By Richard Peterson
I found this in Jason Nordmark’s column in the Turtle Mountain Star at Rolla:
If you haven’t heard of the Darwin Awards, let me give you a bit of a refresher course.
Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by accidentally removing themselves from it.
This year’s pack of nominees and eventual winner are quite interesting in a horror movie kind of way.
By the way, all of these deaths have to be confirmed by news media accounts in order to be eligible for the award.
Without further adieu, here are some of the nominees for the 2007 grand prize and, of course, the eventual winner.
* "Driving is not a time to be practicing your multi-tasking skills,"
remarked California Highway Patrol (CHP) spokesman Tom Marshall, commenting on a 29-year-old computer tutor’s decision to drive along Highway 99 in California while working on his laptop. He drifted over the center line, and was killed by oncoming traffic. CHP officers found his computer still running, plugged into the Honda Accord’s cigarette lighter.
* Two Valparaiso men tested their reflexes by playing "chicken" with a train. Which man could stay on the rail the longest in the path of an oncoming train? At the stroke of midnight, the contest was decided. The winner, aptly named Patrick Stiff, lost his life. The train continued on, as the conductor was unaware that it had hit anyone.
* Three friends set out to dismantle a dilapidated barn one winter afternoon. One industrious man fired up his chain saw and ripped through a crucial support post. Carrying the weight of a full barn roof, those wooden support beams were all that stood between the demolition worker and structural collapse. It was all fun and games until the roof, sans support, succumbed to the pull of gravity and flattened the man with the chain saw. As a consolation prize, the deceased was indeed successful at demolishing the barn.
Addendum: This was the year of the Squashed Darwin Award Winner. Two other groups of people attempted to remove the supports from beneath a water tower, and a heavy factory roof. In both cases, the structures collapsed without their aptly-named supports.
* One man’s extraordinary effort to eradicate a mole from his property resulted in a victory for the mole. The metal rods he pounded into the ground and connected to a high-voltage power line electrified the very ground the man stood upon. He was found dead at his holiday property on the Baltic Sea. Police had to trip the main circuit breaker before venturing onto the property.
* A passing cabbie found a 21 year-old deceased couple laying naked in the road an hour before sunrise. Authorities were baffled. There were no witnesses, no trace of clothing, and no wrecked vehicles present. But investigators eventually found a clue high on the roof of a nearby building: two sets of neatly folded clothes. Safe sex takes on a whole new meaning when you are perched on the edge of a pyramid-shaped metal roof. "It appears as if (they) accidentally fell off the roof," Sgt. McCants said.
AND THE 2007 DARWIN AWARD WINNER IS . . . THE ENEMA WITHIN Michael was an alcoholic. And not an ordinary alcoholic, but an alcoholic who liked to take his liquor . . . well, rectally. His wife said he was "addicted to enemas" and often used alcohol in this manner.
The result was the same: inebriation. And tonight, Michael was in for one heck of a party.
Two 1.5 litre bottles of sherry, more than 100 fluid ounces, right up the old address!
When the rest of us have had enough, we either stop drinking or pass out. When Michael had had enough (and subsequently passed out) the alcohol remaining in his rectal cavity continued to be absorbed. The next morning, Michael was dead.
The 58-year-old did a pretty good job of embalming himself.
Toxicology reports measured his blood alcohol level as 0.47%.
In order to qualify for a Darwin Award, a person must remove himself from the gene pool via an "astounding misapplication of judgment.’
Not surprisingly, neighbors said they were surprised to learn of the incident.
A six-year-old goes to the hospital with his grandma to visit his grandpa. When they get to the hospital, he runs ahead of his grandma and bursts into his grandpa’s room.
"Grandpa, Grandpa," he says excitedly, "as soon as Grandma comes into the room, make a noise like a frog!"
"What?" said his grandpa.
"Make a noise like a frog because Grandma said that as soon as you croak, we’re going to Disneyland."
David Erie of Leeds and Clint Campbell of Devils Lake are doing some remodeling of the home of the late Ole Ronning at Harlow.
They came across a 1940 sales receipt from the Standard Oil Agency at Baker for 100 gallons of gas for 12.6 cents per gallon. With taxes, that 100 gallons of gas cost Ronning $13.85. The sales receipt was signed by Carl Solberg.
Today that same amount of gas would cost about 25 times as much.