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2010 Darwin Awards

And once again, it's time for the Darwin Award Nominees. "The Darwins" are awarded every year to the persons who died in the stupidest manner, thereby removing themselves from the gene pool.

This years nominees are:

Nominee No. 1: (San Jose Mercury News):

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

Nominee No. 2: (Kalamazoo Gazette):

James Burns, 34, (a mechanic) of Alamo, MI, was killed in March as he was trying to repair what police describe as a "farm-type truck." Burns got a friend to drive the truck on a highway while Burns hung underneath so that he could ascertain the source of a troubling noise. Burns clothes caught on something, however, and the other man found Burns "wrapped around the drive shaft."

Nominee No. 3: (Hickory Daily Record):

Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally shot himself to death in December in Newton, NC. 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.

Nominee No. 4: (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 buildings' windows to visiting law students. Hoy previously has conducted demonstrations of window strength according to police reports.

Peter Lawson, 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.

Nominee No. 5: (The News of the Weird):

Michael Anderson Godwin made News of the Weird posthumously. He had spent several years awaiting South Carolina's electric chair on a murder conviction before having his sentence reduced to life in prison. While sitting on a metal toilet in his cell attempting to fix his small TV set, he bit into a wire and was electrocuted.

Nominee No. 6

A cigarette lighter may have triggered a fatal explosion in Dunkirk, IN. A Jay Countryman, using a cigarette lighter to check the barrel of a muzzle loader, was killed Monday night when the weapon discharged in his face, sheriffs investigators said. Gregory David Pryor, 19, died in his parents' rural Dunkirk home at about 11:30 PM. Investigators said Pryor was cleaning a 54-caliber muzzle-loader that had not been firing properly. He was using the lighter to look into the barrel when the gunpowder ignited.

Nominee No. 7: (Reuters, Mississauga, Ontario):

A man cleaning a bird feeder on the balcony of his condominium apartment in this Toronto suburb slipped and fell 23 stories to his death. Stefan Macko, 55, was standing on a wheelchair when the accident occurred, said Inspector Darcy Honer of the Peel Regional Police. "It appears that the chair moved, and he went over the balcony, " Honer said.


Finally, THE WINNER!!: (Arkansas Democrat Gazette):

Two local men were injured when their pickup truck left the road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State Highway 38 early Monday. Woodruff County deputy Dovey Snyder reported the accident shortly after midnight Monday. Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc, and Billy Ray Wallis, 38, of Little Rock, were returning to Des Arc after a frog catching trip. On an overcast Sunday night, Poole's pickup truck headlights malfunctioned. The two men concluded that the headlight fuse on the older-model truck had burned out. As a replacement fuse was not available, Wallis noticed that the 22 caliber bullets from his pistol fit perfectly into the fuse box next to the steering- wheel column. Upon inserting the bullet the headlights again began to operate properly, and the two men proceeded on eastbound toward the White River Bridge.
After traveling approximately 20 miles, and just before crossing the river, the bullet apparently overheated, discharged, and struck Poole in the testicles. The vehicle swerved sharply right, exiting the pavement, and striking a tree. Poole suffered only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident but will require extensive surgery to repair the damage to his testicles, which will never operate as intended.
Wallis sustained a broken clavicle and was treated and released "Thank God we weren't on that bridge when Thurston shot his nuts off, or we might both be dead, " stated Wallis.
"I've been a trooper for 10 years in this part of the world, but this is a first for me. I can't believe that those two would admit how this accident happened, " said Snyder. Upon being notified of the wreck, Lavinia (Poole's wife), asked how many frogs the boys had caught and did anyone get them from the truck. Priorities, after all!!
Though Poole and Wallis did not die as a result of their misadventure as normally required by Darwin Award Official Rules, it can be argued that Poole did, in fact, effectively remove himself from the gene pool.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
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I am disappointed there were Canadians in that group.

Americans like to be the best at everything.
 

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I am disappointed there were Canadians in that group.

