#1120 – Johnny

I once set a $2000 laptop down on an uneven stack of books. A half hour later I was a few rooms away when I heard it clatter to the floor. I instantly knew what it was and even though my hopes were high it was busted beyond repair. What’s your worst accidental destruction story?

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47 thoughts on “#1120 – Johnny”

  1. Lisa says:

    laptop cord tangled with vacuum cord…. landed on the usb stick & smashed the screen.

  2. MaskedMan says:


    I once knocked over a full 50% of an internatinal company’s operations for 12 hours with a software update. And they thanked me for it. Shook my hand. Invited me back for the next update. 😮

    I ran like hell… Never mind that they lied about infrastructure and wouldn’t allow preliminary testing… It was that they were so STUPID. Never wanted to work for them again.

  3. Gwidlet says:

    That made me laugh out loud. Probably the 5th-best Biff ever?

    My worst accidental destruction story?
    Well, it worked like a rube goldberg machine.

    I fell on the vaccume cleaner, broke its handle, which in turn hit a chair, which in turn broke (it’s up/down gas-thing broke, it was a computer chair) and that thing snapped my father’s glasses (they were bad glasses anyway, though). I was six at the time. In total, we had to pay about $800 to replace everything. In my defense, it’s not as bad as you breaking your laptop.

  4. Mophtran says:

    Fantastic Four week!


  5. Gwidlet says:

    Unless you count that time I ruined a museum’s exhibit. In my defense, it was a bunch of rocks in the middle of the floor and there was no sign saying they were an exhibit.

  6. arkani says:

    not me, but my fiancee – had his new laptop open at the top of a staircase as he was playing some music that he’d just got to a friend…
    the laptop slipped, played slinky & lost dramatically.

  7. i.half4 says:

    I once tipped a forklift. Typical bored teenage kid stuff. Anyway, it was their fault, right? …for leaving the keys in it when any idiot could see there was a hole big enough to crawl through in one of the doors. And we had been leaving skateboard tracks in the dust on that smooth concrete floor for, like, weeks before the spill. OK, maybe that wasn’t the worst…

  8. Dave D says:

    I was working for a company that did on-site testing of electric meters for rural coops and the like. The field crew was heading back to our current customer after a ‘home weekend’. The region had an ice / snow storm over the weekend, and as I was about 45 minutes out from the shop going down the interstate when I hit a slick patch. Did a 360 and then wiped out the van (about the size of one of the new Sprinters) onto its driver’s side in the median. $5000 repair job at the body shop. 😛 Me? Only badly shaken and barely in control of my bodily functions.

  9. I got out of my truck once and went inside the house, and somehow managed to forget to either turn off the engine or take it out of gear. It’s exciting to look out the window and see that a two ton vehicle has gone walkabout!

    I worked at Jack In The Crack Box for a while. And by “a while” I mean “two days”. It wasn’t the quarter inch of grease on every surface behind the counter, or the fact that they hired me to repair HVAC equipment and instead put me to work rootering floor drains that apparently led straight down to Satan’s cloaca, it was the new sink counter they wanted me to install in the men’s room that did it. There was no shutoff valve to the sink, only a main valve that shut off the entire building. So, when I accidentally broke off the connector on the sink cold water line, the only way to prevent the men’s room flooding everything was to shut down the entire building’s water and be forced to close for health code reasons.

    As soon as I realized what I had done, I left. I just left. I put my tools back in the truck and just drove away.

    Later they mailed me a check for $96 for two days’ work, which I think pretty well makes us even.

  10. mrmeval says:

    I had a drop of sweat fall onto a hard drive while powered on. It let the smoke out.

    The best deliberate destruction was an ice pick into a blinking VFD display on a 1990s era VCR. It still worked and all the other lights for play, record, etc worked. It was a satisfying solution to the blinking clock problem.

