Garbage List Living

This month’s guilty pleasure of mine has been reading the sponsored suggestions from my Facebook newsfeed that are just aggregated reddit posts that have been “edited for clarity.” Dozens, sometimes a whole hundred, anecdotes from barely-credited redditors are the bubblegum for my brain in place of so-called reality tv programming on TLC. I can’t be expected to sit and watch TV and yet for the same amount of time, with slightly more energy, I can apparently zone out and read these garbage lists — a term probably only I use, but I calls ’em like I sees ’em. Just like the garbage trash on television, these lists are designed just to insert an obnoxious advertisement every paragraph break so that my phone can threaten to end it all sooner rather than later, but nevermind that.

Here is an illustration of Amandoll's deteriorating elderly cell phone. It has cracks and a bandaid. It has a little weeping face. Words surrounding it say, "So many ads.. It's cruel. It's mean to my phone."

I have noticed a few commonalities among all of these stories I have binged — even the ones that are obvious works of fiction. Even the horrible stories are still interesting, so I thought I might as well tell you how your life could be more interesting, too, just by including these kinds of things in every experience you have! Maybe some day your life anecdote could be featured on a garbage list, heavily edited and unbeknownst to you! Maybe I will accidentally tell your own anecdote to you some day, shamelessly.

So as you make decisions to snoop on a significant others texts, overhear things not meant for your ears, or ignore obvious signs of hauntings or serial killers — watch for these unmistakable signals I am about to list. Go out alone at night. Go on tinder dates. Have a childhood in the 1980s or 1990s. These are all things that could bring you closer to experiencing something worth telling to strangers on the internet, who will, in turn, tell other people too! Take a road trip alone! Have a close call or fifty! Be an innocent bystander gone awry! You will know you are truly living as soon as you…

Go White As A Sheet

Time and time again, people telling these stories describe that they, or someone they were looking at, reacted to whatever was happening by becoming very pale. How pale? Well, have you ever seen a fresh white sheet? Regardless of the fact that it would be pretty astounding to see anyone turn such a shade — I would certainly mistake it for a medical emergency like a FOOL — they almost always seem to go this color at things that I wouldn’t think really warranted it.

A side by side drawing of Amandoll's face. On the left, she is her flesh tone, but on the right, she is plain white color. The text says, "I was blithely going about my day, but when I saw this unexpected thing I went white as a sheet!"

Often, sheet white pallor is the result of a stunning realization. Someone has had a Close Call — a brush with death or ruin. Other times, the realization is that they have been Caught Cheating, either financially or romantically. If you find yourself going white as a sheet, be sure to make note of what is causing your reaction; it might be worth a read.

Let Your Jaw Drop

When your jaw drops, usually you are witnessing an over the top feat take place. Other times you may be confronted by rudeness, salacious rumor becoming fact, or even something as unassuming as some wacky thing a child is saying that makes them appear to be referencing a past life that they recently had.

You might not be able to tell your jaw has dropped because you are so absorbed by the happenings around you, but if later in the day you feel a slight ache in your face hinge — you probably had a big old dropped jaw! If witnesses tell you that you could have picked your jaw up off the floor, well they are exaggerators and you have to take their words with a grain of salt — but also know that your jaw done dropped.

Changes of the Blood

While you are out and about, doing things that human beings seem to commonly do according to these lists, you may overreact to an instance to the extent that your blood boils or freezes. Over and over again, I have read that when a person has been met with a lack of courtesy, really just basic inconsideration, they describe that their blood boils! Ouch! On the other hand, near-death misses, seeing things that should not be happening (whether realistic or paranormal), or some kinds of coincidences, their blood will go cold — sometimes it even freezes!

An old comic's panel where Amandoll in in the background, jaw dropped completely in rage, while cchris says, "administering you. Shepherding you, if you will."
“You Won’t Believe These People’s Comic Interactions!”

When you feel that the very life blood in your veins is running very hot or very cold, and yet it isn’t actually threatening to kill you with a medical emergency — it is THEN that you know that you are living in a highly dramatic moment. If you survive, you will have such a story to tell to reddit.

Don’t Believe Your Eyes

Some things are truly incredible sights to behold. If you are freshly mourning the loss of a loved one who has presumably been lost in a traffic accident, but then that person emerges unscathed, you might not believe what your eyes are seeing. It is understandable that you might doubt your own powers of vision, despite all of their hard work providing you with information to the best of their ability for all these years leading up to this moment.

If you find yourself rubbing your eyes with your little balled up fists and looking again with your eyes widened to their fullest extent, that is your body’s way of communicating to one and all that you can’t, don’t, and won’t believe your eyes. The events unfolding before you will be worthy of retelling for the amusement of all at a later date! Use those eyes to record subsequent details and put them to memory.

Become Speechless

As a particular situation presents itself to you — be it unexpected news, unwanted news, or unbelievable facts — you may find yourself being unable to speak. Your silence on the matter should be noticed by everyone in the room or general area of you, in case a third party observer will be telling the anecdote later. We would all like to have an answer for everything, but sometimes we can’t even find words.

Sometimes, the word sticks in your throat and you give up trying after a few sounds creak out. Other times, you just stand there. Often your jaw is open or you are the color of white sheet. Very occasionally, you get all three reactions together. If you get all three, run to reddit right now and tell everyone all about it!

The white as a sheet drawing of Amandoll from before, only now with upset eyebrows and a sweat bead and a great big open mouth. There is a spread out ellipses next to her.
There’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

Deliver A Pithy or Inspirational Soliloquy to a Cheater, Snob, or Soon To Be Former Boss

In an opposite vein, a lot of these garbage list people seem to have a lot of strong mic-drop last words to a situation. Suspicious Me suspects that maybe they are embellishing facts and distorting reality, causing themselves, or the subject of the tale, to look like some hot shot who can actually think of how to retort at any given moment. But maybe I’m wrong.

Garbage Reader Amandoll believes that anyone who is seizing the day and living perfect reddit-worthy anecdote lives are merely vessels for the Quick Quip Gods who hover around the blessed among us. They drop open their jaws and remarks flow out, stinging their adversaries and making future audiences chuckle in appreciation. My favorites are the ones where a conservative leaning adult puts a shop clerk in their place about one of the topics they love, like gun rights, and they get to walk out while that clerk is left speechless in the face of their wisdom. Usually at the end of these anecdotes, they are rewarded by other people who are glad that someone “finally had the nerve to say it.” Oh what good stories! Such very nice stories!

Cause Another Person To Make A Huge Life Decision “The Very Next Day”

This seems to happen a surprising amount in these stories. Some might even say that it happens a suspicious amount. I can understand that, through your interactions with another person, you might convince them to change their mind about something. You may bring some new facts to the table that would cause them to step back and reconsider, and, having reconsidered for a while, decide to not do something that they had been dead set to do. This is a thing that could happen to you, courtesy of another person! Even big events such as the buying of a car or house, or even marriage — these can be decided against with some regularity.

“And she bought that house *the very next day*!

In our exciting, dramatic garbage list lives, however, people will decide against so many things, things that will greatly alter their life paths, “the very next day.” Here, a man decides to dump his cheating fiance the very next day (a week before the wedding). There, a woman takes the advice of a spooky old woman on the bus and the very next day gets a medical examination that saves her life! A parent randomly gets new smoke detectors and the very next day their house burns down but they were able to save the children. People who live abrupt lives clearly live very exciting lives.

And now I believe that should be the goal of all.

Sneer Back

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