1998 Darwin Award.
*These awards are given each year to bestow upon (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 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
* 4th Runner-up:
* 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.
* 3rd Runner-up:
* To 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.
* 2nd Runner-up:
* Man loses face at 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.
* 1st Runner-up:
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 man'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 afterwards
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 through 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 pocketknife 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
make matters worse (?!), on landing, his pocketknife penetrated his
(The late)Mr. Hawkins, on seeing his friend in considerable pain and
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 pick-up 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
in his thigh, and his shorts dangling from a tree branch 25-feet in
Congratulations gentlemen, you win...
Remember, safety first... Remember THE safety question:
"WHAT'S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN IF I DO THIS?"