of the cornerstones of any fair democracy. But journalism is a business, and letting a business decide what is and isn’t news can lead to fearmongering, misreporting, and lots of closing segments about cute pets. Still, journalists can and should fight for their First Amendment rights. However, that battle should never involve you defending the right to publish child pornography.

In 2012, Gawker, the internet’s curtain-twitching next-door neighbor, published a sex tape of Hulk Hogan, known not even to his children as Terry Bollea. In the 1-minute, 41-second video, the Hulkster is seen having sex with the wife of his former (obviously) best friend Bubba “The Love Sponge” Clem. As entertaining as that love triangle might sound, Hogan did not think it warranted a gossip site publishing footage of his thrusting buttocks. With the help of tech billionaire and children’s cartoon villain Peter Thiel, Hogan sued the website and its then-editor A.J. Daulerio for severe breach of privacy and being a total jabroni.

Hogan’s attorneys were sent out to prove to the jury that “Mr. Bollea’s penis had no news value” — a good legal strategy and a sick burn. However, when being deposed, Gawker’s editor insisted that Hogan had had so many broadcast discussions about his dick that it ought to be part of the public domain. To counter this, his attorneys asked Daulerio what kind of celebrity sex tape would be unethical to show. He replied that he would never publish a sex tape of a child. “Under what age?” the lawyer asked. “Four.”

Daulerio later stated that that answer was sarcastic. A legally binding deposition is a great place for you to try out some new comedy material. Of course, Hogan’s lawyers pounded Daulerio as hard as Hogan pounded Bubba The Love Sponge’s spouse. After only a few weeks of trial, Hogan was awarded $140 million in damages, collecting $31 million and bankrupting Gawker.

2

Dr. Oz Claims Giving Bad Medical Advice Is An American Privilege

Dr. Mehmet Oz is a cardiac surgeon and professor at Columbia University, but what he always wanted to be in life was a star. After appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show as a medical expert, he was given his own “informative” talk show to teach people about the latest discoveries in medicine. Since then, he has become the Oprah of the medical community, in that they no longer think he’s fit to hand out medical advice either.

Dr. Oz, the only person to have ever become a surgeon and still be a disappointment to his parents, has been widely criticized by both the medical and scientific communities for his incessant shilling of fad diet pills with little to no research backing up his claims. According to a recent study in the British Medical Journal, half of Dr. Oz’s claims are baseless or just plain wrong — i.e. he’s making them up as he goes. He’s especially disliked for continuously calling these diet fads he promotes “miraculous,” like he’s some overqualified faith healer.

This came to a head when Dr. Oz was called to testify in front of Congress, where senators gave the doctor a real way to lose weight fast: by sweating bullets. With him as a sacrificial pinata on the altar of rationality, the presiding senators wasted no time in tearing Oz a new one, going as far as saying, “I don’t get why you need to say this stuff, because you know it’s not true.”

To Oz’s credit, he didn’t back down and pretend that he was hosting a “satire” of a medical show making fun on the kind of people who listen to doctors. Instead, he invoked his God-given right to bullshit the American public. “My job is to be a cheerleader for the audience when they don’t think they have hope,” said the medical professional. “When I can’t use language that is flowery, that is exulting, I feel like I’ve been disenfranchised.” We don’t know what kind of pills you have to take to make your balls big enough to cry censorship when a room of senators call you out on being a bad doctor, but we’re looking forward to finding out on one of his future shows.

1

Pepsi Argues That Their Soda Would Dissolve A Mouse In Months

The hair in the soup routine is a classic con artist trick. You pretend the restaurant has dropped a disgusting human shaving in your meal and demand to be compensated for your distress. What you wouldn’t expect at that juncture would be a waiter telling you that the hair you fished out was in fact the least disgusting part of your meal.

In 2009, an oil company worker in Illinois claimed he had found a dead mouse in his can of Mountain Dew. After spending the appropriate amount of time vomiting, he contacted Pepsi to inform them of their rodent problem. The company, instead of informing the customer he had taken part in a trial run of their new mouse-enhanced flavor (like New Coke, only less disgusting), immediately sent down a representative to secure the crime scene. However, by the time one of their poor interns had schlepped all the way to Madison County, the incriminating evidence had already been destroyed, hopefully with a tasteful burial and the notification of the next-of-kin.

The Illinois man still sued the company for over $75,000 for rodent-based emotional trauma. But Pepsi was sure that this was an open-and-shut case — not because even a dead mouse could smell this scam from a mile away, though. During the very brief trial, Pepsi paraded a bunch of “experts” who could scientifically disprove that a mouse carcass could have been floating around in the Dew, pointing out that the soft drink’s contents are waaay too toxic for that. Instead, what the oil man should have found, according to one expert, was a “jelly-like substance,” with all the mousy parts having been dissolved by the refreshing battery acid that is Mountain Dew, like some rodent rendition of the barrel scenes in Breaking Bad.