  11. Leigh says:

    I put my BRAND NEW WITHOUT WARRANTY laptop on top of my car to get in and forgot about it. It stayed on until I hit the freeway, then 5 pm rush hour traffic did it’s worst.

  12. Micah says:

    My girlfriend at the time and I were getting food and she got out of the car to talk on the phone and didn’t realize her car was in neutral and not in park and it started to roll backwards with me in it. Stupidly (I was a teenager…) I put my foot out…didn’t hurt myself, but smoothed the bottom of my shoe. I got out, not able to climb over the seat to hit the break and it smashed into her neighbor’s car. She didn’t blame me, but herself. (Not much I could’ve done, anyway…not on the passenger’s side, anyway.)

    We ended up spending part of the day vacuuming the popcorn chicken out of her seats and talking to her neighbor about insurance.

  13. LazerWulf says:

    Reminiscent of X-Men week.

    I predict the rest of the week’s comics will be named (in no particular order): Ben, Sue, Reed, Victor

    Possible future themes:
    Peter, Bruce, Steve, Matt, Donald
    Clark, Bruce, Dinah, Barry, Hal

  14. legion says:

    Learning my DS to fly after getting KO’d in Pokemon Platinum’s League…

  15. biggo says:

    My first recording studio. Digidesign Sound Tools for Atari (it cost two legs and a liver). Installing the card into the computer. Grab a chair, it’s oh-so-luxurious alcantara, hey, I’m a pro digital studio. Drag it through the room to the desk on the carpet. Sit. Grab the card. Zzzap.

  16. caranthir says:

    I work at my local plant making cheap microwave meals. One day, pack-out was down on my line so, one of the operators shut down her conveyor belt. She told me, “When I say, ‘Go’, hit that switch. The only switch I saw was the the big red button on a pole. Well, I pushed that button and all of the conveyors and machinery shut down, people started to yell, run and give me confused looks. It turns out, that was a master emergency stop that shuts down my whole line. We were only down for about ten seconds… a long ten seconds. I just wanted to crawl in the freezer and curl into a fetal position till we got off.

  17. Baughbe says:

    Lets see: Totaled car on black ice, but traffic stuff is way too common. There was the extremely expensive top-of-the line calculator that my friend’s black cat (named Satan) relieved himself on. But that was no accident. So I guess I’ll have to go with rolling the riding lawnmower down the side of a hill. I did manage to jump high enough not to get caught in the blades as they came around. When it finally came to rest at the bottom, up-right if you can believe it, it still ran, but the mower deck was uneven, and the hood was broken off.
    I think it’s John’s week.

  18. tappel says:

    The handle of an open SLR bag on my work table tangled up with the arm rest of my chair. Result: A brand new lens worth $500 and a filter worth another $100 smashed into pieces. Luckily the camera itself survived the drop.

  19. Sven says:

    I once put my mobile phone in the same pocket of a sports bag as my contact lense fluid. The fluid I use is a 3% hydrogen peroxide (h2o2) solution (those of you who know the properties of h2o2 can probably see where this is going…)

    The bottle wasn’t closed properly and leaked, leading to the corrossion of every single piece of metal in the phone. When they opened it up in the store it was just a mess of green dust (corroded copper). Even the SIM-card was damaged so badly that there was no way to recover my phone book entries.

    Needless to say, I needed a new phone.

  20. Andy says:

    I work for a phone co. The other day I was working on an install and needed to go up a pole. I was carrying my ladder down the hillside into the ravine in the back yard of the customer’s house and my foot slipped. I had my multi-thousand dollar test set hooked to my belt and guess what got caught between my but and one of the only rocks on the hill. Yep, the LCD screen of the test set….that delayed things a bit.

  21. Torri says:

    This was about 25 years ago now, but still lives in my memory…

    As a student in computer tech back in the 80’s I was given a choice two weeks at IBM for job training. I was proud of my own mismatched tools that I had in my own old briefcase, but was told that I had to use the shops equipment as they were proper and “better”.

