The 1997 Darwin Award competition
(page last updated 30/08/98).
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 the 1997 runners-up and
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 pad removed.
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.
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.
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.
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 mans 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
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, 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 cavity. To make matters worse
(?!), on landing, his pocketknife penetrated his thigh 3-inches. (The late)
Mr. Hawkins, on seeing his friend in considerable pain and agony, 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 knife in his thigh, and his shorts dangling
from a tree branch 25-feet in the air.
Congratulations gentlemen, you win...
Remember, safety first...
Remember THE safety question:
"WHAT'S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN IF I DO THIS?"
Robert Chasmer -
(C) KAOS 1995-2000.