However, despite the insurmountable evidence in their favor, Pepsi settled out of court, its lawyer hastily stating that the matter “was settled for an undisclosed sum. It’s a done deal, and both parties are on their way” as he probably sprinted away from the courtroom. Sounds like the company had to pay a “we mentioned jellied mice” tax to get the story out of the morning shows circulation as quickly as possible.

For more of his attempts at witticisms or his famous recipes for toilet wine, do follow Cedric on Twitter.

Let’s keep the lawsuits rolling in 5 Baffling Dick Moves That Won Actual Lawsuits and 6 Famous ‘Frivolous Lawsuit’ Stories That Are Total B.S..

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_24843_6-wtf-excuses-companies-actually-used-while-getting-sued.html

6 People Who Were The Scum Of The Earth During Tragedies

After every horrible disaster, the most common questions are usually A) “How do we prevent a crisis like this from happening again?” and B) “How can I, a complete asshat with a shriveled gerbil turd for a human soul, accrue obscene gobs of money off of human suffering?”

Well, we may never fully answer the first question, but the following companies have got the second down pat …

6

Some A-Holes Turned The Steel From The World Trade Center Into Tacky Souvenirs

Once another random date in the calendar, 9/11 is now a time for reflection — about the victims of the attack, the heroes who gave everything, and the fact that a not-insignificant portion of our readership is now simultaneously too young to remember 9/11 and old enough to freakin’ drive.

9/11 also evokes spinning dollar signs in the beady little eyes of a certain stripe of greedy dingus. In January 2002, a Georgia company called International Agile Manufacturing announced they’d bought 500 tons of steel from the destroyed World Trade Center and turned them into commemorative medallions. “At $30 anybody can buy it,” IAM’s president Alfonzo Hall said, presumably in his best Billy Mays voice.

Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images
“Call 1-800-911!”

IAM claimed they would donate 10 percent of the profits to the Fund for the City of New York, but the fund’s spokeswoman said they never gave permission to use their name, nor did they agree to receive money from these ghouls. Hall explained to CBS News that they just wanted to “do something very tasteful where people all over the United States who have never been to New York could feel a part of the event.” Finally: The perfect gift for that shitty person in your life who has to make every single thing about them! Even terrorist attacks.

Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images
They should have just slapped “FOMO” in the middle.

The company also said they were willing to donate 5,000 to 10,000 of the six-million medallions to the families of the victims, but they weren’t exactly thrilled by the offer … for a very good reason. Fair warning: This is where this story veers dangerously into horror-movie backstory territory. As the head of a group of families explained, “There is going to be a large number of people never found because their bodies were pulverized. In all probability, their bodies could be with the steel in those medallions. Where would you display that?”

By the way, a quick eBay search reveals that the $30 medallions now go for … $29.99. That’s quite the investment right there.

5

Flint, Michigan Threatened To Kick People Out Of Their Homes If They Didn’t Pay For Poison Water

By now, you’ve probably heard about how the citizens of Flint, Michigan got served a shit sandwich, only in liquid form. To recap, residents experienced a multitude of horrible symptoms and sparked a series of investigations that led to the discovery of a catastrophic amount of lead in their water. That was in 2015, and the situation still isn’t resolved. What have the authorities been doing this whole time? Oh, lots of things. Like, for instance, making sure residents pay for that water they can’t drink.

Mother Jones
When you take a leak in Flint, the water in the toilet actually becomes clearer.

On top of facing hair loss, diminished IQ scores, rashes from just taking a bath, and a multitude of other short- and long-term consequences, people were looking at possibly losing their homes for the crime of not paying for lead-water — because, unless you’re really into S&M, when someone spits into your mouth, you don’t say “thanks” and offer them $10.

In late April of this year, over 8000 people unlucky enough to live in Flint received letters telling them to pay up by May 19 or “be declared a delinquent” and face a lien on their homes. Al Mooney of Flint’s Treasury Department said, “We have to have revenue coming in, so we can’t give people revenue, I mean excuse me, give people water at the tap and not get revenue coming in to pay those bills.” He then went into sleep mode as technicians replaced a broken transistor in his verbal modulation chip.

Exactly one day before the deadline, the city caved in to the public outrage (and the fact that only $400,000 out of $5.8 million had been paid) and put the brakes on their evil plan. To give them some credit, the city has also provided water filters for citizens to use on the water. And to take that credit right back, it turned out those things were like heart-shaped water beds and ceiling mirrors for dangerous bacteria — 76 people got shigellosis last year last year from using the filters. But hey, getting the fever-shits for five to seven days is better than dying … we guess?

If you want to help Flint, check out the appropriately named Help For Flint. There’s instructions for donations and in-person volunteering, if you’re into being an actual superhero.

