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Sorry you cut off your hand

July 16th, 2013 · 37 comments

Lorna in Adelaide, Australia found this classified ad in the city newspaper a while back. “It still makes absolutely no sense to me,” she says, “but I enjoy the passive-aggressive undertones. (‘You insulted me after I did you a favour!’)”

APOLOGY - Barbra - It is sixteen years since I last saw you. I was a volunteer and you insulted me after I had cleaned your basin, you were speaking of your mother and I thought how lucky you were but I did not intend for you to cut your hand off, why on earth did you? I can't give you a new hand, but I can say how sorry I am. I had stress too. Maura

related: What kind of MULE is it that goes to a Gypsy fortune teller?

FILED UNDER: Australia · most popular notes of 2013 · newspaper · WTF?

37 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Red Delicious

    W… T… F…

    Jul 16, 2013 at 5:31 pm   rating: 66  small thumbs up

  • #2   havingfitz

    I love this. “Oh sure, you cut off your hand! Well, I didn’t have it easy either, you know! But sure, Barbra, make it ALL about you. I broke a nail cleaning that basin! Do you know how much that hurt???”

    Jul 16, 2013 at 5:51 pm   rating: 55  small thumbs up

  • #3   H for Toy

    When someone says “I’d give my right hand to have a mother-daughter relationship like that,” they don’t usually mean it literally.

    Jul 16, 2013 at 5:51 pm   rating: 25  small thumbs up

  • #4   Clevegal42

    That isn’t an apology. It’s code. If you are looking for cheap pot, Maura will be in the bathroom fixture section of the Home Depot at 4:00PM to make a deal with you.

    Jul 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm   rating: 93  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   zephyr

      *Spock voice* Fascinating. Would you care to elaborate on the translation of this cipher? Merely for scientific purposes, you understand. Trying to learn this code in order to “score some weed” would be most illogical.

      Jul 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   Jane

      I want to believe that Clevegal. It’d make more sense.

      Jul 16, 2013 at 11:38 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

  • #5   Poltergeist

    I’m really, really sorry I caused you to accidentally amputate your own hand…you dumb bitch.

    Jul 16, 2013 at 6:14 pm   rating: 38  small thumbs up

  • #6   Madrias

    Scary thing is, if I lost a hand, I’d be busy trying to create some cybernetic monstrosity to attach in its place.

    Jul 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   kermit

      Er, shouldn’t creating a cybernetic monstrosity be done before amputating what we can assume to be an otherwise perfectly good hand?

      And is it just me, or is the term “losing” misplaced in this situation? She didn’t lose a hand per se; she deliberately got rid of it.

      Jul 17, 2013 at 5:47 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   The Elf

      Kermit, you’re missing the “mad” part of being a mad scientist. (boo!)

      Jul 17, 2013 at 6:15 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   kermit

      True, but if you can create a cybernetic monstrosity with only one hand, do you really need two hands?

      Actually on second thought, yes you do need a second hand. With two middle fingers.

      Jul 17, 2013 at 10:19 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #6.4   Nomnom

      If you had two middle fingers then you would have an even number of fingers and therefore not have a middle finger.

      Jul 17, 2013 at 11:07 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #6.5   Madrias

      T’Elf, I’m glad you’re one of the few who’s adapted to calling me Mad (all my net friends do).

      As for creating a cybernetic hand one-handed, yeah, you do need that second hand. How else am I supposed to… Oh. I can type by plugging in on USB. Direct hardware interface. But there’s certainly some reason to need it. I just can’t remember it yet.

      Jul 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #7   Barbra


    I cut off my hand to get away from you. Hands down the best 16 years of my life.


    Jul 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm   rating: 35  small thumbs up

  • #8   Bryce

    It looks like Barbra is going to be all right.

    Jul 16, 2013 at 9:53 pm   rating: 21  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   H for Toy

      I remember a friend telling that joke to her mom, and her mom was horrified. “Honey! If someone gets their left side amputated, they wouldn’t be alright! That’s the side the heart is on. They’d be dead!”

      Jul 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   Fayth

      I… what?

      Jul 16, 2013 at 11:30 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #9   shwo! bang

    Worst MadLib Ever.

    Jul 17, 2013 at 12:26 am   rating: 35  small thumbs up

  • #10   johnlmalone

    reminds me of the fake ad filler which became the premise of the feature film ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’

    Jul 17, 2013 at 4:55 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #11   The Elf

    You find the most delicious word salad in the classifieds. The only thing that’s better is the personals in your local “alternative” paper.

    Jul 17, 2013 at 6:12 am   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   redheadwglasses

      The “M4m” personals are the cream of the crop. Pun intended.

      Jul 17, 2013 at 12:11 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #12   spacenomyous bang

    (Maura to Barbara in past) – i’d cut off my right hand to have a mother like yours.

