Real life incidents you wish you knew the endings to...

On a connecting flight from Delhi to Minneapolis, I was on the tarmac at New York’s JFK. The plane turned around to the terminal and paramedics came on board. An ensuing argument between the passengers and the paramedics which was resolved when they removed an unconscious 8 year old boy from the plane.

I later talked with a flight attendant who said that the boy was feeling a little sick and then went unconscious. The mother decided to continue on her flight with her 5 year old daughter to MSP and that the paramedics were taking the boy to the hospital.

And that’s all I know. I’m really curious what happened to the boy, why did the mother leave him in NY and with whom, why did she not get off of the plane, what was in Minnesota that was more important, etc.
It’s these little snippets that we get to see of other people’s lives that remain open ended that I’m really curious about.

I was playing in a bridge tournament back in 1999, I think. A woman at my table had a stroke. I caught her as she fell, yelled for help, and held her until the paramedics came to take her away. Since then, I’ve often wondered what happened to her…

New Year’s morning, 1987. My family was visiting friends, and me and their daughter, who was my age, went out for a walk (and to smoke a doobie). As we walked down the street, a car screeched to a halt next to us and the woman in the passenger seat leaned over into the back seat in a frenzied manner. We thought there was a baby in the back, and ran to help, only to find it was an unconscious, full-grown man, covered in vomit, lying across the back seat of the car.

The woman explained that their friend had recently split up with his wife and spent New Year’s Eve on his own. When they called him to wish him a happy new year he didn’t answer, and they had an intuition that something was not good. So they drove round, got no answer at the door, went into the back yard and peered in the window and saw him lying on the floor of his living room surrounded by empty whisky and pill bottles. They busted in, dragged him into the car and started to drive him to hospital. They pulled over because he started vomiting on himself.

I told them to stay where they were, not to continue to drive him, and I’d call an ambulance. I helped them put him into the recovery position, then ran back to the house, called the emergency services, and my dad (a doc) came out to check the guy’s vital signs.

Then we waited. Seemed like hours. I started to regret having advised them to stop. The guy just lay there, my dad having made sure he was breathing OK. I rang the emergency services again and they assured me the ambulance was on its way. About 30 minutes later the ambulance arrived, stretchered him up and left. The couple drove off, extremely upset. And me and my friend carried on our walk, in silence, shaking slightly. And that was that.

I don’t know if he lived or died.

Back in high school (in the late 80s), one of my classmates was kidnapped, a distant acquaintance by the name of Twyla Archer. Then it turned out that she had run off with her boyfriend and had faked her kidnapping. She came back a few months later, but I had left the school by then so I never found out the real story.

In December of 1971 (I don’t remember the exact date, but I know it was a Wednesday) I was waiting in the O’Hare airport for a flight to Montreal. Someone suggested I fly Air France because the food was better (it was). But it had been foggy all day in Chicago and the flight, scheduled to leave maybe around 5 PM actually left closer to 10. The seating at the terminal was arranged in back-to-back rows. There was a girl sitting in the next row with her back to me. She started talking to her neighbor and I heard every word. Her story was this:

She was going to Paris to marry her fiance, who was a Frenchman named Jacques LeBlanc, which she carefully explained meant Jack White. She was supposed to marry him on Saturday and he was coming from Brittany to pick her up and she had no way to get in touch with him since he would have been expecting her to have taken off a few hours earlier and would have already left for Paris. The plane finally took off and we landed in Montreal at nearly midnight and I went home and forgot about. Until a couple months later when the Montreal Star (now defunct) printed an article about the problems at the Air Canada maintenance hangar in Montreal. They mentioned in particular that AC had a joint maintenance agreement with AF. They went on to mention that the very flight I and poor Jacques’s fiancee were on. That it had had some mechanical problem when it landed in Montreal, but that the AC maintenance facility was overwhelmed and they had not been able to get that plane off until Saturday morning!

Now Jacques would have found out about the delay when he got to the airport of course, but there seems to have been no way, unless she found another flight, to get there for the wedding. And she would have had–in 1971–no way of contacting him to let him know what she was doing. Every once in while I wonder about poor Jacques and his nameless fiancee.
Now Jacques

When I was in deployed to Bagram, there was one patient that has stuck with me since. He was Canadian, and had lost 3 of 4 limbs. On the remaining limb, his left (I think) arm, was tattooed the serenity prayer. I’ve wondered about him since, if he lived after we got him out, and if he did, if he’s managed to have a good life.

Was she holding two pair, aces and eights?

Yes, I know…


I attended a going away party in Montreal for a friend of mine who was moving to Vancouver. At this party was a friend of his (or maybe his girlfriend, who I knew only slightly) who I had never met before. This friend regaled us with a story of his fight with Hydro Quebec (electric utility company) who was regularly sending him bills… huge electric bills for a tiny empty apartment that had been empty all summer. If I recall correctly (and this was over 20 years ago) his bills were over $30,000 dollars per month.