4

Comcast Billed Hurricane Ike Survivors For Destroyed Cable Equipment

On September 2008, tropical storm Ike leveled up into a hurricane and tore through the Gulf Coast before eventually slapping the island city of Galveston, Texas. All in all, Hurricane Ike racked up 37.5 billion dollars in damages and caused 195 deaths. Oh, but those are not the real victims here, though. No, this is who you should be weeping for:

After the hurricane, 81 residents in Galveston opened up their mail to find that Comcast was holding them responsible for damages done by the tempest of the gods. Not feeling particularly god-like, one resident called to clear up what was sure was a clear misunderstanding of her powers … only for Comcast to confirm that they seriously expected her to dig through the detritus of her home to find their precious cable equipment. And if she didn’t dig up the DVR and modem and whatever else, she would have to pay a thousand freakin’ dollars. Again, this is what Galveston looked like a few weeks earlier:

Another Galveston resident was charged $600 for the equipment. After the media reported on the story, Comcast had a sudden change of heart and said they would call the 81 people who received the letter to apologize, pledging to cover some of the costs. “Some” being the key word here. This applied only to residents who had no homeowner’s or renter’s insurance — those who had either of those still had to foot the bill, whether said insurance covered “cable companies being unimaginable dicks” or not. Those people were given 90 days to pay up before “restitution needs to be made,” at which time folks either had to share responsibility with an act of God or face the unholy wrath of debt collectors.

In the end, Comcast learned a valuable lesson: They can just keep doing this evil shit without consequence. They pulled the same stunt on a couple whose house was almost destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and who knows how many others. So remember: If you see a vortex of death coming your way, forget about the family heirlooms, the dog, and Grandma. Just grab as much Comcast equipment as you can carry!

3

Americans Might Get Overcharged For A Zika Vaccine (That The U.S. Army Invented)

In 2015, the Zika virus spread from Brazil into the South and North Americas, and every 24-hour news channel from there. Babies who are infected in the womb may suffer from microcephaly, something we don’t really recommend Googling unless you want to spend the rest of the day huddled in a cute-dog-pictures coma.

Obviously, we as a people have a strong desire to protect our future generations, so a vaccine was developed last year by the U.S. Army. Just as obviously, we as a people are greedy bastards, so now we have to fight to make sure this vaccine is actually affordable.

You see, the Army is great at testing and mass-producing things that murder you, but apparently not so much at things that do the opposite. You see, they’re giving sole reign over the manufacture and sale of the Zika vaccine to Sanofi Pasteur, a French pharmaceutical company. The problem is that, as Bernie Sanders points out, medications that Sanofi sells for $745 in France are sold in the U.S. for over $5,000. This happens all the time. A different Army-funded (that is: you-funded) prostate cancer drug that costs $30,000 a year in Canada balloons up to $129,000 a year below the border. In short: Start practicing those fake French accents, people.

We don’t actually know how much the vaccine will cost in America, but according to negotiation reports, when the Army asked Sanofi for assurance that they won’t go nuts with the price, they were basically met with a big “NAH.” (A Sanofi executive has denied said “NAH.”) But to be fair, we’re only giving Sanofi a measly $173 million for their trials, in addition to the boost they got in their stock price just from being in the same neighborhood as the word “Zika.”

This situation is especially problematic in states like Louisiana, where weather conditions make it an ideal spot for future Zika mosquito orgies. According to Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health Rebekah Gee, “We’d then be in a situation where we’d have to decide between funding for K-12 education and the Zika vaccine.” Kids lose either way, it seems.

2

State Farm Rips Off Mississippi Taxpayers After Hurricane Katrina

In the wake of the death and destruction brought on by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, some homeowners in Mississippi had a small comfort: It turns out their houses weren’t destroyed by the hurricane after all! Nope, it was all just “water damage,” you see.

Or so declared insurance giant State Farm, which, what do you know, doesn’t pay up for this type of damage. Since the company only covered wind insurance and the federal government covered flooding, the state ended up shelling out around half a billion buckaroos to homeowners left stranded after the disaster. To be exact, 6,810 policy holders received assistance from the state. Considering that the rebuilding process took years and some of the areas destroyed by the hurricane were never rebuilt, we’re gonna go ahead and say Mississippi could have used that money.

In 2006, two sisters working for State Farm blew the whistle on the fact that their bosses had told adjusters to develop temporary dyslexia and write down “wind damage” instead of “flood damage.” A clusterfuck of a court case ensued, with the insurance company trying to get the case thrown out on technicalities — the mark of an innocent party.

It was only ten years after the hurricane, in 2015, that the courts finally ruled on Mississippi’s favor, allowing the state to recover the massive losses suffered by basically doing State Farm’s job for them. The company abided by the ruling and doesn’t harbor any ill feelings, said a spokesman for the newly renamed Any-State-But-Mississippi Farm.

