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Super Granny Defender of Justice 

An elderly Florida lady did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle. She dropped her shopping bags, and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at them at the top of her voice, "I have a gun and I know how to use it! 

Get out of the car, you scum bags!" The four men didn't wait for a second invitation, but got out and ran like mad, whereupon the lady, somewhat shaken, proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and get into the driver's seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition. She tried and tried and then it dawned on her why. A few minutes later she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags into her car and drove to the police station.

The sergeant to whom she told the story nearly tore himself in two with laughter. He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale white males were reporting a car jacking by a mad elderly woman described as white, less than 5' tall, glasses, and curly white hair carrying a large handgun. No charges were filed.

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2001 Darwin Awards . . . Hard to believe, but another year has passed 

For those who don't know it, the Darwin Awards are awarded every year to the person(s) who died (or almost died) in the stupidest way, thus enhancing the gene pool by their absence."

  • NOMINEE No. 1: [San Jose Mercury News]: An unidentified man, using a shotgun like a club to break a former girlfriend's windshield, accidentally shot himself to death when the gun discharged, blowing a 10" hole in his gut.
  • NOMINEE No. 2: [Kalamazoo Gazette] James Burns, 34, (a mechanic) of Alamo, Mich., was killed in March as he was trying to repair what police describe as a "farm type truck." Burns got a friend to drive the truck on a highway while Burns hung underneath so that he could ascertain the source of a troubling noise. Burns' clothes caught on something, however, and the other man found Burns "wrapped in the drive shaft."
  • NOMINEE No. 3: [Hickory Daily Record] Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally shot himself to death in December in Newton, N.C. Awakening to the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached for the phone but grabbed instead a Smith Wesson 38 Special, which discharged when he drew it to his ear.
  • NOMINEE No. 4: [UPI, Toronto] Police said a lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown Toronto skyscraper crashed through a pane with his shoulder and plunged 24 floors to his death. A police spokesman said Garry Hoy, 39, fell into the courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was explaining the strength of the building's windows to visiting law students. Hoy previously has conducted demonstration of window strength according to police reports. Peter Lawyers, managing partner of the firm Holden Day Wilson, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was "one of the best and brightest" members of the 200-man association.
  • NOMINEE No. 5: [Bloomsburg News Service] A terrible diet and a room with no ventilation are being blamed for the death of a man who was killed by his own gas. There was no mark on his body but an autopsy showed large amounts of methane gas in his system. His diet had consisted primarily of beans and cabbage (and a couple of other things). It was just the right combination of foods. It appears that the man died in his sleep from breathing the poisonous cloud that was hanging over his bed. Had he been outside, or had his windows been opened, it wouldn't have been fatal. But the man was shut up in his near airtight bedroom. According to the article, "He was a big man with a huge capacity for creating "this deadly gas." Three of the rescuers got sick and one was hospitalized.
  • NOMINEE No. 6: [The News of the Weird.] Michael Anderson Godwin made news of the Weird posthumously. He had spent several years awaiting South Carolina's electric chair on a murder conviction before having his sentence reduced to life in prison. Whilst sitting on a metal toilet in his cell and attempting to fix his small TV set, he bit into a wire and was promptly electrocuted.
  • NOMINEE NO. 7: ["The Indianapolis Star"]. A cigarette lighter may have triggered a fatal explosion in Dunkirk, Indiana. A Jay County man using a cigarette lighter to check the barrel of a muzzle loader was killed Monday night when the weapon discharged in his face, sheriff's investigators said. Gregory David Pryor, 19, died in his parents' rural Dunkirk home about 11:30 pm. Investigators said Pryor was cleaning a 54-caliber muzzle loader that had not been firing properly. He was using the lighter to look into the barrel when the gunpowder ignited.
  • NOMINEE No. 8: [Reuters, Mississauga, Ontario] A man cleaning a bird Feeder on the balcony of his condominium apartment in this Toronto suburb slipped and fell 23 stories to his death. Stefan Macko, 55, was standing on a wheeled chair when the accident occurred, said Inspector D'Arcy Honer of the Peel regional police. "It appears the chair moved and he went over the balcony," Honer said.
  • NOMINEE No.9: [Arkansas Democrat Gazette] Two local men were seriously injured when their pick-up truck left the road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State Highway 38 early Monday morning. Woodruff County deputy Dovey Snyder reported the accident shortly after midnight Monday. Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc and Billy Ray Wallis, 38, of Little Rock are listed in serious condition at Baptist Medical Center. The accident occurred as the two men were returning to Des Arc after a frog gigging trip. On an overcast Sunday night, Poole's pick-up truck headlights malfunctioned.

