Screenshot: Home Alone (1990

On Wednesday, our friends at Deadspin blogged about two nine-year-old delinquents who terrorized the Helensvale Shopping Centre in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia by kicking a security guard (and threatening to kill him if he did not return their scooter), jumping on their parents’ car, assaulting an old lady and dropping f-bombs like their lives depended on it. It was a horror show, that, naturally, lead to an in-depth conversation among Jezebel staffers about the worst things we’ve done to our parents.

Here’s a select few of those stories, presented anonymously as to not re-traumatize our lovely parents. It’s the least we could do.

Person 1:

one time my mom made me go to my room and i threw open my window and screamed out onto the street SOMEONE HELP ME

Person 1 (again):

one time i locked myself in my grandma’s garage while my mom was at work and then when she came to pick me up i was like: “grandma locked me in the garage”

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Person 2, who is really just ratting out their brother:

my brother definitely took my parents’ car for a ride when he was 15. they weren’t home but he got caught because he drove into the mailbox

Now I need to know: what terrible thing did you go to your parents? Drop those in the comments.

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But first, let’s talk a gander at last week’s scammers, I mean, winners. Here is an assorted collection of the shadiest tricks y’all have pulled to win:

DerbyDuck42, I appreciate a child swindler:

Mom used to drop my sister and I off at the community swimming pool during summer afternoons. She gave us enough money to get in, plus maybe a little to share a treat at the snack bar.

Sis and I got tired of sharing. We already shared a room and a birthday month (so we’d have one party for the both of us, yay), and we wanted something of our own, damnit.

Sis was always petite and adorable, with wide brown eyes and chubby cheeks. She never looked her age (until she started developing boobs, and even then... but this is somewhat before puberty).

So we’d go around to the other groups of kids - friends, siblings, etc - saying “betcha a quarter you can’t guess her age”.

Before the others caught on and would spread her real age around (which was always older than they guessed), we’d acquired quite a stack of quarters. I had my own Coke, she had her Dr. Pepper, all was well with our world.

(Why do these Pissing Contests always bring memories so far back? I’m getting old.)

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Everyone can learn from Mia Thompson’s ability to cheat the system:

I graduated from college in 1980. That summer, my longtime boyfriend (now husband) and I went on one of those student tours of Europe. 29 days, 10 countries, bus full of strangers, cheap accommodations. They accepted anyone who signed up, but it was mostly students. Some traveled with one or two friends, one girl came with her mom, and there were a few couples. The tour company told us when we signed up that there were no private rooms — people would be expected to share. So on the first day, we land in Spain and get on the bus from the airport and the tour guide asks, “Are there any married couples?” A few of the other unmarried couples looked at each other, uncertain, like, should we say we’re married? But he who hesitates is lost. Unmarried BF and I immediately raised our hands. We planned for this. We were wearing wedding bands, we had concocted the whole story of our wedding day in advance. The tour guide asked us if we could produce a marriage license. We produced our contract, which said married couples would be accommodated, but made no mention of a requirement that we prove our status. Who brings a marriage license on vacation? So while everyone else spent the tour crowed in to same-sex 4-personrooms, we had a series of nice little double room where we could, you know, relax. Oh, and when we got to the Vatican, we ran into a guy we knew from high school. (Yep, HS sweethearts.) The first words out of his mouth were, “Mia, Mr. Mia ... did you guys finally get married?” After that, the tour guide came up and apologized to us for not believing us and hassling us for a license.

yog-shoggoth wasn’t really shady, and this is justice:

I kind of hustled some guys in a swimming race. I say kind of because I never actually said I wasn’t a good swimmer. I just let them make their own assumptions. Anyway, I was the only girl in my lifeguarding class, and right from the first start, the two alpha frat-bros in the group and the instructor (a mid-20s version of the same) went out of their way to establish a kind of bantering/flirting relationship with me. One of those things where everything said is a barb, and to prove that I was tough and cool and all that I had to play along and sling innuendo and lowkey insults right back.

To qualify at the time, you had to swim what I believe was 20 laps without stopping, no time limit. This is normally one of the first things done, but one of the non frat-bros was nervous and kept asking the instructor to push it back, and because he really didn’t give a shit, he did. However, Frat Bro #1 eventually scented weakness. He riled his buddy and a few of the others up to suggest that the laps now become a race, and the last-place finisher had to perform a forfeit of the winner’s choosing. The instructor said we could go for it if we all agreed. Frat Bro #1 turned and gallantly offered to let me off the hook.

At this point I was not worried at all. I was a vaguely competitive swimmer throughout childhood and high school and I had seen all these guys in the water. They moved awkwardly, and they used the steps to get out of the pool. But I didn’t want to overplay my hand, so I simpered a bit, and said I’d race so long as all the non-first place finishers had to perform the forfeit, and it couldn’t be anything gross. They clearly thought I was trying to cover my bases without losing face.

Once I had agreed to do it, none of the others could object without looking like a bitch. I beat the second place finisher by more than five minutes, taking it easy, then sent them all to jump off the highest diving platform. One of them freaked out at the top and had to climb back down.

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E=MC Hammmered was a teenage renegade:

Not sure if this counts as doing something to win, per se, but maybe the shadiest—and to this day perhaps smartest—thing I ever did involved permission slips and absence/tardy excuse notes in high school. Starting with my freshman year, any time I missed school for a dentist appointment or because I was sick or whatever, I would take the note my mom wrote me, then copy it verbatim in my own handwriting and turn in the version that I wrote. The first couple times the office front desk lady (this was a small school and there was only one person responsible for all the late/tardy slips) called home because she suspected I was forging the notes, only to probably become super confused about why my mom wrote like a lazy 14-year-old boy after my mom confirmed that she, indeed, sent me with a note that day and that I had been home sick the day before, or whatever. By the time I was a junior, I could skip school whenever I wanted because I could just write my own notes and the office front desk lady just assumed they were from my mom. The last term of my senior year I made my schedule so I only had electives after lunch and I took them all pass/fail instead of for a grade. I finally came clean to my mom when I had so many absences (it was more than two dozen absences for all of my after-lunch classes for that semester, but only a couple for my pre-lunch classes) but by then I was a week away from graduating and moving out, so I was in the clear.

Traumatize other parents with your recollections below.