1

Starbucks Baristas Sold Overpriced Water To 9/11 Rescue Workers

If you’ve always had an irrational hatred of Starbucks baristas, well, here’s a pretty damn compelling reason. As we mentioned earlier, 9/11 was a day when some people decided to step up, risk their lives, and become exemplars of the very best of humanity. But for those employees of one NYC Starbucks, it was a good day to make a few extra bucks.

After the World Trade Center collapsed, emergency workers helping people in the rubble of the towers went out to look for some water for the victims. Luckily, this was still Manhattan, so they probably had to walk five steps before running into a Starbucks, and the employees inside were totally willing to help. For $130. That’s how much they charged for three cases of bottled water, which the workers paid out of their own pockets. Hopefully the bills weren’t too dirty with the dust that was once the massive buildings standing right near them until that morning.

Suspecting that something was amiss, ambulance officials who heard of the incident began calling and emailing representatives of the chain … to no response. Starbucks president Orin Smith later said he didn’t know why they were ignored, but he did issue a public apology, gave a personal phone call to the head of the Midwood Ambulance Service, wrote a reimbursement check, awarded free coffee, gave “other gifts,” and generally sounded sincerely horrified by his employees’ lack of basic humanity.

Of the employees themselves, Smith said, “It’s totally inconsistent with the kind of behavior we would have expected from our people, so it has been very upsetting to learn of this.” The worst part is that they presumably suffered no consequences, since they were now 130-naires and could afford to blow off their job and live large for the rest of their lives.

Also check out The 6 Most Clueless Assholes To Ever Exploit Tragedies and The 8 Most Shameless Attempts to Cash in on 9/11.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_24899_6-insane-dick-movies-companies-pulled-during-huge-disasters.html

Horrifying Things Caused By Shockingly Naive Charities

It’s said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. That may be true, but it’s also lined with giant signs reading CAUTION: THIS IS THE ROAD TO HELL. It’s up to you to put your goddamn phone away and read them. But not everybody does, and that’s why some of the most charitable gestures went straight to shit after folks overlooked some glaring problems that were apparent right from the jump.

#5. Providing Water To Rural Africa With Inadvertent Child Labor

Rural Africans spend nearly 40 billion hours fetching water from old-fashioned hand pumps every single year. To put it in perspective, that’s about the same amount of time the world collectively spent in front of Netflix in 2015. That’s why borehole driller, engineer, and habitual well-meaner Ronnie Stuiver devised a contraption to significantly lessen this burden. The PlayPump was a merry-go-round connected to an underground water pump, thereby allowing a utility to literally run on the power of children’s laughter, a la Monsters, Inc. The invention was awarded the World Bank Development Marketplace Award for its ingenuity, and donations soon poured in from the U.S. government, two major foundations, and, um, Jay-Z.

With the funding (and street cred) secured, the project pledged to install 4,000 PlayPumps by 2010, providing clean drinking water to 10 million Africans.

“Step 8: Repeat steps 1-7 to get those kids some water too.”

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

In order to meet the projected numbers, children would have had to “play” on the merry-go-rounds non-stop for 27 hours a day. Which you may recognize as A.) Impossible and B.) Some pretty messed up foreshadowing. Adults assigned kids strict play schedules, paid them meager wages to “play,” or simply threw their hands up and spun the goddamned things themselves. And that’s when the PlayPump’s true weakness came to light: Remove childhood exuberance from the equation, and the device was just plain exhausting to operate. Spinning it like a madman produced the sad stream of a 70-year-old with prostate problems:

Also not helping: PlayPumps were ridiculously expensive to build, the infrastructure to repair their (frequent) breakdowns was nonexistent, and they were installed without so much as asking the locals if they wanted to replace their (working) hand pumps with a toy that required enslaving their young ones for impossible hours a day.

#4. The DoD Packaged Food Aid Like Unexploded Cluster Bombs

The US Department of Defense developed Humanitarian Daily Rations — a culturally sensitive vegetarian meal capable of providing exactly one day’s worth of nourishment to exactly one human. Bearing the pleasant message “A Food Gift From the People of the United States of America” which approximately 100 percent of its recipients couldn’t read, the package was bright yellow for easy spotting and could be air-dropped en masse, in full accordance with the DoD philosophy that any international crisis worth solving is best solved by dropping shit out of airplanes.

“The only flavor is freedom.”

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

This crucial, life-saving product had a somewhat difficult market introduction due to aggressive competition from another heavily marketed U.S. export: explosions. You see, the HDR packages were the same color and about the same size as unexploded cluster munitions.

One contains enough food to sustain you for a day.
The other blasts you into a fine mist. Good Luck!

