Yes, it is the 1999 Darwin Awards. For those sheltered few of
you who are not fully aware of the Darwin Awards; these awards
are given annually (and posthumously) to those individuals who
did the most for the human gene pool by removing themselves
GRAVITY KILLS A 22-year-old Reston man was found dead
yesterday after he tried to use'occy' straps (the stretchy little
ropes with hooks on each end) to bungee jump off a 70-foot
railroad trestle, police said. Fairfax County police said Eric A.
Barcia, a fast-food worker, taped a bunch of these straps
together, wrapped an end around one foot anchored the other
end to the trestle at Lake Accotink Park, jumped... and hit the
pavement. Warren Carmichael, a police spokesman, said
investigators think Barcia was alone because his car was found
nearby. "The length of the cord that he had assembled was
greater than the distance between the trestle and the ground,"
Carmichael said. Police say the apparent cause of death was
"major trauma." An autopsy is scheduled for later in the week.
LAUNCHED ON THE FOURTH OF JULY Three young men in
Oklahoma were enjoying the upcoming Fourth of July holiday
and wanted to apparently test fire some fireworks. Their only real
problem was that their launch pad and seating arrangements
were atop a several hundred thousand gallon fuel distillation
storage tank. Oddly enough, some fumes were ignited,
producing a fireball seen for miles. They were launched several
hundred feet into the air and were found dead 250 yards from
their respective seats.
DON'T ASK GOD TO PROVE HIMSELF, HE JUST MIGHT A
lawyer and two buddies were fishing on Caddo Lake in Texas
when a lightning storm hit the lake. Most of the other boats
immediately headed for the shore, but not our friend the lawyer.
On the rear of his aluminum bass boat with his buddies, this
individual stood up, spread his arms wide (crucifixion style) and
shouted: "HERE I AM LORD, LET ME HAVE IT!" Needless to
say, God delivered. The other two passengers on the boat
survived the lightning strike with minor bums.
CATCH A man in Alabama died from rattlesnake bites. Big deal
you may say, but there's a twist here that makes him a
candidate. It seems he and a friend were playing catch with a
rattlesnake. You can guess what happened from here. The friend
(a future Darwin Awards candidate) was hospitalized.
THEY SAY THOSE THINGS WILL KILL YOU Not much was
given to me on this unlucky fellow, but he qualifies nonetheless.
You see, there was a gentleman from Korea who was killed by
his cell phone... more or less. He was doing the usual "walking
and talking" when he walked into a tree and managed to
somehow break his neck. Keep that in mind the next time you
decide to drive and dial at the same time.
GIMME A LIGHT In a west Texas town, employees in a medium-
sized warehouse noticed the smell of gas. Sensibly,
management evacuated the building, extinguishing all potential
sources of ignition-lights, power, etc. After the building had been
evacuated, two technicians from the gas company were
dispatched. Upon entering the building, they found they had
difficulty navigating in the dark. To their frustration, none of the
lights worked. Witnesses later described the vision of one of the
technicians reaching nto his pocket and retrieving an object that
resembled a lighter. Upon operation of the lighter-like object, the
gas in the warehouse exploded, sending pieces of it up to three
miles away. Nothing was found of the technicians, but the lighter
was virtually untouched by the explosion. The technician that
was suspected of causing the explosion had never been thought
of as "bright" by his peers.
RUNNER UP . . . A Vermont native, Ronald Demuth, found
himself in a difficult position yesterday. While touring the Eagle's
Rock African Safari (Zoo) with a group of thespians from St.
Petersburg, Russia, Mr. Demuth went overboard to show them
one of America's many marvels. He demonstrated the
effectiveness of "Crazy Glue"... the hard way. Apparently, Mr.
Demuth wanted to demonstrate just how good the adhesive was,
so he put about 3 ounces of the adhesive in the palms of his
hands, and jokingly placed them on the buttocks of a passing
rhino. The rhino, a resident of the zoo for the past thirteen years,
was not initially startled as it has been part of the petting exhibit
since its arrival as a baby. However, once it became aware of its
being involuntarily stuck to Mr. Demuth, it began to panic and ran
around the petting area wildly making Mr. Demuth an unintended
"Sally [the rhino] hasn't been feeling well lately. She had been
very constipated. We had just given her a laxative and some
depressants to relax her bowels, when Mr.Demuth played his
juvenile prank," said James Douglass, caretaker. During Sally's
tirade two fences were destroyed, a shed wall was gored, and a
number of small animals escaped. Also, during the stampede,
three pygmy goats and one duck were stomped to death. As for
Demuth, it took a team of medics and zoo caretakers' to remove
his hands from her buttocks. First, the animal had to be captured
and calmed down. However, during this process the laxatives
began to take hold and Mr. Demuth was repeatedly showered
with over 30 gallons of rhino diarrhea.
