Even Darwin Would Shake His Head

Yet more "absolutely true" stories of Darwin Award nominees...

AUGUSTA, ME - Four people were injured in a string of bizarre accidents. Sherry Moeller was admitted with a head wound caused by flying masonry, Tim Vegas was diagnosed with a mild case of whiplash and contusions on his chest, arms, and face, Bryan Corcoran suffered torn gum tissue, and the first two fingers of Pamela Klesick's right hand had been bitten off. Moeller had just dropped her husband off for his first day of work and, in addition to a good-bye kiss, she flashed her breasts at him. "I'm still not sure why I did it," she said later. "I was really close to the car, so I didn't think anyone would see. Besides, it couldn't have been for more than two seconds. However, cab driver Vegas did see, and lost control of his cab, running over the curb and into the corner of the Johnson Medical Building. Inside, Klesick, a dental technician, was cleaning Corcoran's teeth. The crash of the cab against the building making her jump, tearing Corcoran's gums with a cleaning pick. In shock, he bit down, severing two fingers from Klesick's hand. Moeller's wound was caused by a falling piece of the medical building.

TAOS, NM - A woman went to a poison control center after eating three birth control vaginal inserts. Her English was so bad she had to draw a picture describing how she believed she had poisoned herself. A translator arrived shortly thereafter and confirmed doctors' suspicions. Marie Valishnokov thought the inserts were some kind of candy or gum, being unable to read the foil wrappers. After the third one, she realized something was wrong when her throat and mouth began to fill with a sour-tasting foam. She ran for the Poison Control Center, only a few blocks away where doctors were able to flush the foam from her mouth, throat, and stomach with no ill effects.

TACOMA, WA - Kerry Bingham, had been drinking with several friends when one of them said they knew a person who had bungee-jumped from the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the middle of traffic. The conversation grew more heated and at least 10 men trooped along the walkway of the bridge at 4:30 a.m. Upon arrival at the midpoint of the bridge they discovered that no one had brought bungee rope. Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered and pointed out that a coil of cable had been left near the railing. Bingham's tied one end to his leg and the other end was tied to the bridge. His fall lasted 40 feet before the cable tightened and tore his foot off at the ankle. He miraculously survived his fall into the icy river water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen. "All I can say," said Bingham, "is that God was watching out for me on that night. There's just no other explanation for it." Bingham's foot was never located.

FEBRARY 3, 1990, RENTON, WA: A man tried to commit a robbery. This was probably his first attempt, as suggested by the fact that he had no previous record of violent crime, and by his terminally stupid choices as listed below: 1. The target was H&J Leather & Firearms, a gun shop; 2. The shop was full of customers, in a state where a substantial portion of the adult population is licensed to carry concealed handguns in public places; 3. To enter the shop, he had to step around a marked Police patrol car parked at the front door; 4. An officer in uniform was standing next to the counter, having coffee before reporting to duty. Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced a holdup and fired a few wild shots. The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, removing him from the gene pool. Several other customers also drew their guns, but didn't fire. No one else was hurt.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA -A drunk security man asked a colleague at the Moscow bank they were guarding to stab his bullet-proof vest to see if it would protect him against a knife attack. It didn't, and the 25-year-old guard died of a heart wound.

FRANCE - Jacques LeFevrier left nothing to chance when he decided to commit suicide. He stood at the top of a tall cliff and tied a noose around his neck. He tied the other end of the rope to a large rock. He drank some poison and set fire to his clothes. He even tried to shoot himself at the last moment. He jumped and fired the pistol. The bullet missed him completely and cut through the rope above him. Free of the threat of hanging, he plunged into the sea. The sudden dunking extinguished the flames and made him vomit the poison. He was dragged out of the water by a kind fisherman and was taken to hospital, where he died ... of hypothermia.

And the winner is:

JAPAN TIMES, APRIL 16, 1997 - "The government must crack down on this disgusting craze of "Pumping", a spokesman for the Nakhon Ratchasima hospital told reporters. "If this perversion catches on, it will destroy the cream of Thailand's manhood." He was speaking after the remains of 13 year-old Charnchai Puanmuangpak had been rushed into the hospital's emergency room. "Most 'Pumpers' use a standard bicycle pump," he explained, "inserting the nozzle far up their rectum, giving themselves a rush of air, creating a momentary high. This act is a sin against God." Charnchai took it further still. He started using a two-cylinder foot pump, but even that wasn't exciting enough for him, and he boasted to friends that he was going to try the compressed air hose at a nearby gasoline station. They dared him to do it so, under cover of darkness, he snuck in. Not realizing how powerful the machine was, he inserted the tube deep into his rectum, and placed a coin in the slot. As a result, he died virtually instantly, but passers-by are still in shock. One woman thought she was watching a twilight fireworks display, and started clapping. "We still haven't located all of him.", say the police authorities. "When that quantity of air interacted with the gas in his system, he nearly exploded. It was like an atom bomb went off or something." "Pumping is the devil's pastime, and we must all say no to Satan, "Ratchasima concluded. "Inflate your tires by all means, but then hide your bicycle pump where it cannot tempt you."

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