Back in the early 2000s, the U.S. was cluster-bombing the crap out of Afghanistan while simultaneously filling its skies with millions of HDR packages to aid refugees. Cluster bombs contain up to 200 bomblets, which scatter in midair to turn a sizable area into a wailing lake of fire. Up to 30 percent of them fail to detonate on impact, leaving behind a maiming-in-a-can just waiting for some unlucky bastard to unwittingly pop its tab.

To their credit, the DoD changed the color of the packages once this was pointed out. But since they had a significant stock of yellow HDRs to use up first, they taught recipients how to differentiate between the two in the best way they knew how: by dropping instructive flyers out of airplanes.

“Make the least favorite in the family test it first.”

#3. The Worst Person Possible Wins An Anti-Rape Benefit Lottery

In 2009, Lucky Times Pull Tabs ran a statewide lottery in Alaska to help raise funds for the Anchorage nonprofit group STAR (Standing Together Against Rape). With a cool half-million-dollar jackpot (the largest in the state’s history) and a good cause behind it, the organizers had everything going for them.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Here’s the thing about lotteries: There’s absolutely no way to know who’s going to win. And so it came to pass that the winning ticket for the $500,000 anti-rape jackpot went to three-time convicted sex offender Alec Ahsoak.

“Alright, now do Popeye.”

The day after the winning ticket was drawn, Ahsoak flagged down a group of reporters to make his good fortune known to the world. When his checkered past came to light, Ahsoak claimed to be a changed man who was currently undergoing treatment, and even pledged to donate $100,000 of his winnings to STAR. Ahsoak’s (predictably empty) promise did little to assuage his victims, however, two of whom came out to publicly announce their utter disgust for the circumstances.

Nor did it do much to assuage the tire iron of one Brandon J. Hughes, who took it upon himself to track down Ahsoak and “beat his ass” in the street like a low-budget Batman. When all was said and done, the final tally was $350,000 (after taxes) and an abundance of stitches for Ahsoak, three years in prison for his assailant, and a newfound lack of faith in humanity for STAR.

The tire iron received 10 years due to outstanding warrants.

#2. A Charity Triathlon Nearly Drowned Hundreds

Close to 900 people gathered near Annapolis, Maryland one Sunday morning in January of 1991 to raise money for the American Diabetes Association by swimming 4.4 miles across the Chesapeake Bay, followed by a 13-mile run and a 76-mile bike ride. Some people consider that “fun.” Those people are insane. But together, those beautiful maniacs intended on conquering land, sea, and then … well, land again, to demonstrate to Mother Nature just where she could stuff her shitty disease.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Swimmers began hitting the water shortly after 8:00 a.m. By 9:30, several hundred of them were being flushed off course down the bay, in very real danger of horrifically drowning — or worse, ending up in Virginia. That’s because Fletcher Hanks, the event’s organizer, had scheduled the swim to perfectly coincide with the ebbing tide, meaning that the participants found themselves swimming against a two-knot current. To compound the problem, the only safety net provided was a ragtag group of 55 private boats assembled by Hanks — the absolute minimum required to get the event approved, and “woefully inadequate” to contain a veritable flood of flailing people.

“What? We gave them all orange caps so we could find them in the unforgiving sea.”

A fleet made up of the Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Department of Natural Resources, and a state police medevac helicopter swooped in to yank 720 people out of the drink. Miraculously, no one drowned, though a handful suffered hypothermia and one especially unlucky paddler was found three full miles down the bay. Hanks was arrested later that day for trying to continue the event without having a permit for the running and cycling stages, because you can’t make a triathlon without nearly drowning a few eggs.

#1. Western “Charities” Keep “Rescuing” Disaster-Stricken “Orphans”

People are inherently good, and there are plenty of them willing to do whatever it takes, personal consequences be damned, to provide a safe environment for children in need. People like volunteer firefighter and renowned 4X4 enthusiast Eric Breteau, founder of the French nonprofit Zoe’s Ark, whose mission was to rescue children orphaned by the war in Darfur. Or Laura Silsby, founder of the Idaho-based New Life Children’s Refuge, which aimed to provide a safe haven for orphans in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Both organizations were wildly successful at saving unwanted, abandoned orphans … from their loving families.

“But could their families have given them the chance to become someone’s new Facebook profile photo?”

In the case of New Life Children’s Refuge, that meant telling desperate and terrified parents that their children would be kept safe in a brand-spanking-new Dominican Republic orphanage until the chaos from the quake died down. To be fair, this wasn’t the initial plan: Silsby first tried to stir up a sufficient orphan supply by going door to door at existing orphanages and asking if they had any leftover kids. Only when that failed did she resort to persuading shell-shocked parents to hand over their children with promises of a life filled with soccer fields and swimming pools. The group managed to round up 33 kids — all of whom had either loving parents or immediate family — before being arrested at the Haitian border.

