Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 Darwin Awards: do you laugh or cry?

2008 Darwin Awards

You've been waiting for them with baited breath, so without further
ado, here are the 2008 Darwin awards.

Eighth Place

In Detroit , a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of
water after squeezing head first through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to
retrieve his car keys.

Seventh Place

A 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who 'totally zoned when he
ran,' accidentally, jogged off a 100-foot high cliff on his daily run.

Sixth Place

While at the beach, Daniel Jones, 21, dug an 8 foot hole for protection
from the wind and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom, when
it collapsed, burying him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach
used their hands and shovels trying to get him out but could not reach
him. It took rescue workers using heavy equipment almost an hour to
free him. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Fifth Place

Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed as he fell through the ceiling of a
bicycle shop he was burglarizing. Death was caused when the long
flashlight he had placed in his mouth to keep his hands free rammed
into the base of his skull as he hit the floor.

Fourth Place

Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed as he won a bet with friends
who said he would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into his
mouth and pull the trigger.

Third Place

After stepping around a marked police patrol car parked at the front
door, a man walked into H&J Leather & Firearms intent on robbing the
store. The shop was full of customers and a uniformed officer was
standing at the counter. Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber
announced a hold-up and fired a few wild shots from a target pistol.
The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, and several customers
also drew their guns and fired. The robber was pronounced dead at the
scene by Paramedics. Crime scene investigators located 47 expended
cartridge cases in the shop.
The subsequent autopsy revealed 23 gunshot wounds. Ballistics
identified rounds from 7 different weapons. No one else was hurt.


Paul Stiller, 47, and his wife Bonnie were bored just driving around at
2:00 A.M. so they lit a quarter stick of dynamite to toss out the
window to see what would happen. Apparently they failed to notice the
window was closed.


Kerry Bingham had been drinking with several friends when one of them
said they knew a person who had bungee-jumped from a local bridge in
the middle of traffic. The conversation grew more heated and at least
10 men trooped along the walkway of the bridge at 4:30 AM. Upon arrival
at the midpoint of the bridge they discovered that no one had brought a
bungee rope's; Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered and
pointed out that a coil of lineman's cable, lay near by. They secured
one end around Bingham's leg and then tied the other to the bridge. His
fall lasted 40 feet before the cable tightened and tore his foot off at
the ankle.

He miraculously survived his fall into the icy water and was rescued by
two nearby fishermen. Bingham's foot was never located.


Zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt fed his constipated elephant 22 doses of
animal laxative and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes
before the plugged-up pachyderm finally got relief. Investigators say
ill-fated Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the ailing elephant an
olive oil enema when the relieved beast unloaded. The sheer force of
the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Mr Riesfeldt to the ground
where he struck his head on a rock as the elephant continued to
evacuate 200 pounds of dung on top of him. It seems to be just one of
those freak accidents that proves... 'S___ happens'.


I have been informed by those knowledgeable re Darwin awards, that this is an old list.

See here for the 2008 version.

The winner there:

The Balloon Priest
2008 Darwin Award Nominee
Confirmed True by Darwin

(20 April 2008, Atlantic Ocean, Brazil)

In 1982 Lawn Chair Larry, beloved survivor of a Darwin-worthy attempt, attached 45 helium weather balloons to his comfortable Sears lawn chair, packed a picnic and a , and cut the tether. But instead of drifting lazily above the Los Angeles landscape, the combined lift of 45 huge helium balloons rocketed Larry into LAX air traffic lanes 16,000 feet above sea level. Astoundingly, he survived the "flight."

In homage to Larry's aerial adventure, a Catholic priest recently ascended towards heaven on a host of helium party balloons. Adelir Antonio de Carli, 41, was attempting to set the world record for clustered balloon flight to publicize his plan to build a spiritual rest stop for truckers.

Sitting for more than 19 hours in a lawn chair is not a trivial matter, even in the comfort of your own backyard. The priest took numerous safety precautions, including wearing a survival suit, selecting a buoyant chair, and packing a satellite phone and a GPS. However, the late Adelir Antonio made a fatal mistake.

He did not know how to use the GPS.

The winds changed, as winds do, and he was blown inexorably toward open sea. He could have parachuted to safety while over land, but chose not to. When the voyager was perilously lost at sea, he prudently phoned for help. But rescuers were unable to reach him since he could not use his GPS! HE struggled with the control panel as the charge on the satellite phone dwindled.

Instead of a GPS, the priest let God be his guide, and God guided him straight to heaven. Bits of balloons began appearing on mountains and beaches. Ultimately the priest's body surfaced, confirming that he, like Elvis, had left the building.

The kicker? It's a Double Darwin. Catholic priests take vows of celibacy. Since they voluntarily remove themselves from the gene pool, the entire group earns a mass Darwin Award. Adelir Antonio wins twice over!

Reader rHart says, "The term 'Double Darwin' rolls trippingly off the tongue."

Note from Darwin: "A hot air balloon is maneuvered by altering altitude. The wind direction changes, generally toward the right, as one ascends in the northern hemisphere. A skillful pilot uses altitude to shift the downwind track. ( By comparison, a mass of individual balloons is completely at the mercy of the wind."

Happy New Year!
Rowland Croucher
More humour here

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