Stuff From Our Readers

If you have an interesting or unusual item, send or forward it to

2006 Darwin Awards

Submitted by Gary Cinnamon

In case you haven't received them yet, here are this
year's Darwin Awards-the annual honor given to the
person who improved the "gene pool" the most by
killing themselves in the most extraordinarily
stupid way. As always, competition this year has
been keen. And the candidates this year

* In Detroit, a 41-year-old man got stuck and
drowned in two feet of water after squeezing head
first through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to
retrieve his car keys.

* A 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who
"totally zoned when he ran," accidentally jogged off
a 100-foot-high cliff on his daily run.

* Buxton, NC: A man died on a beach when an
8-foot-deep hole he had dug into the sand caved in
as he sat inside it. Beach-goers said Daniel Jones,
21, dug the hole for fun, or protection from the
wind, and had been sitting in a beach chair at the
bottom Thursday afternoon when it collapsed, burying
him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach on
the outer banks, used their hands and shovels,
trying to claw their way to Jones, a resident of
Woodbridge, VA, but could not reach him. It took
rescue workers using heavy equipment almost an hour
to free him while about 200 people looked on. Jones
was pronounced dead at a hospital.

* Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in Lompoc, CA,
as he fell face-first through the ceiling of a
bicycle shop he was burglarizing. Death was caused
when the long flashlight he had placed in his mouth
(to keep his hands free) rammed into the base of his
skull as he hit the floor.

* Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed in
Selbyville, Del, as he won a bet with friends who
said he would not put a revolver loaded with four
bullets into his mouth and pull the trigger.


* Paul Stiller, 47, was hospitalized in Andover
township, NJ, and his wife Bonnie was also injured,
when a quarter-stick of dynamite blew up in their
car. While driving around 2 AM, the bored couple lit
the dynamite and tried to toss it out the window to
see what would happen, but apparently failed to
notice the window was closed.


* 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 a bungee rope. Bingham, who had
continued drinking, volunteered and pointed out that
a coil of lineman's cable lay nearby. One end of the
cable was secured around Bingham's 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 water and was rescued by two nearby

"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


Overzealous zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt
(Paderborn, Germany) fed his constipated elephant
Stefan 22 doses of animal laxative and more than a
bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the
plugged-up pachyderm finally let it fly, and
suffocated the keeper under 200 pounds of poop!
Investigators say ill-fated Friedrich, 46, was
attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive oil
enema when the relieved beast unloaded on him.
"The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected
defecation knocked Mr. Riesfeldt to the ground,
where he struck his head on a rock and lay
unconscious as the elephant conti nued to evacuate
his bowels on top of him," said flabbergasted
Paderborn police detective Erik Dern. With no one
there to help him, he lay under all that dung for at
least an hour before a watchman came along, and
during that time he suffocated.