Eric Breteau’s professed mission was to rescue Sudanese orphans from refugee camps in Chad and whisk them to France, where a number of couples had already put down deposits and were anxiously awaiting delivery of their shiny new war orphans. French authorities warned the group that their plan was likely super duper illegal, and Chadian authorities were duly notified. Breteau and Co. responded by registering the charity under a new name, donning freshly-printed “Children Rescue” T-shirts, and proceeding to convince Chadian parents that they were opening a nearby refuge where their children would receive top-notch care and a free education. Zoe’s Ark managed to bullshit their way into 103 kids who were neither orphans nor from Sudan, but were definitely children, probably.

“Here’s the son you ordered.”

Cargo secured, the group went to the airport, disguised the kids as war casualties, and told the flight crew that they were being transported to France for medical attention. Thankfully, the criminal do-gooders were apprehended before the flight left the ground, bringing their ill-conceived vigilante adoption scheme to an end. To their credit, both Zoe’s Ark and New Life Children’s Refuge eventually succeeded in their goal of finding the children loving homes — the exact same homes they were “rescued” from in the first place.

For more people who should’ve thought twice about their altruism, check out 5 Popular Forms of Charity (That Aren’t Helping) and 5 Famous Charity Songs That Were Insanely Harmful.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_23796_5-charities-that-failed-in-worst-way-imaginable.html

6 WTF Excuses Companies Actually Used While Getting Sued

For plenty of businesses, lawsuits are almost like a rite of passage. You’re not successful until someone is trying to sue you for every last staple in the office. But in order to win, companies are often willing to exploit every legal loophole known to man — or whatever species corporate lawyers are. Sometimes that means admitting to far worse than what someone’s actually being accused of. For example …

6

Coca-Cola Claims Only An Idiot Would Think Vitaminwater Was Healthy

Back in the old days, being a snake oil salesman was a tough gig. Promising an expensive tonic that could cure all ailments could get a person tarred and feathered in a heartbeat. These days, however, all you have to worry about is getting slightly plucked in court for false advertising. And even then, like a bad craftsman, you can simply blame your tools — the “tools” in this case being the gullible consumers.

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“But wait! I have more products that suckers like you seem to love! At less-than-reasonable prices!”

When Coca-Cola first introduced their “healthy” beverage Vitaminwater, its slogan was “vitamins + water = all you need.” That equation was missing eight teaspoons of sugar and 120 calories per bottle, it turns out. But Vitaminwater’s false advertising didn’t stop there. The drink had also claimed it would improve the drinker’s metabolism, boost their immune system, and reduce the risk of eye disease. Given a few more years, they could also have promised to grow your hair back, make your nails as sharp as talons, and let you see a whole new color.

It didn’t take long for daughter company Glaceau (which is French for “garbage fountain”) to be sued for misleading the public with their advertising. But that wasn’t the case, according to Coca-Cola’s lawyers, because “no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking Vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.” Essentially, their legal strategy was to call anyone who thinks drinking a Coca-Cola product wouldn’t give them diabetes a goddamn imbecile. And honestly, what kind of rube would think that this drink …

Coca-Cola
… this drink …

Coca-Cola
… THIS DRINK …

… would be healthy for you? What, were we born yesterday? On a planet where words have meanings?

After six years of tying the courts up with their nonsense, Coca-Cola finally agreed to stop its misleading advertising, and added “with sweeteners” in the smallest font possible to the label of the bottle. Their team of lawyers concluded: “Although we remain confident in our legal position, it simply made no sense to continue this costly legal battle” — the “You’re not worth it, bro” of legal statements.

But Coca-Cola isn’t the only company that has had to go back on ridiculous health claims made by its sugar water. PepsiCo’s 7 Up Antioxidant dropped any reference to antioxidants (including its name) after being sued for containing so little artificial vitamin E that it wouldn’t even keep a single daisy alive. Meanwhile, Pom Wonderful was slapped by the FTC for claiming its drinks “could treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.” Then again, how else are you ever going to break into the middle-aged male demographic with a name like Pom Wonderful?

5

Fox News And Alex Jones Admit They Aren’t News

To the bleeding-heart liberals among us, right-wing news can sometimes feel unreal, like we’re suddenly in a world where up is down, right is wrong, and human rights are for pussies. Lots of conservative pundits often appear like caricatures of what a right-wing mindset ought to be. But acting like they’re the Muslim-hating offspring of Ayn Rand and before-the-ghosts Ebenezer Scrooge might be working in their favor.

