They have finally been released! For those not familiar with the Darwin Award, It's an annual honor given to the person who provided 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. Some candidates appear to have been born for this event!

DARWIN AWARD CANDIDATES

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 rate to retrieve his car keys.

2.  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.

3.  In February, Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in Lompoc, CA, as he fell face-first through the ceiling of bicycle shop he was raiding.  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.

4.  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.

DARWIN AWARD HONORABLE MENTIONS

1.  In Elyria, Ohio, in October, Martyn Eskins, attempting to clean out cobwebs in his basement, declined to use a broom in favor of a propane torch and caused a fire that burned the first and second floors of his house.

2.  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 2 AM, 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 closed.

3.  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. 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 bungee rope.  Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered and pointed out that a coil of lineman's cable lay nearby. One end of the cable was secured around 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.

....AND THE WINNER IS:

PADERBORN, GERMANY - Overzealous zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt fed his constipated elephant 'Stefan' 22 doses of animal laxative and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the plugged-up elephant finally let fly-and suffocated the keeper under 200 pounds of poop!  Investigators say ill-fated Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive oil enema when the relieved beast unloaded on him like a dump truck full of mud. "The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Mr. Riesfeldt to the ground, where he struck his head on a rock and lay unconscious as the elephant continued to evacuate his bowels on top of him," said flabbergasted Paderborn police detective Erik Dern. "With no one there to help him, he lay under all that dung for at least an hour before a watchman came along, and during that time he suffocated. "It seems to be just one of those freak accidents that happen."

One More Darwin Award

This one needs an intro, so you won’t be lost at the beginning. This man was in an accident (work accident, not car accident), so he filled out an insurance claim. The insurance company contacted him and asked for more info. This was his response:

"I am writing in response to your request for additional info for Block number 3 of the accident reporting form. I put ‘poor planning’ as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully and I trust the following details are sufficient. I’m an amateur radio operator and on the day of the accident, I was working alone on the top section of my new 80 ft. tower. When I had completed my work, I discovered that I had, over the course of many trips up the tower, brought up about 300 pounds of tools and spare hardware. Rather than carry the now unneeded tools and material down by hand, I decided to lower the items down in a small barrel by using a pulley, which was fortunately attached to the gin pole at the top of the tower. Securing the rope at ground level, I went to the top of the tower and loaded the tools and material into he barrel. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow decent of the 300 pounds of tools. You will note in Block number 11 of the accident reporting form that I weigh only 155 pounds. Due to my surprise of being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forget to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate of speed up the side of the tower. In the vicinity of the 40 ft. level, I met the barrel coming down. This explains my fractured skull and broken collarbone.

Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. "Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold onto the rope in spite of my pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of tools hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the tools, the barrel now weighed approx. 20 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in Block number 11. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the tower. In the vicinity of the 40 foot level, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, and the lacerations of my legs and lower body. The encounter with the barrel slowed me down enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile tools and, fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked. I’m sorry to report however, that as I lay there on the tools, in pain, unable to stand, and watching the empty barrel 80 feet above, I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope...

Back to Humor Page...