Death Becomes Us

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm dead.

On this, the bicentennial of Darwin’s birth, we celebrate the 61 percent of Americans who either do not accept or have no opinion about evolution.

We celebrate the Brazilian priest who floated out to sea in a chair held aloft by hundreds of helium party balloons.

We celebrate the New York bird hunter who grabbed his loaded gun by the muzzle and started swinging it angrily at his dog, only to have it shoot him dead when it struck the ground instead.

We celebrate the Florida man who tried to “shoot the gap” of a rising drawbridge on his motorcycle, only to drown after the bridge’s safety gates knocked him off his Suzuki.

We celebrate the Pennsylvania man who wondered what would happen if he attached an electronic control tester to his chest piercings, only to learn the secret of the afterlife about five decades prematurely.

We celebrate the Cambodian man who was found naked after being kicked to death by the cow he was trying to fuck.

And we celebrate the Darwin Awards for bringing these stories to our attention, and for surviving fifteen years as one of the fittest sites on the Internet.

On Darwin’s 200th birthday, only 39 percent of Americans believe in evolution [Think Progress]

The Drunken Cambodian Anti-Tank Land Mine Stomp.

The Texas Lighter Natural Gas Leak Test.

The “I won’t wear a seatbelt because it infringes on my rights but its okay to fly through the windshield” Ironic in Libertarian Way Ending.

More black humor: The National Museum of Health and Medicine is hosting a talk this Valentine’s Day. The topic? “Sex, Sin, and Science: A History of Syphilis in America.”

Although it only got an Honorable Mention at the Darwin Awards, this remains my favorite:

(2006, England) Two people, 17 and 20, emulated Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader and fought each other with lightsabers. Only they didn’t have toy lightsaber s, so they made their own from fluorescent light bulbs. That’s right, they each opened up a fluorescent tube, poured gasoline inside, and lit the end… As one can imagine, a Star Wars sized explosion was not far behind. Both participants survived to confess to their creative, but stupid, film reenactment.

Click here only if you have a strong stomach.

ManchuCandidate: The “I won’t wear a seatbelt because it infringes on my rights but its okay to fly through the windshield” Ironic in Libertarian Way Ending.

Otherwise known as the “New Hampshire Haircut.” Common sense for all!

I do not like these Darwin awards, never had, they foster a republican-like mindset which reeks of “fuck them, they are losers.” Devil take the hindmost. I got mine. Let them die, and reduce the surplus population.

There is smart and stupid, fast and slow, tall and short, pretty and ugly. Smart has no more right to feel superior to stupid than pretty has a right to feel superior to ugly.

And besides, who among us has never been, at least once, really ridiculously stupid, but lucky? These people are just those who were stupid, and unlucky.

And anyway, its just whistling past the graveyard and you all smarty-pantses know it. By every measure of Darwinian success, the stupid beat the smart hands down, they reproduce earlier and more often and their genes are beating the shit out of our non-reproducing smart genes.

@Prommie: I am twisted enough to love the Darwin Awards. How can you not enjoy it when some says “Hey guys – watch this!” and then removes themselves from the gene pool? To wit:

(August 2006, Brazil) August brings us a winner from Brazil, who tried to disassemble a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) by driving back and forth over it with a car. This technique was ineffective, so he escalated to pounding the RPG with a sledgehammer. The second try worked–in a sense. The explosion proved fatal to one man, six cars, and the repair shop wherein the efforts took place.

Who in their right mind would even get close to an RPG? Much less approach it with a sledgehammer ….

@Prommie: @blogenfreude: I think it’s interesting that the Darwin Awards have an obvious trend in which gender is primarily responsible for the stories. I think Darwin would be pleased to see it reinforces the expedability of males, from an evolutionary standpoint. The woman has to bear and then nurture the young uns for a few years to ensure her genes get passed on, but the man’s contribution to his progeny is pretty much done after he shoots his wad, leaving him free to go out and accidentially off himself. Not that women don’t do stupid things too. But women tend to be far less reckless in their actions, which I’ve heard is even a primary reason experts use to explain why men’s life expectancy still lags behind women’s by a good 6-7 years.

It’s more amazement as in “What the hell were they thinking or not thinking?”