    The two men concluded that the headlight fuse on the older model truck had burned out. As a replacement fuse was not available, Wallis noticed that the .22 caliber bullet from his pistol fit perfectly into the fuse box next to the steering wheel column. Upon inserting the bullet, the headlights again began to operate properly and the two men proceeded east-bound toward the White River bridge.

After traveling approximately 20 miles, and just before crossing the river, the bullet apparently overheated, discharged and struck Poole in the right testicle. The vehicle swerved sharply to the right exiting the pavement and striking a tree. Poole suffered only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident, but will required surgery to repair the other wound. Wallis sustained a broken clavicle and was treated and released.

"Thank God we weren't on that bridge when Thurston shot his balls off, or we might both be dead" stated Wallis. "I've been a trooper for ten years in this part of the world, but this is a first for me. I can't believe that those two would admit how this accident happened," said Snyder. Upon being notified of the wreck, Lavinia, Poole's wife, asked how many frogs the boys had caught and did anyone get them from the truck. (Way to go, Lavinia!)

Submitted by Wink, New York, NY 

2000 Darwin Awards

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Letter to the IRS

This is one of those. It is a real letter submitted to the IRS in the midst of last year's weird and bizarre denial of dependents, exemptions, and credits. We believe the letter speaks for itself.

Dear Sirs:

I am responding to your letter denying the deduction for two of the three dependents that I claimed on my 1994 Federal Tax return. Thank you. I have questioned whether these are my children or not for years.  They are evil and expensive. It's only fair that since they are minors and not my responsibility that the government (who evidently is taxing me more to care for these waifs) knows something about them and what to expect over the next year. You may apply next year to reassign them to me and reinstate the deduction. This year they are yours!

The oldest, Kristen, is now 17. She is brilliant. Ask her! I suggest you put her to work in your office where she can answer people's questions about their returns. While she has no formal training, it has not seemed to hamper her knowledge of any other subject you can name. Taxes should be a breeze; next year she is going to college. I think it's wonderful that you now will be responsible for that little expense. While you mull that over keep in mind that she has a truck. It doesn't run at the moment so you have the immediate decision of appropriating some Department of Defense funds to fix the vehicle or getting up early to drive her to school. Kristen also has a boyfriend.  Oh joy. While she possesses all of the wisdom of the universe, her alleged mother and I have felt it best, occasionally, to remind her of the virtues of abstinence, and in the face of overwhelming passion, safe sex. This is always uncomfortable and I am quite relieved you will be handling this in the future. May I suggest that you reinstate Jocelyn Elders who had a rather good handle on the problem. 

Patrick is 14. I've had my suspicions about this one. His eyes are a little close together for normal people. He may be a tax examiner himself one day if you do not incarcerate him first. In February I was awakened at three in the morning by a police officer that was bringing Pat home. He and his friends were TP'ing houses. In the future would you like him delivered to the local IRS office or to Ogden, UT? Kids at 14 will do almost anything on a dare. His hair is purple. Permanent dye, temporary dye, what's the big deal?  Learn to deal with it. You'll have plenty of time as he is sitting out a few days of school after instigating a food fight. I'll take care of filing your phone number with the vice principle.  Oh yes, he and all of his friends have raging hormones. This is the house of testosterone and it will be much more peaceful when he lives in your home.  DO NOT leave any of them unsupervised with girls, explosives, inflammables, inflatables, vehicles, or telephones. (I'm sure that you will find telephones a source of unimaginable amusement, and be sure to lock out the 900 and 976 numbers!)