Around the time of Obama’s first presidential run, Fox News realized that straight-up picking fights with him netted them a lot more views, like a TMZ paparazzo secretly excited that Sean Penn is about to punch him in the face. As a response, the Obama administration refused to acknowledge Fox News as an actual news station, instead referring to them as an “ideological outlet,” with communications director Anita Dunn even stating “we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”

So that’s what Fox did: It stopped pretending. The network responded to these accusations by proudly boasting that “its news hours — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. on weekdays — are objective,” thereby admitting that the 24-hour news network has about nine hours of news in it. C’mon, even hot dogs have more meat in them than that. And those other 100+ hours of television each week? Those are for entertainment, obviously. According to Fox, it’s the viewer’s job to tell the difference between the parts that are real news and all the baseless rumors that are nothing but the opinions of some guy. Who is dressed exactly like the newsreaders. And sits behind the same desk. And uses the words “Fox” and “News” every 30 seconds.

Other right-wing pundits have also picked on this possible get-out-of-libel-jail-free card. Alex Jones, a cartoon gorilla brought to life by his intense hatred of Jews, was recently in a fierce custody battle with his ex-wife. In order to demonstrate what an unfit parent and human being he is, her attorney showed the judge several tapes of Jones’ show in which, when he’s not shouting conspiracy theories like a syphilitic medieval town crier, he frequently strips off his clothes like he’s reliving his failed audition for Magic Mike.

To counter this hard evidence of him behaving like an insane mountain man, Jones’s lawyer claimed that he’s just a performance artist. You know, like what he said those children murdered in Sandy Hook were. His shows, by extent, are “political satire,” a savage mockery of the kind of sad losers who would believe anything that would come out of Alex Jones…’s persona’s mouth.

Not that it did Jones any favors. He wound up losing custody of his kids, partially because he claimed he couldn’t remember basic details of their lives because he “had a big bowl of chili for lunch.” Like with all great performance artists, it’s almost impossible to tell where Alex Jones the artist ends and Alex Jones the caricature of a sad MRA troll begins.


The face of a man about to either turn into the Incredible Hulk or have a chili-related pants-shitting.

4

Melania Trump Sues For Libel And Admits She’s Trying To Cash Off Being First Lady

Being the first lady is all about reputation. You’re expected to be the perfect wife and mother, and to care a lot more about fat kids than you probably do. So when someone attacks your good name, it threatens everything you’re hoping to achieve. Which, in Melania Trump’s case, is to cash in on that good name by scamming people into buying her jewelry.

During the election, British grief merchant The Daily Mail published a story claiming Trump once worked as an escort. After becoming the first long-distance first lady, she immediately took the tabloid and its corporate overlords to court. But not just for libel; Melania’s legal team also claimed that the false rumor could impact her financially, which is a very polite way of saying that while it may not be true, it’s believable enough that it’ll probably stick.

But how could this rumor impact Melania financially? She’s the first lady of the United States — a position that makes you the world’s most high-profile charity worker. Well, doing good may have been reward good enough for the Nancy Reagans and Jackie Onassii, but according to her lawyers, Melania sees the sacred office more as …

the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person, as well as a former professional model, brand spokesperson and successful businesswoman, to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world.

Those relationships could be hurt if people might think she sleeps with men for money, and not that she involves herself with men like Donald Trump because they’re great listeners and ace cuddlers. Which is why Melania felt that The Daily Mail now owed her $150 million.

Ethics hawks quickly jumped on the wording in the lawsuit, noting that this statement made it sound like Melania’s treating her role as the first lady like it’s a modeling contract with Versace. Her defense team countered this accusation by claiming that was a gross misinterpretation of the wording. Of course, it didn’t help their case that at the time, Melania was still running three different companies which make between $15,000 and $50,000 in royalties from her accessories line. And that same accessories line was advertised on her official White House bio page mere days before the lawsuit. That sure makes it look like Trump is using her position as FLOTUS to hawk her jewelry, like some bored housewife mentioning her Etsy store in every conversation.

When the matter was finally resolved, Melania had to settle for a public apology and less than $3 million in compensation. Not the bonanza that she was hoping for, but now she at least got something out of the presidency. She’s certainly in no rush to take any trips to the White House in the next four years.

3

Gawker Defends Showing The Hulk Hogan Sex Tape By Saying They’d Also Publish Child Porn

Freedom of the press is one of the cornerstones of any fair democracy. But journalism is a business, and letting a business decide what is and isn’t news can lead to fearmongering, misreporting, and lots of closing segments about cute pets. Still, journalists can and should fight for their First Amendment rights. However, that battle should never involve you defending the right to publish child pornography.

In 2012, Gawker, the internet’s curtain-twitching next-door neighbor, published a sex tape of Hulk Hogan, known not even to his children as Terry Bollea. In the 1-minute, 41-second video, the Hulkster is seen having sex with the wife of his former (obviously) best friend Bubba “The Love Sponge” Clem. As entertaining as that love triangle might sound, Hogan did not think it warranted a gossip site publishing footage of his thrusting buttocks. With the help of tech billionaire and children’s cartoon villain Peter Thiel, Hogan sued the website and its then-editor A.J. Daulerio for severe breach of privacy and being a total jabroni.