The closest I’ve ever been to a Darwin award winner was the time I saw a woman step out of her car with a lit cigarette in her mouth to pump gas at a gas station as I was pumping gas into my car. I yelled at her to put the damn thing out. She looked at me with a contemptuous look as if I were telling her that the sky was Lime Green with Polka Dots. It took a couple more yelling customers and the panicked attendant to get her to snuff out her smoke. When I was done pumping, I snarled at her to stop being a fucking idiot and use that thing she called a brain. Not so surprisingly she freaked out as if she had done nothing wrong. I laughed at her as she flipped me the bird.

I have a hard time with folks who willingly refuse to see the errors of their ways (which is why my patience with many RWers has dwindled to zero. ) I suspect that many of the Darwin Award winners are from this group of folks.

The three drunk dipshit kids who were bored the night of Christmas 2007 and drove up to SF from their suburban homes and went into the SF Zoo and taunted Tatiana the tiger so much that she jumped out of the tiger pit and mauled two of them and killed the third guy. Sadly, the police shot Tatiana dead and the the survivors are now suing the Zoo and the City.

totaly agree with you. when a squirrel can’t figure out when to cross the street, he should not be passing on his genes. same for the genius’s who don’t wear helmuts on their harleys. i say yay, weed ’em out.
yes, prommie, teh stoopid outbreed us. the only balance is they die from being dumb more than we do. good.
ADD: you and i have opted to have one child. i don’t believe there is a stinquer who has more than 2. because it’s ridiculously stupid to have a litter. they have no other talent but making babies.
i hate the duggers, they are batshit and #19 is on the way.

Looks like those morans will get their “compensation” money in the form of room and board from the State/Fed Penal system.

@SanFranLefty: Exactly. As George Carlin said: “The kid who swallows too many marbles doesn’t get to grow up and have kids of his own.”

Having recently played Darwin in a play I am sort of an expert on this topic.

While I applaud prom’s egalitarianism I feel I must mention the fact that for most of us any slight difference or perceived ‘superiority’ is always the cause for gloating and scorn on the part of the ‘blessed’ for the rest of humanity. My favorite Darwinian moment concerned some tardo buying a rocket from the army surplus store, bolting it to the roof of his car and setting it off. Since he was in the great south-west, and since the highway was pretty straight, he reached sub-supersonic speed before he came to the first bend in the road. Two cops told of watching the rocket-car become almost airborne as it left the road and ploughed into the side of a mountain. This is the kind of story that makes me want to skip about singing Gilbert and Sullivan and I’m sorry if that makes me a bad person it’s just the way I am.

Important T/J: People, it looks like we have a closet musical theatre queen in our midst. Yes, nojo, I’m looking at you. Note the perky little quote today? How many of us know that it is a quote from Dance, Ten: Looks, Three from A Chorus Line? Well, I do. Baked? Let us make jazz-hands to officially welcome nojo into the fold.

i beg you, don’t show me exibit B.
be back, must look go stare at woody and the reaper to bleach my brain.

you know i knew it…join us nojo, first watch “topsy turvy”

anyone interested in my writing every lyric from the show from memory?
didn’t think so.

Smug elitist bastards. Me, I am almost saintly in my humility.

My Gawd, weren’t we just discussing what is appropriate for work? While that isn’t pron, you need to warn us about these things. I need to go look at the picture of Arnold for a while.

@FlyingChainSaw, wherever you are: Aren’t you the one who keeps a running tally of “death by taser” stories? Here’s one from two nights ago in San Jose.

what are you, running for pope saint promnightdumpsterbaby?

if this is true about nojo being a closet musical theater affectianto, i insist he marry me immediately.

@Tommmcatt Yet Again: @baked: The whole Jesus Christ Superstar episode was a dead giveaway. Though some of us might begin with ALW we inevitably end up knowing the lyrics to all the songs cut from the original production of Follies and that Nancy Walker’s was in fact the definitive performance of I’m Still Here.

@Prommie: I have always known this about you. Your humble goodness has always been shaming to the rest of us. Not RML – but the rest of us.

Thanks to your story, I’m now remembering one of the funniest scenes in Zoolander, when the supermodel roommates self-immolate at the gas station while dancing along to George Michael.

@SanFranLefty: My FB profile has posts on pink Tasers for girls, and the uptick in sales of pink guns for Valentines Day.

I think I may have shared this before, but here’s the “Hell Kitten” AR-15, in pink.—evil-black-rifle-meets-cute-and.aspx


buying a rocket from the army surplus store, bolting it to the roof of his car and setting it off

I hate to interject negativity here, but that story has been widely debunked, including the very first Mythbusters episode, in which they reproduce the story. Although the car goes fast, it doesn’t go that fast.

