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The Weirdest Thing You've Seen an Animal Do

Illustration for article titled The Weirdest Thing Youve Seen an Animal Do
Image: Getty

Look, animals are weird. If you are privileged enough to work remotely during this time, or if you are self-isolating with a beloved pet, they’re probably acting especially kooky. I want to know about the weirdest thing you’ve seen an animal do, recently or otherwise. Pictures will be honored and awarded, of course.

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But before all that, let’s look at last week’s winners. These are the most unsettling things you’ve ever seen at a restaurant. I’m never eating again.

Morgraene, this is extremely unsettling:

Years ago I was at family Italian place in my hometown enjoying some cheese ravioli with a friend. A young girl, maybe 11 years old, got up from a table nearby where she was eating with her parents and brother. She walked toward the kitchen and waitstaff station, and I started to get out of my chair and wave at her because I thought she was lost and looking for the bathroom. Before I could get up, though, she picked up two plates off the waitstaff station and started banging them together until one shattered. It was LOUD. She dropped the pieces and grabbed another plate from the stack, repeating this until she was surrounded by shattered crockery and all eyes in the place were on her. I had frozen in place, too stunned to do anything, but after the fourth or fifth plate, I regained my senses and looked over at her parents, expecting they would do... something.

They were talking calmly and completely ignoring the fact that their kid was smashing plates in the middle of a restaurant. A manager appeared and tried to talk to the girl and block her from grabbing more plates... she ignored him and grabbed some knives (KNIVES!) and cups and began throwing them at the people in the nearby tables. People were screaming and ducking and getting up from those tables and running to the other side of the room. The manager was trying to keep the knives out of her reach, but was clearly too scared to physically restrain her.

FINALLY, her parents noticed? cared? decided to prevent a murder? Her mom lazily called to her to come sit down, which did not work, so her dad wandered over to her and asked “where did you get these plates?” and “would you like some dessert? I bet they have ice cream!” while she continued to try to throw things. He made no effort to restrain or reprimand her. The manager stared at him, stupefied, for a minute, and then asked them to leave. The whole family got very huffy at being asked to leave, made a big scene, refused to pay their bill, and stormed out, crunching across the broken plates and ignoring the glares of the patrons who had been ducking knives only minutes earlier.

After they left, we all just stared at each other for a minute like... “did that just happen?” The restaurant tried to clean up the mess and we all got some free tiramisu.

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MeMeMimi, no thanks for this one:

This was many years ago but I have never, and never shall, forget it. I went to a fro-yo place called Checkers and the cashier had very bad cystic acne. As I was paying, I saw thin rivulets of pus streaming from one of the larger zits, which had burst. The second I left the establishment and was out of his sight, I tossed my fro-yo in the trash. A sad waste of cheesecake yogurt, but my appetite was completely gone.

Oh man, I just thought of an even worse one! I went into the bathroom of Perkins (a Midwestern chain that’s sort of a Marie Callender’s type place) and it looked like someone had thrown a bag of Hershey’s kisses into a wood chipper. There was shit on the floor AND the ceiling. It was the second worst thing I’ve ever smelled in my life. I left and told the hostess and she squeezed her eyes shut tightly and said “It’s only my second goddamn day”.

The Holy Hand Grenade, I know I asked for “unsettling” but you went full-on “harrowing”:

I worked at the same chinese place as my wife. It’s a semi-basement unit in an old downtown with drop ceilings.

One day, a big fucking rat that’s about 3-4 pounds at least falls out of the ceiling and lands on her shoulder.

She was walking between tables with a tray of food. Tray of food goes flying. She swatted at at the rat and it Tarzan-ed off her hair.

Now the customers are freaked out. One lady took off her heels and tried to whack at the rat dangling at my wife’s lower back.

So she yelled STOP TRYING TO STAB MY FUCKING BACK, which seems to stun the rat enough that it fell off her hair and scurried away.

We called the exterminator in that night.

Two weeks after that, the rat’s rotting corpse fell through the ceiling and landed on top of a plate of Singapore Mei Fun. It fell through because another rat was gnawing at the body. The Mei Fun was my lunch.

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parkcityboi... I... what?

I was the president of a small (11 locations) chain of ice cream shops (now defunct) in Cali called Wil Wright’s. They were converted to semi-food type operations before they went under faster than the Titanic after the encounter with an iceberg. One day I get a call from the general mgr of the Palm Springs location asking my advice about a customer who came in for the buffet lunch, opened his briefcase and proceeded to empty/scoop the entire tray of shrimp salad (made with a gross sweet pickle and mayo combo) into said briefcase, pay for the buffet and walk out with the sauce dripping out of the briefcase leaving a trail. I told the mgr not to worry about his higher-than-usual food cost % for the day. The whole concept was a total shitshow but it was a division of a NYSE listed company so there was some kind of tax benefit.

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Drop those stories in the comments below.

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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My family has had a series of weird cats, but Cleo the Wonder Cat beat them all.

CtWC was this little dilute grey tortoiseshell who meowed if she had to, but preferred to whine in complete sentences. She was obsessed with the kitchen sponge (we had to keep it in a container or else we’d find it in a closet) and she figured out how to open drawers so she could take out socks. But weirdest of all was her afternoon routine.

Almost every day, she’d climb a tree up to the roof of the house, hang over the front door, and hiss-scream at anyone who came near. She was the world’s fuzziest, least intimidating gargoyle.

When she was done proclaiming her dominion over the front door, she would walk over to a portion of the roof right over a metal awning and jump down - *thud*. If this had no effect, she’d hop back up on the roof and repeat the *thud*ing until someone came to the door, reached up and conveyed her down and inside.

Then she would walk into the kitchen and worship the refrigerator until it produced half a can of chilled wet food, which must be taken by a person, carefully spooned onto a bed of kibble, and preferably topped with broccoli.