"Darwin Award '98: And the winner is..." joke

Once again it is time to start thinking about casting your vote for the 1998
Darwin Award winner! As you may already know, the Darwin Awards
are for those nominees who contribute to the gene pool by dying in
spectacularly stupid ways before they breed (thankfully). The 1998 nominees

NOMINEE No. 1 [San Jose Mercury News]: An unidentified man, using
a shotgun like a club to break a former girlfriend's windshield,
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, Mich., was killed in March as he was trying to repair what police
described 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 in the drive shaft."
NOMINEE No. 3: [Hickory Daily Record] Ken Charles Barger, 47,
accidentally shot himself to death in December in Newton, N. C. Awakening to
the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached for the phone
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
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 morning as he was explaining the strength of the
windows to visiting law students. Hoy previously has conducted
of window strength according to police reports. Peter lawyers, managing
partner of the firm Holden Day Wilson, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that
was "one of the best and brightest" members of the 200-man association.
NOMINEE No. 5: [Bloomburg News Service] 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 an autopsy showed large
amounts of methane gas in his system. His diet had consisted primarily of
beans and cabbage = (and a couple of other things). It was just the right
combination of foods. It appears that the man died in his sleep from
the poisonous cloud that was hanging over his bed. Had he been outside
or had his windows been opened, it wouldn't have been fatal. But the man
was shut up in his near airtight bedroom. According to the article, "He
was a big man with a huge capacity for creating "this deadly gas." Three of
the rescuers got sick and one was hospitalized.
NOMINEE No. 6: [The News of the Weird.] Michael Anderson Godwin
made News of the Weird Posthumously. He had spent several years awaiting
Carolina's electric chair on a murder conviction before having his sentence
reduced to life in prison. Whilst sitting on a metal toilet in his cell and
attempting to fix his small TV set, he bit into a wire and was electrocuted.

NOMINEE NO. 7: ["The Indianapolis Star"]. A cigarette lighter may
have triggered fatal explosion - Dunkirk, Indiana. A Jay County man
using a cigarette lighter to check the barrel of a muzzle loader was
killed Monday night when the weapon discharged in his face, sheriff's
investigators said. Gregory David Pryor, 19, died in his parents' rural
Dunkirk home
about 11: 30p. m. Investigators said Pryor was cleaning a 54-caliber
muzzleloader that had not been firing properly. He was using the lighter to
look into the barrel when the gunpowder ignited.
NOMINEE No. 8: [AP, St. Louis] Robert Puelo, 32, was apparently
being disorderly in a St. Louis market. When the clerk threatened to
call police, Puelo grabbed a hot dog, shoved it in his mouth, and walked out
without paying for it. Police found him unconscious in front of the store;
paramedics removed the six-inch wiener from his throat, where it
had choked him to death.
NOMINEE No. 9: [Unknown] To poacher Marino Malerba, who shot a stag
standing above him on an overhanging rock-and was killed instantly when it
fell on him.
NOMINEE No. 10: [Associated Press, Kincaid, W. VA] Blasting Cap
Explodes in Man's = Mouth at Party. A man at a party popped a blasting cap
his mouth and bit down, triggering an explosion that blew off his lips,
teeth and tongue, state police said Wednesday. Jerry Stromyer, 24, of
Kincaid, bit the blasting cap as a prank during a party late Tuesday night,
Cpl. M. D. Payne. "Another man had it in an aquarium, hooked to a battery,
and = was trying to explode it," Payne said. "It wouldn't go off" and this
guy said, "I'll show you how to set it off."
NOMINEE No. 11: [Reuters, Mississauga, Ontario] A man cleaning a
birdfeeder on the balcony of his condominium apartment in this Toronto
slipped and fell 23 stories to his death. Stefan Macko, 55, was standing
on a wheeled chair 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.
NOMINEE No. 12: [UPI, Portland, OR] Doctors at Portland's
University Hospital said Wednesday an Oregon man shot through the skull by
a hunting
arrow is lucky to be alive, and will be released soon from the hospital.
Roberts, 25, lost his right eye during an initiation into a men's
rafting club, Mountain Men Anonymous, in Grants Pass, OR. A friend tried
to shoot a beer can off his head, but the arrow entered Roberts' right eye.
Doctors said had the arrow gone 1 millimeter to the left, a major blood
vessel would have cut and Roberts would have died instantly. Neurosurgeon
Johnny Delashaw at the University Hospital in Portland said the arrow
went through 8 to 10 inches of brain, with the tip protruding at the rear of
his skull, yet somehow managed to miss all major blood vessels. Delashaw
also said that if Robert had tried to
pull the arrow out he surely would have killed himself. Roberts admitted
afterwards he and his friends had been drinking that afternoon. Said
"I feel so dumb about this."
NOMINEE No. 13 The Calgary Sun Saturday, 12/28/96 VANCOUVER (CP) A
man arguing over a love triangle accidentally shot himself in the
groin, taking off his testicles and part of his penis. Police said the man
waving a. 357 Magnum revolver around during the shouting match early
yesterday. But when he stuffed it back in his pants the gun went off. Police
called to the hospital after the man in his 20s was brought in by friends.
Charges are pending against the victim, who is expected to survive.
AND FINALLY, NOMINEE No. 14!!!: [Arkansas Democrat Gazette] Two
local men were seriously injured when their pick-up truck left the road and
struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State = Highway 38 early Monday morning.
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 are listed in serious condition at Baptist Medical Center.
The accident occurred as the two men were returning to Des Arc after a frog
gigging trip. On an overcast Sunday night, Poole's pick-up truck headlights
malfunctioned. The two men concluded that the headlight fuse on the older
truck had burned out. As replacement fuse was not available, Wallis noticed
that the. 22 caliber bullet 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
toward the White River bridge. After traveling approximately twenty miles
just before crossing the river, the bullet apparently overheated,
discharged and struck Poole in the right testicle. The vehicle swerved
to the right exiting the pavement and striking a tree. Poole suffered
only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident, but will require surgery to
repair the other wound. Wallis sustained a broken clavicle and was treated
and released. "Thank God we weren't on that bridge when Thurston shot
his ball off or we might both be dead" stated Wallis. "I've been a trooper
for ten 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
frogs the boys had caught and did anyone get them from the truck.

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