Cathartic: This Article Will Make You Cry No Matter What
We all know a nice efficient weep is emotionally and physiologically cleansing, because if something has become a Japanese cottage industry worthy of BBC coverage, it’s as good as peer-reviewed scientific fact.
While awaiting a response to every single request for comment submitted to the aforementioned “handsome weeping boys,” we realized our one of our own contributors was up to the task. If barely-prompted public crying jags and hair-trigger tear-ups count toward formal certification, our own Saundra Sorenson is a bona fide cryologist (or at minimum boasts a silent minor in the subject).
We asked her to curate a list of tear-jerking material so you can achieve catharsis in five minutes or less. Grab that box of tissues and you’ll be wiping up and ready to finish off your day in no time:
1. Strangers always insist on covering this young family’s meals…
…except the couple is child-free. Says an anonymous reddit user:
“My wife and I don’t have children, but no matter where we go, kind-hearted strangers insist on complimenting our parenting styles and covering our meals for three. Our itemized bills never include children’s food, but wait staff always deliver these notes with a wink and a smile.”
It happens a lot:
“I repeat: We do not have a baby. We have never had a baby, never lost a child, no miscarriages, nothing. There was some suspicion one of us may have absorbed a twin in utero, but to the best of both of our families’ knowledge, that didn’t happen either. And at this point, everyone is being brutally honest, because my wife and I refuse to dine out anymore. She finds it too traumatic. I find that getting meals comped leads to trouble at home — objects moving around our house, cabinets flying open…the barely-perceptible sound of the pitter patter of little feet in the dead of night.”
He adds: “It had been months since we so much as pulled into a Chili’s carside to-go parking spot for takeout, but we tempted fate at an IHOP during a lengthy road trip…you could see all the retirees in the place perk up when they saw us. We bailed immediately, but when we stopped for gas an hour later, my wife screamed. Someone had stuck a dusty old ‘Baby on Board!’ sticker on our back window. From the inside.”
Call it the Third Man factor, except none of this brings them any comfort. Quite the opposite.
“We thought we were rid of it, that we could body-dodge the haunting by cooking at home. We were saving a small fortune and eating better than we ever had. But one day we got an unexpected Blue Apron delivery, with a gift card included from our downstairs neighbor. It said: ‘Don’t worry about the noise, and congratulations on the new addition! I know how hard it can be to get out of the house, let alone fix a proper meal, in those first few months. I hope this will help! (The tilapia is farm-raised, so no worries about mercury if you’re breastfeeding!).’”
This redditor is no longer responding to messages.
2. This man dressed up as his dog’s favorite toy…
…and paid for it with his life.
What the man had mistaken as his dog Sandy’s fondness for a specific stuffed animal was actually the pooch’s simmering, murderous resentment: Years ago, Gumby (or someone who bore an uncanny resemblance to Gumby) killed this dog’s father in a back-alley fracas.
Attorneys would later argue that Sandy’s single-minded devotion to this particular toy was a therapeutic attempt to keep his all-encompassing rage at bay. But because Sandy is a Golden Retriever, his owner mistook it for fandom.
Faced with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for revenge, Sandy did what any one of us would do. He acted as a furry, four-legged Batman, and ultimately received a lesser sentence for it.
3. Cops around the world are stopping traffic to let the ducks cross…
…because the alternative is bloodshed.
It may seem like law enforcement is taking time to protect and serve the ones who waddle, but any cop acting as an escort to waterfowl is likely beholden to an ancient blood oath to appease elder gods. Legend has it that a forgotten battle in an unnamed village ended with an uneasy truce between humans and their shadowy immortal enemies: If the constabulary promised safe passage for the flat-footed quackers, there would be peace. But for every duck allowed to go under a wheel or be washed down a storm drain, one human life would be claimed from that jurisdiction.
Information about which jurisdictions is sparse. An ambitious crowdsourced data-collection project ultimately came to nothing, web hosting unceremoniously yanked, with all involved journalists immediately jumping ship for PR, erasing any mention of the assignment from their LinkedIns. While that could just be a reflection of the tumultuous news industry at large, ask yourself this: Is there any end to the heart-warming images of police officers stopping traffic for these adorable quacking cretins? Will those images ever stop coming?
…because they are zombie familiars.
You’ve probably heard at least one story about a grief-stricken dog who cannot accept that her owner has shuffled off this mortal coil. We like to think dogs neither understand nor accept the finality of death, and so they stand sentry over their beloved’s final resting place, awaiting a return that will never come.
That’s only half true.
Buzzkill psychologist Alexandra Horowitz has pointed out that dogs are creatures of routine, and that once their caretakers disappear, well, what the hell else do they have going on? (Even though some of these dogs have caring next of kin that are only too happy to provide a new home.)
But look closer at some of these photos. These hangdogs prefer to hang out next to piles of fresh dirt year after year, never leaving.
Fresh dirt. Year after year. Nary a blade of grass in sight. Do you see where this is going?
Dogs — those ghost-sensing, thunder-predicting, preternaturally insightful little beasts — know they have a new job. Simply put, these grief puppies are making sure the cemetery men of the world leave their undead owners well alone. At night (unseen by all but the most unfortunate of mortals) there are happy, slurred-word reunions between late-man and his best friend, then the inevitable ambling spree, and then the return to the ground.
It’s true. We’ve heard like seven different cases of this.
We don’t deserve dogs.