1998 Darwin awards
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 98 13:50:36 -0800
Subject: 1998 Darwin awards
[For those Fun_People with strong stomachs, here's an anthology of that
particularly gory art form, the Darwin Award story... -psl]
Forwarded-by: Tony Kleinhans <email@example.com>
1998 Darwin Awards
The 1998 Darwin Awards have finally been released! For those not familiar
with the Darwin Award - It's an annual honor given to the person who did
the universal human gene pool the biggest service by getting killed in the
most extraordinarily stupid way. As always, competition this year has been
keen again. Some candidates appear to have trained their whole lives for
The Darwin Awards Nominees
1. In September 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.
2. In October, a 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who "totally
zoned when he ran," according to his wife, accidentally jogged off a
200-foot high cliff on his daily run.
3. Buxton, NC: A man died on a beach when an 8-foot-deep hole he had dug
into the sand caved in as he sat inside it. Beachgoers said Daniel Jones,
21, dug the hole for fun, or protection from the wind, and had been sitting
in a beach chair at the bottom Thursday afternoon when it collapsed, burying
him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach, on the outer banks, used
their hands and shovels, trying to claw their way to Jones, a resident of
Woodbridge, VA, but could not reach him. It took rescue workers using heavy
equipment almost an hour to free him while about 200 people looked on. Jones
was pronounced dead at a hospital.
4. In February, Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in Lompoc, CA, as he
fell face-first 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.
5. According to police in Dahlonega, GA, ROTC cadet Nick Berrena, 20,
was stabbed to death in January by fellow cadet Jeffrey Hoffman, 23 who was
trying to prove that a knife could not penetrate the flak vest Berrena was
6. Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed in February in Selbyville,
Del., 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.
7. In February, according to police in Windsor, Ont., Daniel Kolta, 27,
and Randy Taylor, 33, died in a head-on collision, thus earning a tie in
the game of chicken they were playing with their snowmobiles.
8. [Ineligible, but credit given for trying]AUGUSTA, ME - Four people
were injured in a string of bizarre accidents. Sherry Moeller was admitted
with a head wound caused by flying masonry, Tim Vegas was diagnosed with a
mild case of whiplash and contusions on his chest, arms and face, Bryan
Corcoran suffered torn gum tissue, and Pamela Klesick's first two fingers
of her right hand had been bitten off. Moeller had just dropped her husband
off for his first day of work and, in addition to a good-bye kiss, she
flashed her breasts at him. "I'm still not sure why I did it," she said
later. "I was really close to the car, so I didn't think anyone would see.
Besides, it couldn't have been for more than two seconds." However, cab
driver Vegas did see, and lost control of His cab, running over the curb
and into the corner of the Johnson Medical Building. Inside, Klesick, a
dental technician, was cleaning Corcoran's teeth. The crash of the cab
against the building made her jump, tearing Corcoran's gums with a cleaning
pick. In shock, he bit down, severing two fingers from Klesick's hand.
Moeller's wound was caused by a falling piece of the medical building.
9. [Ineligible, better luck next year!] TAOS, NM - A woman went to a
poison control center after eating three birth-control vaginal inserts.
Her English was so bad she had to draw a picture describing how she believed
she had poisoned herself. A translator arrived shortly thereafter and
confirmed doctors' suspicions. Marie Valishnokov thought the inserts were
some kind of candy or gum, being unable to read the foil wrappers. After
the third one, she realized something was wrong when her throat and mouth
began to fill with a sour-tasting foam. She ran for the Poison Control
Center, only a few blocks away where doctors were able to flush the foam
from her mouth, throat, and stomach with no ill effects.
10. [Ineligible, but a strong contender for 99] TACOMA, WA - Kerry
Bingham, had been drinking with several friends when one of them said they
knew a person who had bungee-jumped from the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the
middle of traffic. The conversation grew more heated and a least 10 men
trooped along the walkway of the bridge at 4:30 a.m. Upon arrival at the
midpoint of the bridge they discovered that no one had brought bungee rope.
Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered and pointed out that a coil
of cable had been left near the railing. Bingham's leg and the other end
was tied 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 river water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen. "All I can
say,"said Bingham, "is that God was watching out for me on that night.
There's just no other explanation for it." Bingham's foot was never located.
11. On February 3, 1990, a Renton, Washington man tried to commit a
robbery. This was probably his first attempt, as suggested by the fact that
he had no previous record of violent crime, and by his terminally stupid
choices as listed below:
a. The target was H&J Leather & Firearms, a gun shop; b. The shop
was full of customers, in a state where a substantial portion of the adult
population is licensed to carry concealed handguns in public places;
c. To enter the shop, he had to step around a marked Police patrol
car parked at the front door;
d. An officer in uniform was standing next to the counter, having
coffee before reporting to duty. Upon seeing the officer, the would-be
robber announced a holdup and fired a few wild shots. The officer and a
clerk promptly returned fire, removing him from the gene pool. Several
other customers also drew their guns but didn't fire. No one else was hurt.
