Apparently, you don’t need a PhD to be considered a genius. Some dumb solutions to real-life problems are totally brilliant because, in hindsight, they appear to be obvious – not unlike our collection of the 16 dumbest solutions that actually worked.
Redditors share problem solving stories and your mind will be blown. Do you not want to pay to cancel a doctor’s appointment without proper notice? Do you your cat and dog to get along? Do you need to stop the men in your life from peeing all over the toilet seat? Never fear, these Redditors got you covered.
Read about how to fix those problems and more with these true stories about problem solving. Make your voice heard, and vote up the most brilliant life hacks in our list below.
How To Outsmart Your Doctor
"I went to cancel a doctor's appointment and they said it was a $200 charge without a week's notice. I asked how much it was to reschedule, they said it was free.
"Okay, so I need to reschedule for two weeks out."
"Is three weeks okay?"
"Alright, you're all set for three weeks from now. Anything else I can do for you?"
"Yes, I need to cancel my appointment."
"We need a week's notice."
"My appointment is three weeks away."
"Oh. Okay. Sure."
Couldn't believe it worked."
Like A Tripping Moth To The Flame
"I was working as a paramedic at a music festival when we got called to a kid tripping on acid. The guy had climbed to the top of a portable generator stadium light. So he's 20 feet in the air, on a light pole staring into this blazing midnight sun screaming ,"I'm a moth go into the flame". We had several cops, firefighters and myself standing at the base for 30 minutes discussing how to get him down without killing him or us. The entire time a crowd of people on drugs is surrounding us to see how it all plays out. Do we get a ladder truck and try to coax him down? What if he won't go. Do we [spray] mace up there? What if he falls? All of a sudden this greasy looking janitor walks up, turns off power to the generator, turns on his flashlight and aims it at the mothman. Dude looks at the flashlight on the ground, [scrambles] down and follows it to the medical rent like a puppy about to get a snack. I'm embarrassed embarrassed that none of us thought about that."
Way To MacGyver A Broken Fuel Pump
"My first vehicle was a 1985 dodge ram that had around 300k miles on it. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly reliable.
Anyway, my friend and I had tickets to go see a concert in a city that was about 3 hours away. We made it there just fine and had a blast at the concert. We couldn't afford to stay overnight so we started on the long journey home. If all went well, we would get home around 3AM.
There was one stretch of highway where there was 60 ish miles between towns. It's pretty much the worst place to break down on that journey. There were big signs warning travelers to fill up with gas before leaving town, but I had half a tank. My truck sputtered out and died almost halfway between the two towns. It sure sounded like I ran out of gas but the gauge still showed half a tank. All had not gone well.
So there we were - 1:45 AM, stuck on the side of the highway in Texas, 30 miles from the nearest towns, no moonlight, and this was before teenagers had cell phones. We were screwed. After a bit of poking around with a flashlight, we discovered that we did have fuel but the fuel pump had died. We decided to sleep in the truck and mess with it in the morning.
On those old dodge trucks, the fuel pump was inside the engine instead of in the fuel tank like a modern vehicle. It was powered by the engine instead of an electric motor. Essentially, the fuel pump would constantly pump gasoline when the engine was running and gas would always be available for the carburetor float valve. The extra pumped gas would just go back into the gas tank.
I was just drifting off to sleep when I got an idea. I worked for almost an hour in the pitch dark. I used some extra hose from an agricultural fertilizer, a drink straw, screw clamps, and duck tape to rig the windshield fluid pump to pump fuel from the fuel line into the carburetor float line.
I got in my truck, hit the windshield fluid lever, and the truck started right up. It took a bit of trial and error but I was able to get the timing down where I knew how often to hit the lever to keep the truck running.
We made it back home just after 4:30AM. My dad wasn't immediately amused with my handy work, but he told all of his friends how clever his son was so I guess it passed the dad test."
Take Two Yellow M&M'S And Call Me In The Morning
"My great grandmother was a nurse during the WWII. She was tending injured soldiers as they were returning home. She told me this story.
'The poor boys were in such great pain and they had all the pain medication they were allowed to have. It was really strong stuff and too much would kill them. We couldn't even give them aspirin most times. I got a clever idea to use a new candy. The boy's thought I was giving them pills. Time for a blue one, time for two yellows, those boys would be calm for an hour or two and sometimes rest. I was their favorite nurse because I told them I wasn't supposed to give them the E pills because they were experimental. I always had a pocket full of M&Ms.' Nurse Anne (redacted) from her diary."