Darwin Awards

These are nearly always granted posthumously. This citation is bestowed upon (the remains of) that individual, who through single-minded self-sacrifice, has done the most to remove undesirable elements from the human gene pool.


[San Jose Mercury News]

An unidentified man, using a shotgun like a club to break a former girlfriend's windshield, accidentally shot himself to death when the gun discharged, blowing a hole in his gut.


[Hickory Daily Record, 12-21-92]

Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally shot himself to death in December in Newton, N. C., when, awakening to the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached for the phone but grabbed instead a Smith & Wesson .38 Special, which discharged when he drew it to his ear.


[News of the Weird, 18 May 93, San Jose Mercury News]

A 24-year-old salesman from Hialeah, Fla., was killed near Lantana, Fla., in March when his car smashed into a pole in the median strip of Interstate 95 in the middle of the afternoon. Police said that the man was traveling at 80 MPH and, judging by the sales manual that was found open and clutched to his chest, had been busy reading.


[Unknown, 25 March 1993] A Vapid Death

A terrible diet and room with no ventilation are being blamed for the death of a man who was killed by his own gas. There was no mark on his body but autopsy showed large amounts of methane gas in his system. His diet had consisted primarily of beans and cabbage (and a couple other things). It was just the right combination of foods. It appears that the man died in his sleep from breathing from the poisonous cloud that was hanging over his bed. Had he been outside or had his windows opened it wouldn't have been fatal but the man was shut up in his near airtight bedroom. He was ``...a big man with a huge capacity for creating [this deadly gas].'' Three of the rescue workers got sick and one was hospitalized.


[Reuters, Mississauga, Ontario]

Man slips, falls 23 stories to his death. A man cleaning a bird feeder on his balcony of his condominium apartment in this Toronto suburb slipped and fell 23 stories to his death, police said Monday. Stefan Macko, 55, was standing on a wheeled chair Sunday when the accident occurred, said Inspector D'Arcy Honer of the Peel regional police. "It appears the chair moved and he went over the balcony," Honer said. "It's one of those freak accidents. No foul play is suspected."


[UPI, Toronto]

Police said a lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown Toronto skyscraper crashed through a pane with his shoulder and plunged 24 floors to his death. A police spokesman said Garry Hoy, 39, fell into the courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was explaining the strength of the building's windows to visiting law students. Hoy previously had conducted demonstrations of window strength according to police reports. Peter Lauwers, managing partner of the firm Holden Day Wilson, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was ``one of the best and brightest'' members of the 200-man association.


[AP, Cairo, Egypt, 31 Aug 1995] CAIRO, Egypt (AP)

-- Six people drowned Monday while trying to rescue a chicken that had fallen into a well in southern Egypt. An 18-year-old farmer was the first to descend into the 60-foot well. He drowned, apparently after an undercurrent in the water pulled him down, police said. His sister and two brothers, none of whom could swim well, went in one by one to help him, but also drowned. Two elderly farmers then came to help, but they apparently were pulled down by the same undercurrent. The bodies of the six were later pulled out of the well in the village of Nazlat Imara, 240 miles south of Cairo. The chicken was also pulled out. It survived.


[Times of London]

A thief who sneaked into a hospital was scarred for life when he tried to get a suntan. After evading security staff at Odstock Hospital in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and helping himself to doctors' paging devices, the thief spotted a vertical sunbed. He walked into the unit and removed his clothes for a 45-minute tan. However, the high-voltage UV machine at the hospital, which is renowned for its treatment of burns victims, has a maximum dosage of ten seconds. After lying on the bed for almost 300 times the recommended maximum time the man was covered in blisters. Hours later, when the pain of the burns became unbearable, he went to Southampton General Hospital, 20 miles away,in Hampshire. Staff became suspicious because he was wearing a doctor's coat. After tending his wounds they called the police. Southampton police said: "This man broke into Odstock and decided he fancied a quick suntan. Doctors say he is going to be scarred for life."


* An unidentified, 31-year-old man was sentenced to 20 lashes in Tehran in October after a prank backfired. He had bet his father about $30 that he could dress in robe and veils and ride unnoticed in the women's section of a segregated municipal bus, but he was detected because he failed to wear women's shoes underneath the robe. A court ruled the prank was "obscene." [St. Louis Post Dispatch-AP, 10-30-95]

* In November in Quantico, Va., Christopher P. Emond, 18, pleaded guilty to making a false police report. He had hired two men to shoot him simply to impress his friends that he was privvy to military secrets. Emond was wounded but not seriously. [Washington Times, 11-4-95]

* Thomas Springer, 46, was arrested in October and charged with bank robbery in Vienna, Va. He might have escaped had he not decided to stop during his getaway to urinate along the side of the road. A disgusted neighbor called 911 and wrote down Springer's tag number. [USA Today, 10-20-95]

* One of the finalists in a Los Angeles radio station's crazy-stunt Super Bowl promotion in January was Mike Garcia, 25, who planned to swallow his glass eye, regurgitate it, and reinsert it. Despite a large pre-stunt breakfast of steak, eggs, and a six-pack of beer, which made him vomit for 15 minutes, the glass eye did not come back up by the end of the contest. Reported the Torrance Daily Breeze, "So Garcia left with an empty left eye socket, a strong buzz, soiled clothing--and the prospect of shelling out $1,500 for a new eye." [Daily Breeze, 1-27-96]