The story was regularly punctuated with “so the woman on the line told me obviously this is a mistake, and I agreed. The next day my power is cut…again.”

I never did find out what happened to this guy and his over $100,000 hydro (electricity) bill.

I was babysitting for this couple when I was about 15 and when they came home one night, the husband proceeded to try to beat the wife to death in front of me. She begged me, while she was laying there, bleeding on the floor, a few times to “Take her babies with me when I leave.”

He eventually realized he had gone too far, and called his MC to come and help. They came and took her to the hospital, one of the women stayed with the kids (two little ones) while the husband drove me home. Instead, he took me to an all-night doughnut shop and explained for over two hours why he wasn’t a bad guy.

By the time I got home, I was completely numb. I woke up to a police car outside my house. When I called the hospital, they said the wife was recovering from a skull fracture. The police never came to take a statement, she didn’t press charges. She wrote me a letter explaining that he wasn’t a “monster”.

I always wondered if she survived, and what happened to the kids - they were sweethearts. The family had an incredibly common last name, so there’s no tracking.

I guess this isn’t what the OP had in mind, but there is a long time poster here on SDMB who posted about some VERY serious trouble they were having with a (adult) child of theirs, and I would really like to know about what is going on currently, but I don’t want to pry, as I have a sinking feeling that thinks have probably only gone from bad to worse, which is why there have been no updates forthcoming.

The Doper seemed to have a plan to confront their kid about the situation, but it didn’t seem to stick…

I’ve had two.

About 15 years ago, I was in a Stop-N-Go one night, buying a Coke after gassing up to drive back home. A young girl, 15 or 16 or so, came into the store crying and asking for help. She had had a fight with her boyfriend and he had kicked her out of the car in a strange neighborhood and driven off. I got her name and home phone number and called her mother, who refused to come get her. Seems the girl had run off with this guy, her true love and all that, and mom was ready to close the door on her. I finally persuaded her to allow the girl to come home, and I drove her across town and delivered her to her mother. Never saw her again, and every once in a while (like now), I wonder what happened with the whole fiasco.

About a year after that, SWMBO, the kids and I were at the mall. Guy in front of us drops like a rock - no pulse, no breathing. I started CPR on him and cranked him until the medics got there. They loaded him up and I heard one of them say that he had a pulse as they got him on board. They took off and I never did find out if he made it. All I know was that I got him restarted enough to give him a chance.

Once I was driving down a fairly remote highway and I passed a guy stumbling down the highway with his arms stretched out like a zombie. His hair was all black and blown back cartoon-style.

I was thinking, 'Whaa…?" I assumed he needed help so I came to a stop. But I was going about about 70 mph and this was all on a heavily forested bend in the highway, so by the time I had pulled over and jumped out, I could not see the point where I had first spotted him. I started to jog back down the highway and found a small lane. It was the only place he could have gone, so I ran down the lane and found him.

Warning. Gross and Horrible.

He was stumbling down the lane and I could only see him from behind. Something was really, really wrong but I just hadn’t figured it out yet. I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “Hey man, are you ok?”

He turned to face me and I recoiled involuntarily. My fight or flight instinct kicked in instantly because I was looking at a monster. After about a second, I gathered myself and realized that I was looking at one severely burned person.

His face was like a cheese pizza. It had big bubbles on it. His lips were fused into a hard slit that remained motionless when he tried to speak. His hair was melted into a single piece with spikes coming off the back and looked like it could be popped off in one piece like plastic Lego Man hair. I literally could not tell if he was eighteen or 80.

All of the clothes had been blown off his upper body. Just blown right off. But the worst part was his skin. All of the skin on his torso had come off, too, and it was hanging over his belt in ribbons, front and back, and down to his knees. The skin on his arms had separated as well, and had formed translucent, wrinkled tubes in which his arms twisted and slid. Like a snake within its newly shed skin. It was insane and horrible.

I was thinking, ‘Holy FK Holy FK, what do I do?!?!?’ I collected myself and called 911. I was amazed to get a signal. Still, it would be a while before help would arrive.

Beyond that, all I could do was to try and keep him as relaxed as possible and prevent him from panicking. At first he was stunned and moving and mumbling randomly, but after a while his eyes were wild and fearful as he came to terms with what he had just experienced. I almost started to cry when our eyes locked, there was so much fear and pain in his eyes.

I sat him down and tried to comfort and soothe him, assuring him that everything was going to be ‘ok’, to just hang in there. I couldn’t really make out what he was saying, but I did figure out that he had been welding. I waited for him to slip into unconsciousness, and prepared myself to perform rescue breathing and CPR should it be required, but that never happened.

