Darwin Awards 2000

They have finally been released!

For those not familiar with the Darwin Award, It's an annual honour given to the person who provided the universal human gene pool the biggest service by removing themselves from it 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 HONORABLE MENTIONS

6. 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.

5. In Guthrie, Okla, in October, Jason Heck tried to kill a millipede with a shot from his 22-calibre rifle, but the bullet ricocheted off a rock near the hole and hit pal Antonio Martinez in the head, fracturing his skull.

4. In Elyria, Ohio, in October, Martyn Eskins, attempting to clean out cobwebs in his basement, declined to use a broom in favour of a propane torch and caused a fire that burned the first and second floors of his house.

3. Paul Stiller, 47, was hospitalised 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.

RUNNER-UP

TACOMA, 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 4:30am. 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 watchman came along, and during that time he suffocated. "It seems to be just one of those freak accidents that happen.