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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

2007 Darwin Awards

It's a new year and time to recognize the achievements of a few tragic souls who have benefited the gene pool by killing themselves in incredibly stupid ways. These are the top three (read them all here):

Coitus Interruptus (20 June 2007, South Carolina): A passing cabbie found a 21 year-old couple naked and injured in the road an hour before sunrise. The two people died at the nearest hospital without regaining consciousness. Authorities were at a loss to explain what had happened. There were no witnesses, no trace of clothing, and no wrecked cars or motorcycles.

Investigators eventually found a clue high on the roof of a nearby building: two sets of neatly folded clothes. Safe sex takes on a whole new meaning when you are perched on the edge of a pyramid-shaped metal roof. "It appears as if [they] accidentally fell off the roof," Sgt. Florence McCants said.

This is a true Darwin Award trifecta: TWO people die, WHILE in the act of procreation, due to an ASTONISHINGLY poor decision. Bottom line: If you put yourself in a precarious "position" at the edge of a pointy roof, you may well find yourself coming and going at the same time.

The Enema Within (21 May 2004, Texas): Michael was an alcoholic. And not an ordinary alcoholic, but an alcoholic who liked to take his liquor... well, rectally. His wife said he was "addicted to enemas" and often used alcohol in this manner. The result was the same: inebriation.

The machine shop owner couldn't imbibe alcohol by mouth due to a painful throat ailment, so he elected to receive his favourite beverage via enema. And tonight, Michael was in for one hell of a party. Two 1.5 litre bottles of sherry, more than 100 fluid ounces, right up the old address!

When the rest of us have had enough, we either stop drinking or pass out. When Michael had had enough (and subsequently passed out) the alcohol remaining in his rectal cavity continued to be absorbed. The next morning, Michael was dead.

The 58-year-old did a pretty good job of embalming himself. According to toxicology reports, his blood alcohol level was 0.47%.

In order to qualify for a Darwin Award, a person must remove himself from the gene pool via an "astounding misapplication of judgment." Three litres of sherry up the butt can only be described as astounding. Unsurprisingly, his neighbors said they were surprised to learn of the incident.

Weight Lift (27 July 2007, Guadalajara, Mexico): 24-year-old Jessica was working out in the Provincia Hotel's gym when she realised she needed something from the floor below. Instead of picking up the phone, using the intercom, or just walking downstairs, she decided that the open shaft of the industrial lift was the communications device for her.

So Jessica stuck her head into the empty shaft to shout to the people downstairs. And somehow, she missed noticing that the elevator was coming up towards her. If the elevator had been going down, one could say that she was in no position to observe the approaching lift. But, leaving aside the stupidity of sticking your head into an elevator shaft, if she was looking down, how could she miss the mass of metal inexorably headed her way?

Since an elevator cage and a skull are both solid objects, one had to give. Let's just say, the elevator won. Jessica will be missed by her family, but not by the gene pool.

My favorite one of all time is this one about the guy who got killed doing his laundry, but apparently it's an urban legend. Normally you would think such a monumentally improbable chain of events would have to be true, but I guess the mention of the dog shoulda tipped me off that it was bogus.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.