    One of my first days, I had to solder in a new connector on something, and remembering my instructions plugged in the shops soldering iron… It had an internal short… The lights went out and everyone was in a panic. Even after the breakers were reset it was a quiet day… It wasn’t until Toronto called to complain that anyone realized the data link in the building was still down! Imagine that, I obey instructions and I wipe out data communications for the east coast operations of IBM(Canada).

    Needless to say after that I used my own tools in my own briefcase, and no one objected for the rest of my job training.

  22. soilent says:

    had to access the rear of my desktop pc and had something expensive plugged into the front usb – CRUNCH – kufc!

  23. soilent says:

    also: problems with super powers week?

  24. the doctor derek says:

    when i was in grade school I did this summer program at a high school, they basically wanted us to go there for high school so we took some minor classes there. Anyway one of the classes was robotics, so we got these little lego robots that we had to program. i programmed mine to play funky town while also driving around, and every time it would see a black line, it would do a 180 and go the other way. so we had this mat that had a race-track layout on it with a black line, so we placed it in the middle, mat on the table, the robot comes over by me, sees the line, starts to loop, and immediately fell off the table and shattered into a bunch of pieces. I freaked out thinking it was something expensive, but the moderator responded calmly with “dude…it’s made of legos. relax”

  25. beccity98 says:

    I took my ipod in the ocean. Burnt out the battery, which my hubs replaced, but while figuring out the innards, he broke the motherboard, which he replaced. While removing the videoscreen to replace said motherboard, he damaged it so the screen displayed everything in a greenish tinge. He switched out my screen for his, since I watch videos & he doesn’t.

    In my defense, I was at the beach by myself, the ipod was my wedding present, I had it in a ziploc baggie, in one of those waterproof containers you sling around your neck, and I had done this at least 2 times before. How was I to know the waterproof thingy would pop open?

  26. Sven says:

    Another story for you: a couple of years ago I was getting the laundry from the machine when suddenly, I hear something heavy drop from the thing I just picked up.

    I looked down and found my Dell Axim X51v Pocket PC had been in the washing machine for the entire cycle!

    I put it in a bag of uncooked rice (which absorbs the moisture), and after it dried out, it was perfectly fine. Even the battery had survived! It did reduce the batteries durability a bit, and the secondary battery died (so if the primary runs out, it looses some data), but I was amazed it still worked. I still use it occasionally nowadays. 🙂

  27. ladyamethyst83 says:

    I washed my fiancee’s cell phone in the wash. Even though I ASKED him if he had his cell phone and he said yes. It still worked but the screen didn’t. Now I check every one of his pants pockets.

  28. Cari says:

    In a fit of rage, I was kicking things in the entrance of my condo. Including the clear lower panel of my security door/gate. I thought it was plexiglas. It wasn’t. On the bright side, the giant pile of tempered glass shards was very pretty twinkling in the sunlight…

  29. MrMutt says:

    probably not the worst. I was working on my laptop up in my room. My dog came in with a toy. He was a 100 pound dog then (bigger now) and wanted me to through his toy. I obliged and turned back to my laptop. As I laid eyes on my laptop, it went flying across the room and crashed into the floor with an amazing amount of sound.

    My dog’s foot had caught in the power cable that I had strung haphazardly across the floor. The good thing about this is that the laptop had an electronic writing pad attached to it that had stopped working for some reason (probably when I dropped it at the airport one time). It worked like a champ AFTER the crash. So I guess that wasn’t exactly the same as what you had.

  30. Rasheed says:

    The one I remember the most is when I was 8 or 9 on Christmas, I got a woodworking kit with some kid-sized-but-functional tools. I was carrying a tiny hammer and decided to toss it onto my bed from the hallway as I walked by. Of course I thew too hard and the thing tomahawked into the window ABOVE my bed and shattered it!