Another driver on the highway had seen the victim stumble up the lane and had seen me give chase. She found us in the lane and then went back to the highway to direct the ambulance when it arrived about a half hour later.

The EMTs were amazing, You could see the “Holy Shit!” look in their eyes, but they quickly and professionally took control. I have so much respect for EMTs. These people have to deal with this stuff all the time. They save lives for a living. True Heroes.

Anyway, the ambulance took off flashing and screaming down the highway, and I had nothing else to do but continue on my way, behind the ambulance. I basically followed it home. The hospital is only six blocks from my house. So, I had a long time behind the ambulance to think about things, life, and the delicateness of it all.

The next day I check the paper. He had been air-lifted hundreds of miles to the burn unit in Vancouver. I check all the papers for two weeks after that. How was he? Who was he? Did he survive? There was no word. Nothing. I never found out.

I should point out that while the EMTs were preparing the victim for transport, I started to wander around the area and actually found the guy’s house at the end of the lane. There was a crater in the front yard. A freshly-exposed crater, with dark, damp earth all around. He had been welding on an underground propane tank.

Fuck man. You are the hero of that story.

Shamozzle - :eek:

Holy moly!

Two of these stories need to be moved over to the “things I wish I had never experienced” thread.

Shamozzle - day-umm! You rock!

5 or so years ago, there were 2 women and 3 kids (ages 3-10, maybe) living in the rental house directly across the street from mine. Both the women were very nice, the kids were pretty well behaved and they were the stereotypical “nice quiet people, always said hello.”

Until one day when several police cars from my town and a couple from the neighboring towns, the state police, and the county sherriff showed up, blocked off the whole street. They went in with the drug dogs, carried out a lot of stuff in boxes and brown bags, and brought the women out. They actually had to wrestle the younger one to the floor of the porch to get the handcuffs on her because she was fighting them like a spazzed-out grizzly bear. While this was going on the two little girls were hanging on to the cops begging them not to take their mommy. Later on CPS came to take the kids.

They found $200,000 in cash, along with guns, heroin, ecstacy, and I forget what else; it turns out they had been selling drugs right on the corner of my street and no one knew.

I wonder all the time where the women are (in jail or selling drugs somewhere else) and most of all if the kids are OK.

Perhaps the oddest part was, after the story was on the news, my coworkers at the time would almost fight amongst themselves to drive me home from work so they could see the “drug house”

I was with my gal in the bar area of a restaurant in the Fort Myers/Cape Coral area in 2000 or so. While we were there, a woman comes in an sits close to us. My gal and this woman–who is mostly composed, but somewhat frazzled–start chatting. Turns out she had just come from a nearby hospital where here 12-year-old daughter was being treated for lymphoma. I don’t recall whether she told us the prognosis, but in any case, I don’t remember. I wonder if she beat it.

I found out that a friend was found dead in her home of ‘blunt head trauma.’ There weren’t any news accounts of foul play suspected in her death, so I think it must have been accidental–like falling down the stairs–but I’d like to know what happened.

Just last week, I had a hard day at work and had to rush home to get get some things done before I had to do even more work. I had to stop for gas and went inside to get a snack. A few people joined the line just ahead of me at the cashier. At the front of the line was some frat looking guy asking for cartons of cigarettes one after the other, acting annoying in general, and changing his mind repeatedly. Everything was sitting on the counter when he asked the cashier to check to see if he had something. The cashier turned around and the guy grabbed up everything on the counter and bolted out the door. It must have been $500 worth of cigarettes on him.

This utility big hulking utility worker and I just glanced at each other and knew what we had to do. We threw our stuff down and chased the shit around the building where he had some friends waiting in a getaway car. I don’t know what they other guy planned to do but I planned on tackling him and probably just slitting his throat with my Swiss Army knife right there and hanging up the body to drain out front to serve as a warning to others. Maybe it was good that the guy had a good few seconds on us though because he made it in the car and they took off but we got a perfect description of everything as they hauled ass in their late 1990’s Volkswagon Golf with 5 people crammed into it accelerating at the speed of smell.

The cashier called the police and we gave all the info. I assume they got them based on the license plate and description but I didn’t stick around to find out.

Singburi province in central Thailand, 1988. I’m sitting at an outdoor table at a restaurant. Down the street comes a Thai couple. She is furiously screaming at the man with a blood lust while chasing him waving a butcher knife. He is running ahead of her with his penis hanging out, but far from being scared, he keeps stopping when he gets a little ahead of her, turns around, laughs maniacally and waves his penis at her. This enrages her all the more, and she speeds up and yells louder each time. This cycle keeps repeating until they’ve passed from view.

I still wonder, 23 years later, whatever happened with that.

Clearly, you’ve never played “Knifey Dickey” before…