Yes, it is the 1999 Darwin Awards.  
For those sheltered few of you who are not fully aware of the 
Darwin Awards; these awards are given annually (and posthumously) to those 
individuals who did the most for the human gene pool by removing themselves 
from it.
 A 22-year-old Reston man was found dead yesterday after he tried to use 
'occy' straps (the stretchy little ropes with hooks on each end) to bungee 
jump off a 70-foot railroad trestle, police said. Fairfax County police said 
Eric A. Barcia, a fast-food worker, taped a bunch of these straps together, 
wrapped an end around one foot, anchored the other end to the trestle at Lake 
Accotink Park, jumped...and hit the pavement.
Warren  Carmichael, a police spokesman, said investigators think Barcia was 
alone because his car was found nearby."The length of the cord that he had 
assembled was greater than the distance between the trestle and the ground," 
Carmichael said. Police say the apparent cause of death was "major trauma." 
An autopsy is scheduled for later in the week.
 Three young men in Oklahoma were enjoying the upcoming Fourth of  July 
holiday and wanted to apparently test fire some fireworks. Their only real 
problem was that their launch pad and seating arrangements were atop a 
several hundred thousand-gallon fuel distillation storage tank.  Oddly 
enough, some fumes were ignited, producing a fireball seen for miles.  They 
were launched several hundred feet into the air and were found dead 250 yards 
from their respective seats.
 A lawyer and two buddies were fishing on Caddo Lake in Texas when a 
lightning storm hit the lake.  Most of the other boats immediately headed for 
the shore, but not our friend the lawyer. Alone on  the rear of his aluminum 
bass boat with his buddies, this individual stood up, spread his arms wide 
(crucifixion style) and shouted: "HERE I AM LORD, LET ME HAVE IT!" Needless 
to say, God delivered.  The other two passengers on the boat survived the 
lightning strike with  minor burns.
 A man in Alabama died from rattlesnake bites. Big deal you may say, but  
there's a twist here that makes him a candidate. It seems he and a friend 
were playing catch with a rattlesnake. You  can guess what happened from 
here. The friend (a future Darwin Awards candidate) was hospitalized. 
 Not much was given to me on this unlucky fellow, but he qualifies 
nonetheless. You see, there was a gentleman from Korea who was killed by his 
cell phone... more or less. He was doing  the usual "walking and talking" 
when he walked into a tree and managed to somehow break his neck.  Keep that 
in mind the next time you decide to drive and dial at the same time. 
 In a west Texas town, employees in a medium-sized warehouse noticed the 
smell of  gas.  Sensibly, management evacuated the building, extinguishing 
all potential sources of ignition-lights, power, etc.  After the building had 
been evacuated, two technicians from the Gas Company were dispatched. Upon 
entering the building, they found they had difficulty navigating in the dark. 
 To their frustration, none of the lights worked. Witnesses later described 
the vision of one of the technicians reaching into his pocket and retrieving 
an object that resembled a lighter.  Upon operation of the lighter-like 
object, the gas in the house exploded, sending pieces of  it up to three 
miles away.  Nothing was found of the technicians, but the lighter was 
virtually untouched by the explosion. Even before the explosion, the 
suspected technicians peers did not think of him as "bright".
A Vermont native, Ronald Demuth, found himself in a difficult position 
yesterday. While touring the Eagle's Rock African Safari (Zoo) with a group 
of thespians from St. Petersburg, Russia,  Mr. Demuth went overboard to show 
them one of America's many marvels.  He demonstrated the effectiveness of 
"Crazy Glue"... the hard way.  Apparently, Mr. Demuth wanted to demonstrate 
just how good the adhesive was, so he put about 3 ounces of the adhesive in 
the palms of his hands, and jokingly placed them on the buttocks of a passing 
rhino. The rhino, a  resident of the zoo for the past thirteen years, was not 
initially startled as it has been part of the petting exhibit since its 
arrival as a baby.  However, once it became aware of its being involuntarily 
stuck to Mr. Demuth, it began to panic and ran around the petting area wildly 
 making Mr. Demuth an unintended passenger.  "Sally [the rhino] hasn't been 
feeling well lately.  She had been very constipated. We had just given her a 
laxative and some depressants to relax her bowels, when Mr.Demuth played his 
juvenile prank," said James Douglass, caretaker.  During Sally's tirade two 
fences were destroyed, a shed wall was gored, and a number of small animals 
escaped.  Also, during the stampede, three pygmy goats and one duck were 
stomped to death.  As for Demuth, it took a team of medics and zoo 
caretakers' to remove his hands from her buttocks.
 First, the animal had to be captured and calmed down.  However, during this 
process the laxatives began to take hold and Mr. Demuth was repeatedly 
showered with over 30 gallons of rhino diarrhea.  "It was tricky.  We had to 
calm her down, while at the same time shield our faces from being pelted with 
rhino dung. I guess you could say that Mr. Demuth was into it up to his neck. 
Once she was under control, we had three people with shovels working to keep 
an air passage open for Mr. Demuth. We were able to tranquilize her and apply 
a solvent to remove his hands from her rear," said Douglass.  I don't think 
he'll  be playing with Crazy Glue for a while."
Meanwhile, the Russians, while obviously amused, also were impressed with the 
power of the adhesive. "I'm going to buy some for my children, but of course 
they can't take it to the zoo," commented Vladimir Zolnikov, leader of the 
 "For several months, our nurses have been baffled to find a patient dead in 
the same bed every Friday morning" a spokeswoman for the Pelonomi Hospital 
(Free State, South Africa) told  reporters.   "There was no apparent cause 
for any of the deaths, and extensive checks on the air conditioning system, 
and a search for possible bacterial infection, failed to reveal any clues." 
"However, further inquiries have now revealed the cause of these deaths..."It 
seems that  every Friday morning a cleaning lady would enter the ward, remove 
the plug that powered the patient's life support system, plug her floor 
polisher into the vacant socket, then go about her business.  When she had 
finished her chores, she would plug the life support machine back in and 
leave, unaware that the patient was now dead.  She could not, after all, hear 
the screams and eventual death rattle over the whirring of her polisher". "We 
are sorry, and have sent a strong letter to the cleaner in question. Further, 
the Free State Health and Welfare Department is arranging for an electrician 
to fit an extra socket, so there should be no repetition of  this incident.  
The inquiry is now closed." (Cape Times). 


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