Sun, 23 Aug 1998 10:42:53 -0400
> this year's crop of Darwin Awards.
> >Another batch has been released! For those not familiar with the Darwin
> >Award, it is an annual honor given to the person, or persons, who did the
> >universal human gene pool the biggest service by doing something so stupid
> >that they killed themselves doing it. The award honors the removal of
> >their potential reproductive capabilities from the life pool on earth,
> >thereby preventing the spread of such stupidity to future generations. As
> >usual, the competition this year has been keen. Some candidates appear to
> >have trained their whole lives 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 a 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. Beach goers 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 wearing.
> >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. 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.
> >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
> >skull. (Does not count. You have to kill yourself.)
> >(2) 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
> >(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 2 A.M., 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
> >(4) Taking "Amateur Night" Too Far: In Betulia, Colombia, an annual
> >festival in November includes five days of amateur bullfighting. This
> >year, no bull was killed, but dozens of matadors were injured, including
> >one gored in the head and one Bobbittized. Said one participant, "It's
> >just one bull against [a town of] a thousand Morons."
> >(5) Four people were injured in a string of related 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,
> >besides 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
> >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 making 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.
> >(6) 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
> >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.
> >(7) La Grange, GA - Attorney Antonio Mendoza was released from a trauma
> >center after having a cell telephone removed from his rectum. "My dog
> >drags the thing all over the house," he said later. "He must have dragged
> >it into the shower. I slipped on the tile, tripped against the dog and sat
> >right on the thing." The extraction took more than three hours because the
> >cover to Mr. Mendoza's telephone had opened during insertion. "He was a
> >real trooper during the entire episode," said Dr. Dennis Crobe. "Tony just
> >cracked jokes and really seemed to be enjoying himself. Three times,
> >during the extraction, his telephone rang and each time he made jokes about
> >it that just had us rolling on the floor. By the time we finished, we
> >really did expect to find an answering machine in there."
> >(8) 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 at 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 linemen'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.