  31. Maniacal Ninja says:

    My iPod touch. It was less than a week old. I set it above the toilet on a shelf to make sure it didn’t fall in. Anyways after flushing, I reach for it and it slips from my hand. I try to catch but but miss, redirecting it right over the bowl ( it would have hit the rim and bounced away more or less safely. It fell in, it floated for a second then sunk in the style of the titanic. I had to get a new one.

  32. Sycal says:

    So I remember one time when I was at least 13, got a brand new laptop. A few months later, my little brother threw a rage fit and was carrying a golf club. So I tried to calm him down, he raged at me even more, and swung it at me. And I had a cast on my arm at the time, but I was stupid to use my computer as a shield. You can figure out the rest, though this is the same computer I’m using, just plugged into a monitor to see the screen. Thank goodness it still works, even the screen is totaled, the CD-input is busted, and it’s not accepting passwords for downloads. Now I have a new computer to replace it, but with my pack-rat instincts, I kept both computers and now I feel like the luckiest guy in the world, having a busted laptop that still works.

  33. ZeoViolet says:

    Sycal: That could have landed your brother in juvie prison swinging at you with a golf club…and you already with a cast on.

  34. Jangalian says:

    My parents enjoy antique shopping. Yes, we can all see where this will go. Anyways, they had bought a beautiful baroque set of a loveseat, a foot stool, and a pair of chairs, all of which were made of this buttery soft leather and very gorgeously carved mahogany base. Delicious.

    They packed the furniture oh-so-carefully into a large box truck to use in their new home, and wrapped everything with blankets and tape to keep it safe over the winter.

    They also have a small ATV called a Gator that’s pretty strong. I was using said ATV to back into the box vehicle to drop off a load of packed boxes when my foot slipped off the brake and onto the gas, which I floored. Guess what was behind m. KEEERRUNCHPOP CRACK!

    I didn’t check the furniture. I had the sickest feeling it was ruined beyond repair. I pulled forward, unloaded the boxes, parked the ATV and went home without a word. In the spring when all the stuff was unloaded and the furniture was unwrapped, it was definetely found to be “baroque”. I blamed it on how they were packed, and never told a soul.

  35. Three of Nineteen says:

    I had rats climb into my truck’s engine compartment. They chewed on wires and stuff – and I had no idea till one day, on my way to work, I stopped at the post office, turned back around, and smoke was coming from under my hood. 🙁

  36. lets play nothing says:

    riding with my mom, on the way home from school. she handed me a mini candy bar, hit a patch of ice, swerved out of control, hit a mailbox and left a huge ditch in a strangers yard. so we had to spend an hour in the Michigan snow, waiting for a tow truck. cost about $6,000 to fix the car, pay for the two truck, and get me the stupid candy in the first place!

  37. Jenny says:

    I once plugged in my dad’s ridiculously expensive electric typewriter without the power adapter onto our house’s electric main. I was in love with the thing and would love to type nonsense in it (though I wasn’t allowed to), and didn’t notice that the big black thing between it and the plug was meant to prevent the appearence of the mysterious blue smoke and total death of the thing.

    Luckily for me, my dad had just bought his first computer and didn’t even notice his typewriter didn’t work for months, since he had quickly fallen in love with copy & paste and the ability to delete as many times as he wanted. In killing it, I actually deprived myself of a wonderful toy, since he would have agreed to give me the thing for me to play, now that he didn’t need it anymore. *sighs*

  38. YukiYukimura says:

    DS dropped off bunk bed, hit step, top screen came off at one side.
    (*…then again, it DID break eventually, when it fell off a second time. luckily, my sister got bored of hers, gave it to me and got an ipod instead.
    …who needs an ipod when you can get an R4 to play music on?*)

  39. Redmage says:

    I had a laptop with a wireless card that would cut out after ten minutes for inexplicable reasons. The last straw came when I wrote a quick email, went to send it, and found that I wasn’t connected to the internet. I smacked my computer with the palm of my hand (okay, “hit” might be more appropriate)…my computer immediately seemed a little confused. When I tried to restart it, it couldn’t find any hard drives. Yeah, it turns out the hard drive was right under the area that I’d smacked.