Americans like to be the best at everything.
Generally speaking, this is usually an American dominated list.

There are some glaring errors in this list though, and as such, has more of an Urban Legend List of 2010 feel to it, to wit:

The lawyer guy happened a few years ago, so it's in the wrong year... Darwin Award in 1996 in fact:

Garry Hoy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The "winner" is actually a Larry the Cable Guy, or Jeff Foxworthy, joke/tale from at least ten years ago, Foxworthy is the guy who makes the "you just might be redneck" jokes.
 

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Hmmm...

As a web developer, I've been seeing those same "scenarios" with minor variations for over ten years. Not trying to start a flame war, and I assume that we all know this, and they are certainly funny to read; but the Darwins are all completely fabricated. Again, NO OFFENSE INTENDED. Offered only in the most congenial and gentlemanly of spirits.

Here's a general commentary, not mine:

For those who don't know what the Darwin Awards are, they're yearly prizes given out posthumously (by definition) to "individuals who have given their all in an effort to improve our gene pool ... who have made the ultimate sacrifice of killing themselves by the most extraordinarily stupid means."

The joy of the Darwin Awards (and their only real point) lies in the hilarity of the nominated stories. It hardly matters who wins the actual prize. In fact, the yearly announcement is always somewhat anticlimactic.

As to their general credibility, it's a mixed bag. The Awards first surfaced years ago as a sort of spontaneous creation of the Internet and were highly unreliable then, with no single body, self-appointed or otherwise, to authenticate the stories or officially crown the winners. Eventually, two "official" Darwin Awards sites appeared on the Web, one at The Darwin Awards and the other (now defunct) at The domain DOMAIN is registered by NetNames.

As you might surmise, there ensued domain name bickering and skirmishes over ownership of material between the two, but one service both sites have tried earnestly to provide is the sorting out of the false stories from the true. The surviving site still does a reasonably good job of it.

Even so, the Internet being what it is, it remains the case that anyone can make up a story, declare it a Darwin Awards nominee (or even a winner) and circulate it to their heart's content, regardless of whether it meets the agreed-upon criteria or any standards of authenticity.
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What.... No one from Oklahoma??? :D

Regardless of the legitimacy of this list, I can assure you that all of us know of individuals who SHOULD either have made the Darwin Awards or just been removed from the gene pool.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
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I have a few future award winners working on my crew.


That's if I don't kill them first.
 

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The lawyer guy happened a few years ago, so it's in the wrong year... Darwin Award in 1996 in fact:

Garry Hoy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Live so that nothing you say or do would embarrass you if it was published. Even if what is published isn't true.

It took me decades to understand that. And I know I haven't achieved it, because this would embarrass me.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Live so that nothing you say or do would embarrass you if it was published. Even if what is published isn't true.

It took me decades to understand that. And I know I haven't achieved it, because this would embarrass me.
Can we expect your book soon, California Philosopher?
 

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In all fairness, the glass should have held -- Garry was just unlucky. A classic case where knowing the odds can skew them out of your favour.

I do like the Darwin Awards though, as a few times I've caught myself doing stupid things and thought "Oh man, I don't want to end up on that list".
 

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Can we expect your book soon, California Philosopher?
That's not mine, I caged it from somebody else. Don't even remember who.
 

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In all fairness, the glass should have held -- Garry was just unlucky. A classic case where knowing the odds can skew them out of your favour.

I do like the Darwin Awards though, as a few times I've caught myself doing stupid things and thought "Oh man, I don't want to end up on that list".
The glass apparently did hold, but the frame didn't... I remember this story, I didn't realize it was so long ago though... fuck, I'm getting old...

What's interesting as a foot note, apparently it led to the demise of the law firm he was a member of... I wonder what happened there...

Can you just imagine what went through his mind as the frame tore loose and he was out the window? Not good, not good at all...
 

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Real or not, they are fun to read (and comment) :D
The "winner" story had me laughing for quite some time !
 
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