THE DARWIN AWARDS - January 2008
Announcing the new, the beloved, the 2007 DARWIN AWARD WINNERS!
" Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by accidentally removing themselves from it. "
This was the year of the Squashed Darwin Award Winner. THREE independent groups of people attempted to remove the supports from beneath a barn, a water tower, and a heavy factory roof. In all cases, the structures collapsed without their aptly-named supports. Duh! This year brought us 16 jaw-droppping nominees, not counting new nominees for previous years and Near Misses (AKA Honorable Mentions) which I will cover in the next ish.
Enjoy the stories of the winners... and be glad you're not one!
RUNNER UP # FIVE: THE LAPTOP STILL WORKS (Confirmed True by Darwin)
"Driving is not a time to be practicing your multitasking skills," remarked CHP spokesman Tom Marshall, commenting on a 29-year-old computer tutor's decision to drive along Highway 99 in California while working on his laptop. He drifted over the center line, and was killed by oncoming traffic. CHP officers found Oscar's computer still running, plugged into the Honda Accord's cigarette lighter.
RUNNER UP # FOUR: SUPERIOR MOMENTUM (Confirmed True by Darwin)
June 2007, Illinois Two Valparaiso men tested their reflexes by playing "chicken" with a train. Which man could stay on the rail the longest in the path of an oncoming train? At the stroke of midnight, the contest was decided. The winner, aptly named Patrick Stiff, lost his life. The train continued on, as the conductor was unaware that it had hit anyone.
RUNNER UP # THREE: BARN DEMOLITION (Unconfirmed by Darwin)
January 2007, West Virginia) Three friends set out to dismantle a dilapidated barn one bracing winter afternoon. Speaking of bracing... One industrious man fired up his chainsaw and ripped through a crucial support post. Carrying the weight of a full barn roof, those wooden support beams were all that stood between the demolition worker and structural collapse. It was all fun and games until the roof, sans support, succumbed to the pull of gravity and flattened the man with the chainsaw. As a consolation prize, the deceased was indeed successful at demolishing the barn.
(Darwin notes, this story is unconfirmed, but no disputes have come to my attention, as usually happens with bogus stories.)
Addendum: This was the year of the Squashed Darwin Award Winner. Two other groups of people attempted to remove the supports from beneath a water tower, and a heavy factory roof. In both cases, the structure collapsed without their aptly-named supports. Duh!
RUNNER UP # TWO: MOLE HUNT (Confirmed True by Darwin)
January 2007, East Germany One man's extraordinary effort to eradicate a mole from his property resulted in a victory for the mole. The metal rods he pounded into the ground and connected to a high-voltage power line, electrified the very ground the man stood upon. He was found dead at his holiday property on the Baltic Sea. Police had to trip the main circuit breaker before venturing onto the property.
RUNNER UP # ONE: WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN (Confirmed Double Darwin Award)
June 2007, South Carolina A passing cabbie found a 21 year-old deceased couple laying naked in the road an hour before sunrise. Authorities were baffled. There were no witnesses, no trace of clothing, and no wrecked vehicles present. But investigators eventually found a clue high on the roof of a nearby building: two sets of neatly folded clothes. Safe sex takes on a whole new meaning when you are perched on the edge of a pyramid-shaped metal roof. "It appears as if [they] accidentally fell off the roof," Sgt. McCants said.
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