Darwin Awards 2009 (not to be confused with Charles Darwin Award for Zoology) were recently announced. These annual awards are given to Awards people who “do a service to Humanity by removing themselves from the gene pool“.
Check out the finalists –
Winner – Crushing Debt (from here)
(26 September 2009, Belgium) The city of Dinant is the backdrop for this rare Double Darwin Award. Two bankrobbers attempting to make a sizeable withdrawal from an ATM died when they overestimated the quantity of dynamite needed for the explosion. The blast demolished the building the bank was housed in. Nobody else was in the building at the time of the attack.
Robber One was rushed to the hospital with severe head trauma; he died shortly after arrival. Investigators initially assumed that his accomplice had managed a getway, but the second bungler’s body was excavated from the debris twelve hours later. Would-be Robbers One and Two weren’t exactly impoverished–their getaway car was a BMW.
Runner Up – Double Dip (from here)
(3 June 2009, North Carolina) Greensboro was innundated with four inches of pouring rain in two hours, stranding several cars on flooded roads. Rosanne T., 50, was not deterred. She hopped on her moped and drove to a convenience store where she “possibly had a beer,” according to her mother, before deciding to blunder home through the storm. She phoned home to say, “My moped has two rubber wheels, Mom, I’ll be fine.”
North Carolina does not require a license to own a moped.
Ms. T. had acquired hers two years previously after a DUI conviction.
The Highway Patrol had blocked off several roads that were inundated with water, including Rosanne’s path home. But she rode right past the officer and the barriers, lost control of her vehicle, and fell into the swollen creek below. The officer retrieved rope from his vehicle and proceeded to haul her from the water.
He then interviewed the woman, probably inquiring about her motivation for speeding through a roadblock during a flash flood. When the officer returned to his patrol car to call for assistance, Rosanne took the opportunity to escape–by jumping back into the creek!
The officer attempted to rescue her again, but alas, it was too late.
The victim’s mother speculated that her daughter’s motivation for jumping into a flooded creek was to rescue her drowning moped. “She loved that thing.”
Runner Up – Dying to Go (from here)
(12 April 2008, Florida) Traffic was moving slowly on southbound I-95. Shawn M. had recently left a Pompano Beach bar, and now he was stuck in traffic. As the saying goes, you don’t buy beer–you just rent it, and Shawn couldn’t wait another moment to relieve himself. “I need to take a leak,” he told his friends.
Traffic was deadlocked, so the waterlogged man climbed out, put his hand on the divider, and jumped over the low concrete wall… only to fall 65 feet to his death. “He probably thought there was a road, but there wasn’t,” said a Fort Lauderdale police spokesman. The car was idling on an overpass above the railroad lines.
His mother shared her attempt thoughts. “Shawn didn’t do a whole lot for a living. He got along on his charm, just like his father.”
Though his death was tragic, Shawn’s downfall proves the old adage: Look before you leak!
What is a Darwin Award?
A Darwin Award is a tongue-in-cheek honour named after evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin. Awards have been given for people who “do a service to Humanity by removing themselves from the gene pool” (i.e. lose the ability to reproduce either by death or sterilization in a stupid fashion). According to Wendy Northcutt, author of the Darwin Award books: “The Awards honor people who ensure the long-term survival of the human race by removing themselves from the gene pool in a sublimely idiotic fashion.” The Darwin Award books state that an attempt is made to disallow known urban legends from the awards, but some older “winners” have been ‘grandfathered’ to keep their awards.
I have feeling that we should start another award – anti-Darwin awards for idiots who don’t go instinct!