"It was tricky. We had to calm her down, while at the same time
shield our faces from being pelted with rhino dung. I guess you
could say that Mr. Demuth was into it up to his neck. Once she
was under control, we had three people with shovels working to
keep an air passage open for Mr. Demuth. We were able to
tranquilize her and apply a solvent to remove his hands from her
rear," said Douglass. "I don't think he'll be playing with Crazy
Glue for a while." Meanwhile, the Russians, while obviously
amused, also were impressed with the power of the adhesive.
"I'm going to buy some for my children, but of course they can't
take it to the zoo," commented Vladimir Zolnikov, leader of the
CLEANER POLISHES OFF PATIENTS (Second Runner-Up)
"For several months, our nurses have been baffled to find a
patient dead in the same bed every Friday morning" a
spokeswoman for the Pelonomi Hospital (Free State, South
Africa) told reporters. "There was no apparent cause for any of
the deaths, and extensive checks on the air conditioning system,
and a search for possible bacterial infection, failed to reveal any
clues." "However, further inquiries have now revealed the cause
of these deaths...
"It seems that every Friday morning a cleaning lady would enter
the ward, remove the plug that powered the patient's life support
system, plug her floor polisher into the vacant socket, then go
about her business. When she had finished her chores, she
would plug the life support machine back in and leave, unaware
that the patient was now dead. She could not, after all, hear the
death rattle and eventual the solid beep over the whirring of her
"We are sorry, and have sent a strong letter to the cleaner in
question. Further, the Free State Health and Welfare Department
is arranging for an electrician to fit an extra socket, so there
should be no repetition of this incident. The inquiry is now
closed." (Cape Times).
This year's winner is ..... True Story From Michigan, USA.
(Nothing this absurd could be fiction!) Guy buys a brand new
Grand Cherokee for $30,000+, & has $400.00+ in monthly
payments. He's pretty proud of this rig, & gets a hold of his friend
to do some male bonding with the new ride. They go duck
hunting & of course all the lakes are frozen. These two Atomic
Brains go to the lake with their guns, the dog, the beer & of
course the new vehicle. They drive out onto the ice.
Now, they want to make some kind of a natural landing area to
attract ducks-something the decoys will float on. Remember it's
all ice, & in order to make a hole large enough to interest a flock
of ducks-a hole big enough to entice ducks to land-they needed
to use a little more than an ice fishing hole drill. Sooooo, out of
the back of the brand-new Jeep Grand Cherokee comes a stick
of dynamite with a short 40-second fuse. To their credit, these
two rocket scientists DID take into consideration that if they
placed the stick of dynamite on the ice at a location far from
where they (& the new Grand Cherokee) would be waiting & ran
back quickly, they would risk slipping on the ice as they ran from
the imminent explosion & could possibly go up in smoke with the
After a little deliberation, they come up with a brilliant idea -- &
THROWING the dynamite, which is what they end up doing.
Remember a couple of paragraphs back, I mentioned the
vehicle, the beer, the guns &THE DOG ???? Yes, the dog. The
driver's pet Black Lab (used for retrieving-especially things
thrown by the owner). You guessed it, the dog takes off at a high
rate of doggy speed on the ice, reaching the stick of dynamite
with the burning 40 second fuse about the time it hits the ice - all
to the woe of the two idiots which are now yelling, stomping feet,
waving arms & wondering what the heck to do now. The dog is
happy & now heads back toward the "hunters" with the stick of
I think we all can picture the ever-increasing concern on the part
of the brain trust, as the loyal Labrador Retriever approaches.
The Bozos now are REALLY waving their arms-yelling even
louder & generally feeling kinda panicked. Now finally one of the
guys decides to think - something that neither had done before
this moment, grabs a shotgun & shoots the dog. This sounds
better than it really is, because the shotgun was loaded with #8
duck shot & hardly effective enough to stop a Black Lab. The
dog DID stop for a moment, slightly confused, but then continued
on. Another shot, & this time the dog-still standing, became
REALLY confused & of course scared. Thinking that these two
Nobel Prize Winners have gone TOTALLY insane, the pooch
takes off to find cover with a now extremely short fuse still
burning on the stick of dynamite. The cover the dogs finds?
Underneath the brand new Grand Cherokee worth 30-some
thousand dollars - the $400.00+ monthly payment vehicle that is
sitting nearby on the lake ice.
Dog dies, what's left of the vehicle sinks to bottom of lake, &
these two "Co- Leaders of the Known Universe" are left standing
there with this "I can't believe this happened to me" look on their
faces. Later, the owner of the vehicle calls his insurance
company & is promptly informed that sinking a vehicle in a lake
by illegal use of explosives is NOT covered on his policy. He had
yet to make his first car payment.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, And
through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk
through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn
you. Isaiah 43:2