Hogan’s attorneys were sent out to prove to the jury that “Mr. Bollea’s penis had no news value” — a good legal strategy and a sick burn. However, when being deposed, Gawker’s editor insisted that Hogan had had so many broadcast discussions about his dick that it ought to be part of the public domain. To counter this, his attorneys asked Daulerio what kind of celebrity sex tape would be unethical to show. He replied that he would never publish a sex tape of a child. “Under what age?” the lawyer asked. “Four.”

Daulerio later stated that that answer was sarcastic. A legally binding deposition is a great place for you to try out some new comedy material. Of course, Hogan’s lawyers pounded Daulerio as hard as Hogan pounded Bubba The Love Sponge’s spouse. After only a few weeks of trial, Hogan was awarded $140 million in damages, collecting $31 million and bankrupting Gawker.

2

Dr. Oz Claims Giving Bad Medical Advice Is An American Privilege

Dr. Mehmet Oz is a cardiac surgeon and professor at Columbia University, but what he always wanted to be in life was a star. After appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show as a medical expert, he was given his own “informative” talk show to teach people about the latest discoveries in medicine. Since then, he has become the Oprah of the medical community, in that they no longer think he’s fit to hand out medical advice either.

Dr. Oz, the only person to have ever become a surgeon and still be a disappointment to his parents, has been widely criticized by both the medical and scientific communities for his incessant shilling of fad diet pills with little to no research backing up his claims. According to a recent study in the British Medical Journal, half of Dr. Oz’s claims are baseless or just plain wrong — i.e. he’s making them up as he goes. He’s especially disliked for continuously calling these diet fads he promotes “miraculous,” like he’s some overqualified faith healer.

This came to a head when Dr. Oz was called to testify in front of Congress, where senators gave the doctor a real way to lose weight fast: by sweating bullets. With him as a sacrificial pinata on the altar of rationality, the presiding senators wasted no time in tearing Oz a new one, going as far as saying, “I don’t get why you need to say this stuff, because you know it’s not true.”

To Oz’s credit, he didn’t back down and pretend that he was hosting a “satire” of a medical show making fun on the kind of people who listen to doctors. Instead, he invoked his God-given right to bullshit the American public. “My job is to be a cheerleader for the audience when they don’t think they have hope,” said the medical professional. “When I can’t use language that is flowery, that is exulting, I feel like I’ve been disenfranchised.” We don’t know what kind of pills you have to take to make your balls big enough to cry censorship when a room of senators call you out on being a bad doctor, but we’re looking forward to finding out on one of his future shows.

1

Pepsi Argues That Their Soda Would Dissolve A Mouse In Months

The hair in the soup routine is a classic con artist trick. You pretend the restaurant has dropped a disgusting human shaving in your meal and demand to be compensated for your distress. What you wouldn’t expect at that juncture would be a waiter telling you that the hair you fished out was in fact the least disgusting part of your meal.

In 2009, an oil company worker in Illinois claimed he had found a dead mouse in his can of Mountain Dew. After spending the appropriate amount of time vomiting, he contacted Pepsi to inform them of their rodent problem. The company, instead of informing the customer he had taken part in a trial run of their new mouse-enhanced flavor (like New Coke, only less disgusting), immediately sent down a representative to secure the crime scene. However, by the time one of their poor interns had schlepped all the way to Madison County, the incriminating evidence had already been destroyed, hopefully with a tasteful burial and the notification of the next-of-kin.

The Illinois man still sued the company for over $75,000 for rodent-based emotional trauma. But Pepsi was sure that this was an open-and-shut case — not because even a dead mouse could smell this scam from a mile away, though. During the very brief trial, Pepsi paraded a bunch of “experts” who could scientifically disprove that a mouse carcass could have been floating around in the Dew, pointing out that the soft drink’s contents are waaay too toxic for that. Instead, what the oil man should have found, according to one expert, was a “jelly-like substance,” with all the mousy parts having been dissolved by the refreshing battery acid that is Mountain Dew, like some rodent rendition of the barrel scenes in Breaking Bad.

However, despite the insurmountable evidence in their favor, Pepsi settled out of court, its lawyer hastily stating that the matter “was settled for an undisclosed sum. It’s a done deal, and both parties are on their way” as he probably sprinted away from the courtroom. Sounds like the company had to pay a “we mentioned jellied mice” tax to get the story out of the morning shows circulation as quickly as possible.

For more of his attempts at witticisms or his famous recipes for toilet wine, do follow Cedric on Twitter.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_24843_6-wtf-excuses-companies-actually-used-while-getting-sued.html