The Darwin Awards  

jrb6955 60M
154 posts
9/10/2006 10:31 pm

Last Read:
11/4/2006 10:47 am

The Darwin Awards

I was at Barnes & Noble earlier today and found that there is actually a series of published books by Wendy Northcutt, the creator of the Darwin Awards, compiling many of the award recipients, honorable mentions and personal accounts. I have seen emails chronicling Darwin Award recipients, but had never realized there was a website for the Awards or books (at least 3 volumes) containing some of the more interesting Awards.

For those who are not familiar with the Awards, I will share with you the opening paragraph from the introduction to the third Volume of the Darwin Awards. It reads as follows:

"Darwin Awards are bestowed upon individuals who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it in a spectacularly stupid manner. They involve themselves in situations that a person with even a modicum of common sense would avoid, and their subsequent and predictable demise removes a set of judgment-impaired genes from circulation, thereby ensuring the long term survival of the human race - which now contains one less idiot."

Although, in some respects, the deaths of the Award recipients are tragic, they are also ironic. Hence, they are humorous. As an example, I will quote the first such Award from Volume 3:

"Darwin Award: Convince the Jury
"Confirmed by Darwin [which means Ms. Northcutt has verified the truth of the event]
"16 June 1871

"Proof that the only good lawyer is a dead lawyer.

"Clement Vallandigham was a well-know Northern Democrat who campaigned for states' rights during the Civil War. In 1863 Vallandigham was convicted of treason for his speeches attacking the administration of President Lincoln. He was banished to the South, where he continued to voice his political views.

"After the war Vallandigham became a lawyer. In his last appearance in the courtroom he represented a client on trial for murder. The accused man's defense was that the victim had drawn his own gun in a fashion that caused it to fire, killing himself. To prove the defense argument, Vallandigham demonstrated the victim's method of drawing a gun - using the loaded evidence gun as his prop. The firearm went off, and he lost his life - but proved his case!"

Now there is a lawyer who truly did put his client's best interests ahead of his own.

Do you know of anyone who may qualify for receipt of a Darwin Award?

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