pink phone case on desk

9 Everyday Mysteries That Must Be Solved Immediately

There are certain mysteries of the world which are probably destined never to be solved – much to the disappointment of those of us who think about them semi-obsessively, and occasionally allow ourselves to tumble down internet rabbit holes which promise to hold the answers, and yet never, ever do.

The Dyatlov Pass incident. The fate of MH370. What really happened to that dress and top I lost years ago, and still think about from time to time. (WHERE ARE THEY, THOUGH?) I could go on.

Surprising as it may sound, however, there are other, more everyday mysteries in the world which are even MORE annoying than these, because these are mysteries which actually COULD be solved… if the people responsible would just step forward and finally put our feverish minds to rest.

Which is why I come to you today, fair readers. Are you one of the people listed below? If so, I urgently need to hear from you…

9 Everyday Mysteries of our Times

pink phone case on desk

People who carefully bag up their dog’s poop, diligently tie a knot in the bag…

… then casually toss it into the undergrowth, dump it on the footpath, or – worst of all – HANG IT ON A FREAKING TREE.


WHY? Why do you do it? Because, I mean, you got halfway there, didn’t you? Your intentions were honorable. That’s what makes it all the more incomprehensible, really. If you’d just LEFT the poop right there on the footpath that would be grim, sure, but it would at least be explicable, in that we’d be able to just write you off as the kind of asshole who lets their dog poop on public paths, and doesn’t bother to remove it.

But no. You don’t do that. You know you have to bag the poop, and you do it. You must have gone out at some point and bought the bags for that very purpose, and then remembered to put them in your pocket when you left the house that morning with the dog.

But WHERE IS THE FOLLOW-THROUGH, Weird Plastic Bag Person? WHERE? Why do half a job, like my husband, when he carries the dishes to the dishwasher, and then carefully arranges them on the top? (A WHOLE OTHER LEVEL OF UNSOLVABLE MYSTERY…) Why not go all the way, and put that bag in the bin, where it belongs? Because I know dog poop is grim – trust me, I KNOW – but at least it’s biodegradable, you know? That plastic bag you just tossed into the trees – or hung on them, like some strange kind of trophy – will be there forever.

What’s the point of the Poop Parcels, tell me? I really need to know the answer to this, even if it’s just “I’m doing it to annoy you, Amber,” or “It’s because I’m an asshole.” Speak up please: you can do it anonymously, I won’t tell…

People who put their phone onto speaker in order to have a conversation in a crowded public place.

Did you not know you can put it to your ear, and listen that way? Did no one tell you? Is it not harder to hear what the other person is saying with all the background noise? Does your caller know they’re broadcasting live to the entire first class carriage on the 10.07 to Birmingham? How do you know they’re not going to blurt out something really embarrassing, or, I don’t know, confess to a murder or something, within earshot of a dozen witnesses? These questions require answers…

People who enter an empty bus/train/cafe/gym/car park, and chose a seat/space immediately next to the only other person in the place…

… even though there are approximately 500 empty spaces you could choose instead.

Is it some kind of subconscious herding instinct? Are you trying to beat my running speed (Which would not be difficult, trust me…) or force me out of the pool? What?!

People who reply to questions on Amazon product listings like this:


What went on here, Barbara? (And people who are like Barbara; because I see this kind of thing several times a week on Amazon, leading me to suspect that this is not a Barbara-specific issue…) What went through your mind? Do you think EVERY question on the Internet is directed at you (Because wait until you hear about Quora, if so!), or just this one? Did you know you have the option of NOT answering questions on Amazon, or do you think the anonymous person who posted this is sitting there quietly fuming, thinking, “FFS, Barbara, answer me, Goddammit!”?

People who play loud music outdoors

Do you not realize everyone around you can hear it (Maybe you think there’s some kind of sound barrier that prevents the noise reaching beyond the boundaries of your garden, say?), or do you just not care? Asking for… well, me, really.

Related: People who refuse to wear earbuds, and just walk along with music blasting from their phone speakers like they’re in some weird traveling show. What’s that about? Would the music quality not be better if you just listened through earbuds, the way God intended?

That one Vinted seller who posted this single photo of their item for sale:

bad photography on Vinted: one of the everyday mysteries that drive me insane

Is it a dress? Is it a skirt? Is it superman? Who knows…

People who message Vinted sellers asking if they’ll sell the item they’ve listed at £50 for 45p.

How about “no”? Is “no” a good price for you?

People who message Vinted sellers asking if they’ll sell their £5 item for £4.99

It’s just so you can feel like you’ve got one over on them, isn’t it? Admit it.


OK, that ended up being a little more Vinted-heavy than I intended. Sorry. Can you tell I’ve been spending a lot of time over there lately? But, Vinted aside, I know there must be people out there who know the answers to these great everyday mysteries of our time; and if that person is you, please feel free to drop me a comment – anonymously if you wish – just to satisfy my burning curiosity. Especially the one about the dog poop, because I think about that every time I go for a walk, and it is eating me up inside, people…


P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I’d be forever grateful if you’d consider subscribing to the blog using the sign-up form below. I wrote about this in more detail here, but your subscription is hugely important in helping keep the site online during a very difficult time for both the industry as a whole, and for our business in particular, and it will allow you to make sure you continue receiving content from me in the event that the blog itself has to be taken offline. As a free subscriber, you’ll get each post direct to your mailbox, ad free, and without sponsorships. Paid subscribers, meanwhile, will get access to exclusive content which isn’t available on the blog, and can also use the subscriber chat to request a post or topic.

Sign up using the form below, or upgrade your subscription here:

P.S. I write a weekly diary which goes out every Friday to my subscribers. Sign up below to get on the list...

books by Amber Eve
  • Amy


    OMG what is with the tree poop!? I’d also very much like to know too. Especially as I see it in parks where I know for a fact there are at least three bins dedicated to dog waste. WTF.

    I had a piano for years that I decided to sell. I bought it for £800 and when I came to sell it, I listed it on Gumtree for £400. I got people messaging asking if they could have it for £100. I took the listing down, rewrote it and listed it again for £600. No one low balled me and I ended up selling it for that. People on second hand sites are just weird.

    May 31, 2023
  • Laura


    If you solve any of these mysteries, please let me know. They drive me mad too, especially the dog poo one.

    May 31, 2023
  • Nicole


    Can we add people who FaceTime in public to the list? Sure FaceTime has it’s benefits but I’m talking about people just having a casual conversation which could be a regular phone call. Now not only can I hear their conversation like it’s on speaker phone, but I can SEE the other person too! And isn’t it a huge waste of data?!?

    May 31, 2023
  • Agi


    Ah. I love those Amazon answers. They never cease to amuse me.
    I think the reason those answers are posted is becasuse if you have bought the item, and later someone asks a question, you get an email, which is titled: “John, can you answer this question?” (but you will have your own name instead of John). And there is a handy “answer” button within the email to make sure you actually answer. I can imagine some people think it’s indeed specifically adressed to them and only to them and feel it’s rude to left it unanswered.
    I have a tip about the doggy bags. Maybe they got distracted (by the dog or anything else, their phone maybe?) after they bagged up the bag, and then they forgot they did not perfom the last step, that is to pick up the bag. And I think the reason they are hanged on a tree is that someone finds the bag, and want to draw the attention to the people who left the poo behind, hoping next time it won’t happen.

    June 2, 2023
  • Sarah


    Barbara!!! This was a great post; one of your funniest imo.

    June 13, 2023