What is something you know about your parents that you shouldn’t know?

I stumbled across my parents' sex tape while on holiday with them when I was 14. They used to let me film sometimes as we walked around sightseeing, and that evening when they went out for dinner, I, a bored, precocious auteur, was reviewing my day's work. Important context: this was the 90s, there was nothing else to do and we were using a camcorder with a tape in it because nothing good had been invented yet (but also everything was better as a result).

These limitations meant you had to watch the footage through the same viewfinder you filmed through, so the "screen" was about 1 inch square and black and white with no sound. I rewound the tape to the beginning and hit play, only to see - instead of an exquisite panning shot of an Italian village - our living room, but with nobody in it.

I watched for too long because at first nothing was happening. Then it began and I couldn't process it. Then I disassociated it as being them and became weirdly intrigued, for about a minute.

Then the battery ran out.

They'd been out for two hours already and would soon be home. This piece of shit camera took all night to fully charge.

I had two choices.

First choice: try charging it enough now such that I can get the tape back to the beginning and then, whoever films, the tape will be overwritten tomorrow. Risk 1: my dad might try to watch back what I've filmed tomorrow before I get hold of the camera (he often did this) and realise what's happened - because he must have known what he was overwriting and even if he's somehow forgotten, if he tries to watch it back, he'll soon be reminded when he hits play. Risk 2: they come home before I've managed to rewind the tape, my dad asks what I'm doing and I have no coherent answer because I just spent several minutes watching him do things to my mother that I would not have thought she could endure.

Second choice: allow it to charge fully overnight and then somehow ensure I was the designated cameraman for tomorrow such that I could sort this mess out. Risk 1: I had little to no control over this outcome. He could easily have taken it off me and started filming from wherever the tape was up to. And I knew that meant that when we got home and he made us all sit down and watch our inane holiday video together - which he always, always did, usually with friends, neighbours etc round - they'd all be treated to the full screen, volume-up, technicolour version of my dad going down on my mum on the very couch our neighbours would be sitting on.

The second choice was bad. It had to be the fallback.

So I panic-charged that bastard camcorder over and over again in tiny increments - charge, rewind, die, charge, rewind die, charge, rewind, die. I was sweating like a...like... like a 14 year old boy who's trying not to let his parents find out he's seen his mum struggle to take his dad's whole dick in her mouth while his dad was, at the same time, using the camcorder's remote control to get it to zoom in on the uphill blowjob he was getting. I was straining with the power of a thousand miserable ears to listen for the sound of the car outside, trying desperately to also erase the memory of my mum briefly looking directly into the camera with a distant look of locked-in syndrome while my dad's head wobbled back and forth as it seemingly burrowed into her, endlessly.

I got the tape back to the beginning. They came home about 15 minutes after. They never realised we'd lost a day's footage. I'm in therapy now.

/r/AskReddit Thread