Darwin Awards 2005

Named for the father of evolution Charles Darwin, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who are public-spirited (or foolish!) enough to improve our common gene pool by the simple expedient of removing themselves from it.

This year’s easy winner was James Eliot.

When his .38-calibre revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California, would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder.  

He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again.

This time it worked… 

Runners-up andhonourable mentions:

1   A chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat-slicing machine.  After a little hopping around and roaring, he submitted a claim to his insurance company. 

The company – suspecting fraud or negligence – sent one of its own men to have a look for himself.   He tried the machine and lost a finger too.  Or did he just get a tip-off? 

The chef’s claim was approved. 

There is no record of a claim by the insurance man!

2    In a blizzard in Chicago   a man shovelled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car .

When he returned with his vehicle to park it, he found that a woman had taken the space and she refused to move. 

He shot her. 


You can’t condone it, but you sure can understand it!

3  After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the twenty mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped.

Not wanting to admit his incompetence,  the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. 

He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital,  telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. 

The deception wasn’t discovered for three days.

4  An American teenager was recently in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train.

 When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

It’s believed he is presently studying at the University of Ulster!  (Sorry, Steven!!!)

5.   A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change.   When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. 

The man took the cash from the clerk and fled,  leaving the $20 bill on the counter. 

The total amount of cash he got from the drawer was $15, a net loss of $5 for him.

If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, has a crime been committed?

6  This Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly.  He decided that he’d just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze and run.  So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. 

The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious.  The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. 

The whole event was caught on videotape.

It’s one way to get ‘blocked’, I suppose…..

7   As a female shopper left a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran.  The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the attacker.  Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. 

They put him in the  car and drove back to the store.  The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID.  He didn’t even hesitate!

“Yes, officer, that’s her! 

That’s definitely the lady I stole the purse from.”

8   The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 5am, flashed a gun and demanded cash. 

The clerk refused because he said he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order. 

When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast.


the frustrated man muttered, as he walked away.


When a man attempted to syphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street  he got much more than he bargained for. P olice arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. 

A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his syphon hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake. 

The vehicle‘s owner declined to press charges, saying he actually owed the guy a favour.

‘It’s the best laugh I’ve ever had!’   he smiled.


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