Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father
of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who
improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it.
DARWIN AWARDS 2012
27 February 2012, North Carolina : "It was just a freak incident,"
said an investigator, that caused the death of 43-year-old Gary Allen Banning. Gary was at
a friend's apartment when he spotted a salsa jar containing a mystery fluid. Thinking that
it was an alcoholic beverage, he helped himself to a sizeable swig of gasoline! Naturally
enough, he immediately spit out the offending liquid onto his clothes.
Then, to recover from the shock, Gary lit a cigarette. Whoosh! Gas+Flame=Combustion.
Firefighters responded to calls reporting a fire in the apartment, and found a badly
burned man sitting on a charred carpet. The following morning, Gasoline Gary died at the UNC Burn Center in Chapel Hill.
Two mistakes caused his death. The first mistake was minor: gulping a golden liquid
from a salsa jar. Although Darwin Awards editors feel that a jar of yellow liquid is best
left sealed, drinking its contents usually does not lead to combustion. But the second
mistake--lighting up a cigarette to recover from the shock of taking a mouthful of
gasoline--was a decision that an average five year old would consider questionable.
As the late Bill Hicks said, "Darn, we lost another idiot."
Gary's friend was a mechanic and kept the jar of gasoline near the kitchen sink
to remove grease from his hands.
10 April 2012 : Washing trucks for a living is not a prestigious job but
it does have perks, particularly for those who wash trucks for Beer Stores, a Canadian liquor
store chain. The discovery of an onboard bottle of liquor can be considered a tipple-tip, can
it not? And swigging free booze surely does make a menial job easier to swallow.
Which brings us to the deceased Darwin Award winner. Behind the driver's seat of a Beer Store truck,
he discovered a vodka bottle full of blue liquid! Whether the deceased would have swallowed the liquid
if it had been a suspicious shade of yellow, I do not know, but a suspicous shade of blue was deemed
palatable. He immediately swigged from the bottle, which you have already realized contained windshield
His taste buds and olfactory bulbs must have been on vacation. During the next two days, the man became
sicker and sicker as he transferred the contents of the bottle to his circulatory system. He died in
the hospital from methanol poisoning.
Subsequent to his death, a lawsuit against the parent company of Beer Stores deserves a Stella Award
for stupid lawsuits. The company has been legally chastised and now forbids truck drivers from placing
windshield wiper fluid in alcohol bottles.
3 October 2012, Serra, Brazil : The merits of this potential Darwin Award
winner are solid, yet something stands in the way...
Consider a bus traveling along the streets of a busy modern city such as Serra, Brazil. The bus driver,
guided by instinct developed over years of experience, is expertly navigating the narrow streets of the
metro area. Suddenly a passenger throws in a new variable: He stands on the seat and hangs his torso out
the window, wiggling around and whooping it up. The Darwin Awards editors are honor-bound to divulge
that this sounds super-duper fun. Arms extended, hair a'flying, an undeniably W00T activity.
Yet to do so effectively increases the width of a bus by two feet. Head, please meet your nemesis in
the form of a utility pole. The streets are narrow. Now you know!