If you are a fan of the Darwin Awards, you will probably have read many of the spectacular feats of dumbassery that some folks have tried to pull off. Some of them are so terribly stupid that I just can’t help reading them—and then passing them on. Read ’em and weep (or laugh):
Number 1 Feat of Dumbassery
“(27 Nov 2018, Arizona) The Buckeye Police Department reports that a man accidentally shot his own sausage while shopping in the meat aisle at Walmart. Arizona law does not require a permit (nor a holster for that matter) to carry a firearm, so our hero felt free to carry his piece “commando-style” (unholstered) beneath his waistband. When the unholstered gun drifted down into his jeans, he reached in and pulled the trigger while repositioning his weapon. This loose cannon’s low hanging fruit didn’t have a chance. Firearm supporters can add this event to the arsenal of ammunition against gun control. Guns really do make a difference.
Darwin Award? Odds are, our gun nut (pun intended) shredded his ability to breed and wins the uncommon Living Darwin Award: still alive but unable to reproduce. Otherwise, his reward is an Honorable Mention — “better luck next time.” We await further information.”
Number 2 Feat of Dumbassery
“(3 September 2018, New Zealand) Sometimes the fastest method results in the deadliest outcome. The tale of Howard Miller, 39, professional welder and Darwin Award Winner, illustrates the pitfalls of ignoring high school chemistry with a time-saving invention.
Always helpful, Miller spent his last moments helping a friend weld an exhaust pipe onto a classic Holden Kingswood sedan. He arrived at the garage shed with an experimental welding kit: an LPG bottle, similar to a propane tank, in which he had mixed both components that make up oxy-acetylene welding gas: acetylene and oxygen.
Now, that last detail should send a shiver down any welder’s spine! Professional welders know that these components are kept in separate tanks because, when combined, they burn hot enough to cut metal. A tank of mixed acetylene/oxygen + no flow regulator = an accident waiting to happen. Like a scene from Breaking Bad, Mr. Miller had unwittingly constructed a lethal explosive!
Once Miller unveiled his jury-rigged device, his friend regognized this dangerous equation and repeatedly warned that it was crazy! Finally he high-tailed it out of the shed while Miller, undeterred by a bit of panic, attachec a torch head straight onto the bottle and lit the welding tip.
Sans regulator, the flame crept back into the bottle and the inevitable explosion flattened the shed, which also contained about twenty litres of paint thinner and gasoline. The force of the explosion was so intense it shattered the windows of neighboring properties.
Needless to say, the friend is in need a new car.
The deceased winner, a gentle and generous man, would surely be grateful to know that no one else was hurt in the fracas. And as a consolation prize, his tragic experiment will benefit others by demonstrating a potential consequence of skipping chemistry class.”
Number 3 Feat of Dumbassery
“(11 December 2016, England) Drop an iPhone into your bath water, no biggie, all you get is a nasty repair bill. But drop a charging iPhone into your bathwater…and suddenly coroners are demanding warning labels.
It is with chagrin that this writer, known to bathe while poking at her laptop keyboard, shares news of the explicable demise of Richard Bull and his iPhone. Mr. Bull, 32, plugged his charger into an extension cord and rested the charger on his chest while using the phone in the tub. He received severe burns on his chest, arm, and hand when the charger touched the water in his West London home, which mattered little as he was already dead from heart failure.
Those of us who plug into plugged-in electronics must heed the coroner’s warning and take a breather in the loo. The sparky mix of electricity and water is a fact known to all, yet the doctor who conducted the iNquest plans to send a stern note to Apple. Perhaps one more warning label will solve our problem?”
Number 4 Feat of Dumbassery
“Barrel Ride, With Flames!
(19 July 2010, Washington) Thanks to Skagit Raceway, the town of Sedro-Woolley (pop. 10,000) fills with racing folks. During the American Sprint Car Series, two crew members–smart people with a high degree of mechanical ability–were working at a custom machine shop when they dreamed up an unusual thrill ride. The men put a a 55-gallon barrel in the parking lot, poured in four gallons of methanol, sat on top of the barrel, and lit the bunghole!
“Apparently they thought the barrel would skid across the parking lot like a rocket, with a tail of flame shooting out, and two rodeo clowns sitting on top waving their caps and wooting! But instead of sliding across the pavement, well, let’s just point out that four gallons of methanol in a 55-gallon drum greatly resembles a bomb.
“The barrel blew up beneath them with enough force that the end of the barrel landed 120 feet away. The two inspired Sparks* landed in Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where one man lost his life. The other survived with a sobering lesson on the power of internal combustion.”
So–just reading those four demonstrations of absolute dumbassery makes me feel just a tad smarter…