FW: 1999 Darwin Awards

Craven, Jim jcraven at SPAMclark.edu
Wed Aug 18 12:18:10 MDT 1999

Subject:  Darwin Awards 1999

Already, the first candidate for the 1999 Darwin Awards is circulating on
the Net. The Darwin Awards are annually bestowed upon the remains of)
individuals who have given their all in an effort to improve our gene pool.
The Darwin Awards applaud those who have made the ultimate sacrifice by
killing themselves in the most extraordinarily stupid means. The Awards
commemorate those who find innovative moronic ways of killing themselves,
thereby helping to eliminate undesirable weaknesses from the human gene
pool. And so, without further ado, the first candidate for '99:

A 39-year-old Charlottesville man died Thursday in a freak accident
involving his washing machine. According to police reports, Samuel Randolph
Strickson was doing laundry when he tried to speed up the process.  He
apparently tried to stuff approximately 50 pounds of laundry into his
washing machine by climbing on top of the washer and stomping the clothing
into the wash tub. Strickson apparently accidentally kicked the ON button.
When the machine started, Strickson lost his balance and both feet went down
into the tub, where they got stuck. The machine started the wash cycle and
Strickson, unable to free himself, started thrashing around with the
agitator. His head banged against a nearby shelf, knocking over a bottle of
bleach. The bleach poured over Strickson's face, blinding him.  Forensic
reports say Strickson also swallowed some of the bleach. He then vomited,
but was still unable to free himself.
Strickson's dog apparently came into the laundry room; the most plausible
police theory is that a large box of baking soda fell from the shelf,
startling the dog, who then urinated on the floor. Urine, like vinegar, is
acidic, and the chemical reaction between the urine and the baking soda
resulted in a small explosion. The dog escaped unharmed. Strickson remained
stuck in the washing machine, which eventually went into its high-speed spin
cycle, spinning Strickson at about 70 miles per hour, according to forensic
experts. Strickson's head then smashed against a steel beam behind the
washing machine, immediately killing him. A neighbor heard
the commotion and called 911, but Strickson was pronounced dead at the

A 22-year-old Reston man was found dead yesterday after he tried to use occy
straps (stretchy little ropes with hooks on each end) to bungee jump off a
70-foot railroad trestle, police said. Fairfax County police said Eric A.
Barcia, a fast-food worker, taped a bunch of these straps together, wrapped
an end around one foot, anchored the other end to the trestle at Lake
Accotink Park. He jumped and hit the pavement. Warren Carmichael, a police
spokesman, said investigators think Barcia was alone because his car was
found nearby. "The length of the cord he had assembled was greater than the
distance between the trestle and the ground," Carmichael said.  Police say
the apparent cause of death was "major trauma." An autopsy is scheduled for
later in the week.

Three young men visiting Oklahoma were enjoying the coming Fourth of July
holiday and wanted to apparently test some fireworks.  Their only real
problem was that their launch pad and spectator seats were located on top of
a hundred-thousand gallon fuel distillation storage tank. When the fireworks
were set off, fumes were ignited, and the fireworks were not the only thing
launched. The fireball was seen for miles and miles. The young men were no
doubt hurled high into the air and were found dead 50 yards from their
launch site.

A lawyer and two buddies were fishing on Caddo Lake in Texas. A lightning
storm hit the lake and most of the fisherman   immediately headed for the
shore. Not our friend the lawyer. He was sitting on the rear of his aluminum
bass boat and his buddies were sitting in the front. The lawyer stood up,
spread his arms wide (crucifixion style) and shouted: "HERE I AM LORD, LET
ME HAVE IT!" Needless to say, God couldn't resist [Well, could you?]. The
two buddies survived and are said to have immediately joined the ministry.

A man in Alabama died from rattlesnake bites. Big deal you may say, but
there's a twist here that makes him a candidate for the Darwin award. It
seems he and a friend were playing catch with a rattlesnake and the
rattlesnake lost patience with the game. You can guess what happened from
there. The friend (a future Darwin Award candidate) was hospitalized.

RUNNER UP (This man does not fully qualify because he lived to tell the
story. If he displays the same level of intelligence in the future, he may
very well qualify for a First Place Darwin Award! Come on Demuth - we know
you can do it!)
Vermont native Ronald Demuth found himself in a sticky situation yesterday.
Visiting the Eagle's Rock African Safari Zoo with a group of thespians from
St. Petersburg, Russia, Demuth tried to demonstrate one of America's many
marvels. Demuth wanted to show the effectiveness of "Crazy Glue" ... the
hard way. Apparently, he put about 3 ounces of the adhesive in the palms of
his hands, then jokingly placed his hands on the buttocks of a passing
rhino. The rhino (named Sally) had been a resident of the zoo for many
years. She was not initially startled because she had been part of the
petting exhibit since she was a baby. However, once she tired of the
petting, Sally began to panic and run around the pen, taking Demuth with
her. During Sally's tirade two fences were destroyed, a shed wall was gored,
and a number of small animals escaped. Also during the stampede, three pygmy
goats and one duck were stomped to

Sally was finally captured and restrained. To complicate matters, Sally had
not been feeling well lately. Actually, she had been very constipated. The
veterinarian had just given her a laxative and some depressants to relax her
bowels.  James Douglass, zoo caretaker said, "With all the excitement, the
laxatives started to take effect and Demuth was repeatedly showered with
rhino diarrhea. I guess you could say that Demuth was up to his neck.
OnceSally was under control, we were able to tranquilize her and three
caretakers, with the help of shovels, were able to keep an air passage open
for Mr. Demuth. It took a team of medics and zoo caretakers over four hours
to apply solvent and remove Demuth's hands from the rhino's buttocks. "It
was tricky. We had to work and shield our faces from being pelted with rhino
dung, said Douglass. "I don't think he'll be playing with Crazy Glue for
awhile." Vladimir Aolnikov, leader of the Russian troupe, said they were
amused by the demonstration and impressed with the power of Crazy Glue.

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