    OMG, I was kidding!!!

    now i have to clean the basin again.

    Jul 17, 2013 at 7:40 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

  • #13   Maitri

    My guess is that Maura was a volunteer at a hospital (candy striper, etc) and Barbra was in the emergency room and had just puked or spewed some other bodily fluid into a basin, and she insulted Maura who cleaned it for her. Maura felt sorry for Barbra who had lost a hand in a devilish accident of some sort, but she did not handle being insulted well at the time, so she must have been a snot back, and now she’s sorry. Maybe?

    Jul 17, 2013 at 8:17 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   spacenomyous bang

      … “but I did not intend for you to cut your hand off, why on earth did you?”

      would imply that Maura instigated something somehow that compelled Barbara to cut off her hand on purpose.

      Jul 17, 2013 at 8:24 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   Nomnom

      I read that as a “devilfish” accident.

      Jul 17, 2013 at 11:09 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #13.3   Iwill FindU

      I’m kinda questioning the mental wellness of Barbara. I mean outside of life or death what compels a person to cut off their own hand? I don’t care how mean someone was I’m not ever going to cut off my hand.

      Jul 17, 2013 at 11:11 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #13.4   susannie

      I’m guessing she was working at a mental hospital, and the lady did some serious self harming after an argument.

      Ih…not so funny this one.

      Jul 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #14   Ely North

    If Maura was REALLY sorry, she would cut off one of her hands and give it to Barbra. Not that it could be medically reattached as a replacement, but just as a token of her deep apologetic feelings.

    Jul 17, 2013 at 8:45 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   spacenomyous bang

      would that get mailed to the paper? because she probably doesn’t know Barb’s address since this is in the paper.

      i could see the paper staff now, “what’s in the box? what’s in the f*in box?!”

      Jul 17, 2013 at 9:02 am   rating: 24  small thumbs up

  • #15   Christine

    I think Maura was engaged in the dark arts and cast a spell on poor Barbra that she really didn’t believe would work. Thus it is Barbra’s fault (“Why did you?”) because Maura did not INTEND for her to actually cut it OFF, maybe just slap herself around a little bit.

    Jul 17, 2013 at 10:13 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

  • #16   Jami

    Maybe Maura is really a human manifestation of the Necronomicon? And she was trying to swallow Barbara’s soul but caused her to cut off her hand and replace it with a chainsaw instead?

    Or I just love Evil Dead and Bruce Campbell too much.

    More likely Barbara is a figment of Maura’s ill mind. One time at work this woman brought some art books up and then suddenly said, “I’ll be right back” and went up to a random woman and said, “I know what you did to Betty!” The woman kept saying she didn’t know any Betty and finally crazy woman said, “Whatever, I know what you did to Betty.” Then came back to me and tried to walk out without checking out the books. I told her I needed to check them out first and she put them down and kept motioning to them and saying “I’ll be back in a half hour. I’ll be back for them in a half hour.” She did that ten times before leaving.

    She never came back.

    And I never did find out what happened to Betty.

    Jul 17, 2013 at 11:33 am   rating: 19  small thumbs up

  • #17   Alison

    Hallmark didn’t have anything suitable?

    Jul 17, 2013 at 11:33 am   rating: 32  small thumbs up

  • #18   redheadwglasses

    I think ads such as this could replace deathbed confessions.

    Jul 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   Lil'

      There would be some unlucky guy who sent his to print the day before he found out his terminal diagnosis was a mistake. In his case, he’d probably end up dead anyway when his wife got a look at the morning paper.

      Jul 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #19   Hillary

    Here’s my shot in the dark for an explanation…
    Maura was a volunteer at a hospital and had a conversation with Barbra whilst cleaning a wash basin, where Barbra discussed her mother and insulted Maura. Perhaps Maura said something along the lines that she was jealous of Barbra’s financial ties to the mother, maybe who paid for the medical bills. Maura says “Well my mother never helped me out.” And Barbra said “I didn’t ask for my mother’s help!” Perhaps the hand was a polite way of Maura saying that she learned through the grapevine that Barbra cut financial or supportive ties (i.e. cut her *helping* hand off) from her mother. Perhaps she felt guilty for not understanding the relationship between the daughter and mother, and that for medical or psychological reasons it was a very bad thing that she decided to cut support from her mother.

    Now I sound loony for drawing out specifics. It’s fun to think about though :) I think the “hand” was a reference to something else.

    Jul 17, 2013 at 12:30 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #20   KittenPlaysTheViolin

    Gotta “hand” it to Barbra. It takes balls to cut off your own hand. Big ones.

    Jul 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

  • #21   e

    At first I thought it was a Biblical allusion: “And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.”

    Aug 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up


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