    It was time for a new computer, anyway.

  40. Blackgoat says:

    Years ago I was working for my setpdad doing landscaping (fancy word for ‘mowing lawns’). And while I’ve busted a few sprinkler heads, the best accidental destruction was when we were at a church we maintained and my setpdad/ boss got out to check a sprinkler clock or something and left the truck running with me in it. While i was reading a paper or something it felt like the truck was moving, i looked up over the paper and sure enough…
    My stepdad had forgoten to set the parking brake and the truck was rolling forward slowly, toward one of the church buildings.

    Not being the most experienced driver (and in the passenger seat) i jumped over and instead of hitting the brake, i slammed on the gas, sending a truck with trailer all in all weighing about 3 tons into the corner of a church. Luckily no one was inside, but totally sent a solid core door off it’s hinges and come decent structural damage.

    I almost lost it when my stepdad came running back to see what the noise was, and I just said “the parking break was off and ‘boom'”.

    I don’t know how much it cost to repair the damage but i didn’t have to. Yes, I will be going to hell

  41. Azkyroth says:

    Hmm. I set a laptop in a perfectly secure position on the dashboard of a locomotive my company was doing emission testing on; it vibrated off at Notch 8 and broke the screen (only, thankfully). This was less than a month ago. I lost a hard drive in the same laptop in May 2007 when I was already upset, my daughter was throwing a nuclear tantrum, and I got a static shock while handling it – “GODDAMNIT IT” *thump*. The most absurd one was with a different laptop sitting on a work bench at the office – I was trying to reposition the ethernet cord out of the way, there was plenty of slack in the cord, I tugged on it, and instead of the coil moving, the laptop *flew* off the bench and landed directly on the USB flash drive hanging out of it. Finally, I totalled a 97 Saturn SL2 in 2005, when I went into a curve too fast, braked hard, and didn’t realize the brakes had *locked* due to believing the car was equipped with anti-lock brakes. I had originally thought my driving school textbook had given me the impression they were standard by the 90s, but I may have simply made the entirely rational assumption that once the technology existed it would be applied universally.

  42. Evan says:

    My worst one was…

    …last week, in fact. I was going upstairs to my room with my laptop, charger, and oversized paper pad, when the charger started to drop. Quickly moving, I grabbed the charger. Unfortunately, due to the slippery shirt I had been wearing, the laptop slipped and fell. Were this ANYWHERE ELSE, it would have been fine. Needless to say, it bounced down the stairs and took one giant leap before landing sideways, screen open. Now there are many dead pixels and cracks, and I need to get it sent away to be fixed.

  43. Brett says:

    my worst one would be i got new throwing knives one bounced back and hit me in the hand 5 stitches thank what ever is up there for insurance companys

  44. Radical Edward says:

    I remember my mother breaking my headset. Never was the same after my mother ran it over with a vacuum.

  45. Peter says:

    I got a ceramic travel mug for my birthday, not a week later I used it to drink tea on the way to Karate, when I got hom, I dropped my duffel bag on the ground. I heard the sound of breaking china and intstantly knew what had happend; I had put the mug in one of the side pockets, and it being in the same pockt aas my partially full water bottle, it was on the heavy side of the bag, the bag fell to the floor, and my water bottle crushed the mug.

  46. Tomson says:

    The end of the cable for my external harddisk looked exactly like the end of the cable for the printer. But the voltage was different. Very different.. :’-(

  47. Marscaleb says:

    I had a large and high-quality Trinitron monitor. I was moving my computer around and so I set it on my bed.
    It sat there just fine for a minute or two but then suddenly teetered over and feel a foot and half.
    I was so upset I lost it; to this day it was the best monitor I ever had.

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