Heather is an alien. She slid through a time warp and appeared quite by magic one year. I'm sure this one is yours. She is 10 going on 21. She came from a bad trip in the sixties. She wears tie-dyed clothes, beads, sandals, hair that looks like Tiny Tim's. Fortunately you will be raising my taxes to help offset the pinch of her remedial reading courses. Hooked On Phonics is expensive so the schools dropped it. Good news! You can buy it yourself for half the amount of the deduction that you are denying! It's quite obvious that we were terrible parents (ask the other two) so they have helped raise this one to a new level of terror. She cannot speak English. Most people under twenty understand the curious patois she fashioned out of valley girls/boys in the hood/reggae/yuppie/political double speak don't. The school sends her to a speech pathologist that has her roll her R's.  It added a refreshing Mexican/Irish touch to her voice. She wears hats backwards, pants baggy and wants one of her ears pierced four more times. There is a  fascination with tattoos that worries me but I am sure that you can handle it. Bring a truck when you come to get her, she sort of "nests" in her room and I think that it would be easier to move the entire thing than find out what it is really made of.

You denied two of the three exemptions so it is only fair you get to pick which two you will take. I prefer you take the youngest; I still go bankrupt with Kristen's college but then I am free! If you take the two oldest then I still have time for counseling before Heather becomes a teenager. If you take the two girls then I won't feel so bad about putting Patrick in a military academy.

Please let me know of your decision as soon as possible as I have already increased the withholding on my W-4 to cover the $395 in additional tax and made a down payment on an airplane.

Yours Truly, Bob

Submitted by Ron, Germantown. Md.

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The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry midterm:

 "Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Support your answer with a proof. "Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they a relieving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added. This gives two possibilities.

  1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
  2. Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over. So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms. Therese Banyan during my Freshman year that "it will be a cold night in Hell before I sleep with you" and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then (2) cannot be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic. The student got the only A. 

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The 2000 Darwin Awards 

For those not familiar with the Darwin Award, it's an annual honor given to the person who provided the Universal human gene pool the biggest service by getting killed in the most extraordinarily stupid way. As always, competition this year has been keen again. Some candidates appear to have trained their whole lives for this event!

Darwin Award Candidates:

  1. In September 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.
  2. In October, a 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who "totally zoned when he ran," according to his wife, accidentally jogged off a100-foot-high cliff on his daily run.
  3. 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.
  4. In February, Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in Lompoc, CA, as he fell face-first through the ceiling of 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.
  5. According to police in Dahlonega, GA, ROTC cadet Nick Berrena, 20, was stabbed to death in January by fellow cadet Jeffrey Hoffman, 23, who was trying to prove that a knife could not penetrate the flakvest Berrena was wearing.
  6. Sylvester Briddell, Jr, 26, was killed in February 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.
  7. In February, according to police in Windsor, Ontario, Daniel Kolta, 27,and Randy Taylor, 33, died in a head-on collision, thus earning a tie in the game of chicken they were playing with their snowmobiles.

Darwin Award Honorable Mentions

  1. In Guthrie, Okla, in October, Jason Heck tried to kill a millipede with a shot from his 22-caliber rifle, but the bullet ricocheted off a rock near the hole and hit pal Antonio Martinez in the head, fracturing his skull.
  2. In Elyria, Ohio, in October, Martyn Eskins, attempting to clean out cobwebs in his basement, declined to use a broom in favor of a propane torch and caused a fire that burned the first and second floors of his house.
  3. Paul Stiller, 47, was hospitalized in Andover Township, NJ, in September, and his wife Bonnie was also injured, by a quarter-stick of dynamite that blew up in their car. While driving around at 2 AM, the bored couple lit the dynamite and tried to toss it out the window to see what would happen, but they apparently failed to notice that the window was closed.
  4. Acoma, 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 am. 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 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.

And the Winner:

Paderborn, Germany-  Overzealous zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt 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 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 like a dump truck full of mud. "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 continued 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. "It seems to be just one of those freak accidents that happen."

Submitted by Marianne, Colombia, Md.

1999 Darwin Awards

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