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Darwin Award

Wolfgang Schemmel - Mon May 03 15:06:13 1999

THE DARWIN AWARDS are given every 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.  

Here are some current candidates:

5th Runner Up:

A San Anselmo, California man died yesterday when he hit a lift 
tower at the Mammoth Mountain ski area while riding down the 
slope on a foam pad, authorities said. Matthew David Hubal, 22, 
was pronounced dead at Centinela Mammoth Hospital. The accident 
occurred about 3 a.m., the Mono County Sheriff's Department 

Hubal and his friends apparently had hiked up a ski run called 
Stump Alley and undid some yellow foam protectors from the lift 
towers, said Lieutenant Mike Donnelly of the Mammoth Lakes 
Police Department. The pads are used to protect skiers who might 
hit the towers. The group apparently used the pads to slide down 
the ski slope and Hubal crashed into a tower. It has since been 
investigated that the tower he hit was the one with its pad 

4th Runner Up:

Robert Puelo, 32, was apparently being disorderly in a St. Louis 
market. When the clerk threatened to call police, Puelo grabbed 
a hot dog, shoved it in his mouth, and walked out without paying 
for it. 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 [Wilderer] Marino Malerba of Spain, who shot a stag 
[Hirsch] 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 popped a 
blasting cap [Zuendkapsel] into his mouth and bit down, 
triggering an explosion that blew off his lips, teeth and 
tongue,state police said Wednesday. Jerry Stromyer, 24, of 
Kincaid, bit the blasting cap as a prank during a 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," Payne said. "It wouldn't go off and this 
guy said, "I'll show you how to set it off. He put it in his 
mouth and bit down. It blew all his teeth off, his tongue and 
his lips," Payne said. Stromyer was listed in guarded condition 
Wednesday with extensive facial injuries, according to a 
spokesman at Charleston Area Medical Division. "I just can't 
imagine anyone doing something like that," Payne said.   

1st Runner Up:

Doctors at Portland's 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 
men's rafting club, Mountain Men Anonymous, in Grants Pass, Ore. 
A friend tried to shoot a beer can off his head, but the arrow 
entered Roberts' 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 Dr. 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 Robert tried to pull the arrow out on his 
own he surely would have killed himself. Robert 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 was the fellow who was killed when he 
attached a JATO (Jet Assisted Take Off) unit to his Chevy Impala 
and promptly shot himself at 300 mph into the side of a desert 


(The late) John Pernicky and his friend, (the late) Sal Hawkins, 
of the great state of Washington, who decided to attend a local 
Metallica concert at the Amphitheater at Gorge, Washington. 
Having no tickets (but 18 beers among them) they thought it 
would be easy enough to hop over the nine-foot high fence and 
sneak into the show. The two friends pulled their pickup truck 
over to the fence and the plan was for John --100 pounds heavier 
than Sal - to hop over, and then assist his friend over the 

Unfortunately for John, 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 by a large 
branch which snagged him by his shorts. Dangling from the tree, 
with one arm broken, John looked down and saw a group of bushes 
below him. Possibly figuring the bushes would break his fall, 
John removed his pocket knife and proceeded to cut away his 
shorts to free himself from the tree. 

Finally free, John crashed below into Holly  bushes 
[Stechpalmen]. The sharp leaves scratched his entire body and 
now being without his shorts, he was the unwilling victim of a 
holly branch penetrating his rectal cavity. To make matters 
worse, his pocket knife proceeded to  fall with him and landed 
three inches into his left thigh. Seeing his friend in 
considerable pain and agony, Sal decided to throw him a rope and 
pull him to safety  by tying the rope to the pickup truck and 
slowly driving away. 

However,in his drunken state, Sal put the truck into reverse 
rather than first, and crashed through the fence, landing on and 
killing his friend. Sal was thrown from the truck, suffered 
massive internal injuries and died at the scene. Police arrived 
to find a pickup truck with its driver thrown 100 feet from the 
truck. Upon moving the truck, they found John under it, half 
naked, with scratches, a holly stick up his rectum, a knife in 
his thigh, and his shorts dangling from the tree branches 25 
feet in the air.  

Congratulations, gentlemen......

Wolfgang Schemmel                                    w69@Schemmel.com
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