12. In France, Jacques LeFevrier left nothing to chance when he decided
to commit suicide. He stood at the top of a tall cliff and tied a noose
around his neck. He tied the other end of the rope to a large rock. He
drank some poison and set fire to his clothes. He even tried to shoot
himself at the last moment. He jumped and fired the pistol. The bullet
missed him completely and cut through the rope above him. Free of the
threat of hanging, he plunged into the sea. The sudden dunking extinguished
the flames and made him vomit the poison. He was dragged out of the water
by a kind fisherman, and was taken to hospital, where he died - of
13. In September, a 7-year- old boy fell off a 100-foot-high bluff near
Ozark, Ark., after he lost his grip swinging on a cross that marked the spot
where another person had fallen to his death in 1990.
14. There are many transmission lines that crisscross Connecticut. These
are held up by Transmission Towers of various constructions. Those most
commonly installed near urban areas are called "metal Ornamental Towers"
(supposedly prettier than wood towers). Sometimes adventurous folk climb
the towers in order to enjoy the view and the night air. Most stay away
from the wires, and when they get bored, come back down. Apparently, a man
who was forlorn after a recent spat with his girlfriend needed some fresh
air to clear his head and decided to climb a tower. He stopped for a 6 pack
to help clear his thoughts, went to a tower south of Hartford, next to I-91,
and climbed it. Public Service employees later pieced the rest of the story
together. The man sat there 60 feet above the highway, drank his beer and
consoled his bruised ego. After 5 beers, he needed to do what people often
need to do after 5 beers. It being such a long hike down, he unzipped and
did his business right there off the tower. Electricity is a funny thing.
One doesn't need to touch a wire in order to get shocked. Depending on
conditions, 115,000 volt lines, like those supported by the tower, could
shock a person as far away as 6 feet. When the man "whizzed" near the
conductor (wire), the power arced to his "stream" (urine is an excellent
conductor of electricity), traveled up to his private parts, and blew him
off the tower. The guys at the power company noted a momentary outage on
this line and sent repairmen to see if there was any damage. When they got
to the scene of the accident, they found a very dead person, his fly down,
what was left of his private parts smoking, and a single beer left on top
of the tower.
DARWIN AWARD HONORABLE MENTIONS
(1) In Guthrie, Okla., in October, Jason Heck tried to kill a millipede
with a shot from his .22-caliber rifle, but the bullet ricocheted off a rock
near the hole and hit pal Antonio Martinez in the head, fracturing his
(2) In Elyria, Ohio, in October, Martyn Eskins, attempting to clean out
cobwebs in his basement, decided to use a propane torch rather than a broom
and caused a fire that burned the first and second floors of his house.
(3) Paul Stiller, 47, was hospitalized in Andover Township, NJ,in
September, and his wife Bonnie was also injured, by a quarter-stick of
dynamite that blew up in their car. While driving around at 2AM, the bored
couple lit the dynamite and tried to toss it out the window to see what
would happen, but they apparently failed to notice that the window was
AND THE WINNER IS.... Japan Times-April 16, 1997 "The government must crack
down on this disgusting craze of 'Pumping'", a spokesman for the Nakhon
Ratchasima hospital told reporters. "If this perversion catches on, it will
destroy the cream of Thailand's manhood." He was speaking after the remains
of 13 year-old Charnchai Puanmuangpak had been rushed into the hospital's
emergency room. "Most 'Pumpers' use a standard bicycle pump," he explained,
"inserting the nozzle far up their rectum, giving themselves a rush of air,
creating a momentary high. This act is a sin against God." It appears that
the young Charnchai took it further still. He started using a two-cylinder
foot pump, but even that wasn't exciting enough for him, so he boasted to
friends that he was going to try the compressed air hose at a nearby
gasoline station. They dared him to do it, so, under cover of darkness, he
snuck in. Not realizing how powerful the machine was, he inserted the tube
deep into his rectum, and placed a coin in the slot. As a result, he died
virtually instantly, leaving passers-by still in shock. One woman thought
she was watching a twilight firework display, and started clapping. "We
still haven't located all of him", say the police authorities. "When that
quantity of air interacted with the gas in his system, he nearly exploded.
It was like an atom bomb went off or something." "Pumping is the devil's
pastime, and we must all say no to Satan," Ratchasima concluded. "Inflate
your tires by all means, but then hide your bicycle pump where it cannot
tempt you." Let's hear it for Charnchai Puanmuangpak, the NEW 1998
undisputed Darwin Award recipient!
© 1998 Peter Langston