* In September, a 13-year-old girl identified only as Charlotte was in New York City with her mother to appear on a "Sally Jessy Raphael" show with the theme of adolescent girls who dress like sluts. Charlotte's mother gave her permission to leave their hotel room for a few minutes, and during that time, Charlotte was picked up by a 22-year-old man, had sex with him, and later was allegedly imprisoned by him against her will for days before being found by police. [New York Post, 9-29-95]

* In an out-of-court settlement in September, Henry Heepe, who killed his mother in Akron, Ohio, in 1994 and mutilated her body thinking she was a vampire, inherited part of her $500,000 estate. (Ohio law prohibits only those found guilty of murder from inheriting the deceased's estate, but Heepe was found "not guilty by reason of insanity." However, his victory was short- lived because Heepe committed suicide in December while in custody.) [Akron Beacon-Journal, 9-2-95, 12-7-95]

* MacArthur Wheeler, 46, was sentenced to 24 years in prison in Pittsburgh, Pa., in January, a conviction made possible by clear photography from the bank's surveillance camera. Wheeler and his partner did not wear masks, and in fact were not concerned about the camera at all, because they had rubbed lemon juice over their faces beforehand in the belief that the substance would blur their on-camera images. [USA Today, 1-8-96]

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD: Two teen-aged robbers in Miami got a little carried away when they attempted to hold up a grocery store. The 18-year-old accidentally fired his gun, hitting his 16-year-old accomplice in the leg. The surprise and pain caused him to tightly grip his gun and it too went off -- hitting the first robber in the leg. "I've had robbers shoot themselves before, but I never had two robbers shoot each other," a police detective said after the two were arrested. "I knew there was a mistake," said Aijaz Rizva, a clerk in the store. "They were the only ones bleeding." (Reuter) "

Bangkok (Reuter)--Thailand is becomming a world leader in a particular area of micro-surgery thanks to some fiery members of its female population, a doctor said yesterday. Reattaching the penises of wayward men, sliced off by their jealous wives, is becomming a Thai specialty in the operating theatre,said senior surgeon surasak Manugsombat. "It's due to the number of cases we get, I've heard of one in Taiwan, one case in Australia, on in Japan in 1976. Our team here has had 30 cases since 1978." Surasak said. All but one of his 30 patients had been "bobbitted" by enraged wives, he said. "Some Thai women just can't tolerate extramarital affairs and do this, which is different from women elsewhere, who would just divorce their unfaithful husbands." *****

What 40 plus years of liberalism has done for the Justice system........

In New York city in July, Bartolome Moya, 37, charged with kidnapping, drug-dealing and six murders, skipped town after being released on bail. In 1993, Moya was jailed pending trial on the same charges but was in such poor health from heart disease a judge thought his death was imminent and dismissed the charges so Moya could go home to die. In February, 1994, Moya obtained a Medicare-financed heart transplant. Prosecutors learned of the transplant, reindicted Moya in May, and jailed him. Then a judge released him on bail on the condition that Moya wear a beeper/monitor. Moya has not been heard from since.

SO, you think YOU have it bad at work........

According to a grievance by workers at a Mississippi poultry plant, as reported in U.S. News & World Report in July, the company does not permit workers more than three bathroom breaks a week without a doctor's note, and employees must pay 10 cents a cup for drinking water on the job.

This one speaks for itself.....

On the same day (Oct. 17), the U.S. government announced it would reduce by $ 55 million funding for food banks and other programs that feed needy Americans and spend $ 47 million in new funds to create makework jobs and job training for the much-reviled Haiti police force.

Can the Justice system last another 40? Can society?

According to Department of Justice figures, 30,000 inmate lawsuits were filed last year (added to heavy backlogs -- more than 28,000 in New York alone) against prison officials for "civil rights" violations, the vast majority described by judges and court officials as frivolous. Among the lawsuits were those by prisoners complaining: that the prison canteen supplied "creamy" peanut butter when a prisoner bought "crunchy"; that guards wouldn't refrigerate his ice cream snack so that he could eat it later ($1 million lawsuit); that his toilet seat was too cold; that, as an inmate-paralegal in the prison law library, he should make the same wage that lawyers make; that prisons should offer salad bars ($129 million); that a limit on the number of Kool-Aid refills is "cruel and unusual punishment"; and that the scrambled eggs were cooked too hard. In New York, 20 percent of the entire budget of the Attorney General's office is spent on prisoner lawsuits.

The "Go Figure" Finally.......

Ex-student Jason Wilkins sued the University of Idaho in July for $940,000 to pay for injuries he suffered when he fell through a third-story dormitory window while mooning students. Wilkins had climbed onto a 3-foot-high heater to reach the window but claimed the university should have posted warnings.

In May, Quebec legislator Andre Boulerice denounced voter fraud during a committee meeting, citing one particular example of bogus names registered to vote in Old Montreal. "I know there are famous people in my [district]," said Boulerice,"but I doubt 'Omar Sharif' would be voting [here]," especially since, according to voter records, he shares an apartment with "Martina Navratilova." The next day, as neighbors of the couple reported, Sharif son of the actor is indeed married to a woman named Martina Navratilova, who is a stockbroker. [Edmonton Journal, 5-9-96]

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