1997 Darwin Awards
These awards are given each year to (the remains of) that individual, who through single-minded self-sacrifice, has done the most to remove undesirable elements from the human gene pool. Note there was a great improvement in the areas of teamwork and cooperation among the candidates in 1997– it’s no longer an individual sport. Here are (drum roll) the 1997 runners-up and winners:
A San Anselmo, California man died when he hit a lift tower at the Mammoth Mountain ski area while riding down the slope on a foam pad. 22-year old David Hubal was pronounced dead at Centinela Mammoth Hospital. The accident occurred about 3 a.m., The Mono County Sheriff’s Department said. Hubal and his friends apparently had hiked up a ski run called Stump Alley and undid some yellow foam protectors from lift towers, said Lt. Mike Donnelly of the Mammoth Lakes Police Department. The pads are used to protect skiers who might hit towers. The group apparently used the pads to slide down the ski slope and Hubal crashed into a tower. It has since been investigated and determined the tower he hit was the one with its pad removed.
Robert Puelo, 32, was apparently being disorderly in a St. Louis market. When the clerk threatened to call the police. Puelo grabbed a hot dog, shoved it into his mouth and walked out without paying. 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.
Poacher Marino Malerba of Spain, who shot a stag standing above him on an overhanging rock and was killed instantly when it fell on him.
Man loses face at a party. A man at a West Virginia party (probably related to the man in Arkansas who used the 22 bullet to replace the fuse in his pick-up truck) popped a blasting cap into his mouth and bit down, triggering an explosion that blew off his lips, teeth, and tongue. Jerry Stromyer, 24, of Kincaid, bit the blasting cap as a prank during the party late Tuesday night, said Cpl. M.D. Payne. “Another man had it in an aquarium hooked to a battery and was trying to explode it”, said Payne. “It wouldn’t go off and this guy said I’ll show you how to set it off”. “He put it into his mouth and bit down. It blew all his teeth out and his lips and tongue off”, Payne said. Stromyer was listed in guarded condition Wednesday with extensive facial injuries, according to a spokesperson at Charleston Area Medical Division. “I just can’t imagine anyone doing something like that”.Payne said.
Doctors at Portland University Hospital said an Oregon man shot through the skull by a hunting arrow is lucky to be alive and will be released soon from the hospital. Tony Roberts, 25, lost his right eye last weekend during an initiation into a men’s rafting club, Mountain Men Anonymous (probably known now as Stupid Mountain Men Anonymous) in Grants Pass, Oregon. A friend tried to shoot a beer can off his head, but the arrow entered Robert’s right eye. Doctors said had the arrow gone 1 millimeter to the left, a major blood vessel would have been cut and Roberts would have died instantly. Neurosurgeon Doctor 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 had Roberts tried to pull the arrow out on his own he surely would have killed himself. Roberts admitted afterward he and his friends had been drinking that afternoon. Said Roberts, “I feel so dumb about this”. No charges have been filed, but the Josephine County district attorney’s office said the initiation stunt is under investigation.
Last year’s winner, you will remember, was the fellow who was killed when he attached a JATO (Jet Assisted Take-Off) unit to his Chevy Impala and shot himself and his car into a desert cliff at 300 M.P.H.
Now this year’s winners:
(The late) John Pernicky and his friend, (the late) Sal Hawkins, of the great state of Washington, decided to attend a local Metallica concert at the Gorge, Washington amphitheater. Having no tickets (but having had 18 beers between them), they thought it would be easy to “hop” over the nine-foot fence and sneak into the show. They pulled their pick-up truck over to the fence and the plan was for (the late) Mr. Pernicky (who was 100-pounds heavier than Mr. Hawkins) to hop the fence and then assist his friend over. Unfortunately for (the late) Mr. Pernicky, there was a 30-foot drop on the other side of the fence. Having heaved himself over, he found himself crashing into a tree. His fall was abruptly halted (and broken, along with his arm, as it were) by a large branch that snagged him by his shorts. Dangling from the tree with a broken arm, he looked down and saw some bushes below him. (Possibly) figuring the bushes would break his fall, he removed his pocket knife and proceeded to cut away his shorts to free himself from the tree. Finally free, (did I mention he is THE LATE) Mr. Pernicky crashed into Holly bushes. The sharp leaves scratched his ENTIRE body and now without the protection of his shorts, a holly branch penetrated his rectal cavity. To make matters worse (?!), on landing, his pocket knife penetrated his thigh 3-inches. (The late) Mr. Hawkins, on seeing his friend in considerable pain and agony, decided to throw him a rope and pull him to safety (now he thinks of the “S” word) by tying the rope to the pick-up truck and slowly driving away. However, in his drunken haste/state, he put the truck into reverse and crashed through the fence landing on his friend and killing him. Police arrived to find the crashed pickup with its driver thrown 100-feet from the truck and dead at the scene from massive internal injuries. Upon moving the truck, they found John under it, half-naked with scratches on his body, a holly stick in his rectum, a knife in his thigh, and his shorts dangling from a tree branch 25-feet in the air. Congratulations gentlemen, you win…
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