@Benedick: Yes, this world was never meant for one as beautiful as me, dammit.

@IanJ: Damn. Still. It’s such a good story. And I heard it on NPR! What next? No WMDs?

@Benedick: I know, it’s a great story. The Mythbusters footage is a pretty fun 3 minutes, although I was more impressed by it as part of the whole episode, but I couldn’t find that online.

I’m surprised NPR would report that story. When did you hear it?

Speaking of doing something stupid, what do you think of the term “Commissary” for a food business, deli and catering, its somewhat different, no?

Hey Prommie, speaking of musical theatre, the Royal Opera of London is planning a show on the life of Anna Nicole Smith.

No word if Benedick is behind this.

it’s been done. in philly, not sure it’s still there but it was a real hot spot. great food, instead of servers, it was cafeteria style.

@Benedick: @baked: @Tommmcatt Yet Again:

What closet? I’ve always been out and proud about my cast albums.

@baked: Yes, the Frog Commissary. It means “provisioner.” I don’t like the term “deli.”

Do I get any gay cred for knowing all the words on all the Streisand, Midler, Judy Garland, and Liza Minelli albums made up through about 1975? Liza with a Z, anyone? Going down to stoney end? If I hadn’t tried Dubrovnick I might still be alone? I’m five, I’m five, I’m really really five!

mr. ed and the partridge family?

vomitville. brought to us by the same people who produced “jerry springer, the opera” must of been a hit. why do i think brits are more klassy than that. must be the accent.

@baked: Mr. Ed is a yellow 78 from my pre-kindie years. And I offer no excuses for the Partridge Family album, which I always pull off the shelf when I want to incriminate myself.

Besides, I thoroughly identified with Danny Bonaduce.

i had sushi with danny bonaducci. my girlfriend and i were at a table at kyoto, next to saks on city line ave. (he had a brief radio gig in philly) he plops himself down and starts talking a mile a minute. he orders a huge amount of food, but is too coked up to eat. my friend who is much nicer than me, was polite and conversed with him. she told the story for months of how i glared at him and picked at all his sushi. i said nothing, just slowly slid his plate over my way.
he hit on both of us, and left us with the check.
i will imagine it is little wise ass danny on drums you relate too, so as not to spoil my crush on you.

@Benedick: For the record, let’s revisit that fateful week I spent in London with my high school drama group. It included JC Superstar, Chorus Line, Annie and an Oliver revival in the West End, plus a modern-dress Measure for Measure at the NT.

Eugene is well off the beaten path, and seeing professional productions for the first time was a real eye-opener.

“On the 20th Century” is another favorite — Imogene Coca! — which I only know because the Newsweek review featuring the train set intrigued me enough to buy the album. And I know My Fair Lady front-to-back because it was one of the ten albums my parents owned when I was growing up. (The other nine were Oklahoma and eight Harry Belafonte recordings.)

But if you really want to nail me: DVDs for Chicago and (yes) Hairspray. Love them both to death.


There is a commissary on every lot of every studio in Los Angeles, so not so unique here, I’m afraid.


Liza with a “Z”, yet! Prom, that is practically sexy in a straight guy, you know that?

@Tommmcatt Yet Again: Not to mention every military base from here to Bagram. “Frog Commissary” is a great name, tho.

@nojo: My folks also only had ten albums, including the Smothers Brothers (Live at the Purple Onion), Tiny Tim, Herb Alpert and seven by John Barry. On a plus side, my dad brought home “Meet the Beatles” when it was new.

@SanFranLefty: A way for the brits to feel superior to us while at the same time indulging their obsessive fascination for all things American. Not unlike Vanity Fair indulging in sleb stalking worthy of The Enquirer while at the same time, because the photos are by Annie Liebowitz, pretending to be above it.

That said, maybe it’ll be good. Is Renee Fleming free?

@Prommie: I love how the str8 men here are given to periodic bouts of competing to see who can be the most ghey. It’s very touching and just as it should be.

@nabisco: Come to think of it, I need to revise:

1. My Fair Lady
2. Oklahoma
3-4. Harry Belafonte
5-6. Glenn Miller
7-10. Herb Alpert

Don’t know how I could have spaced Herb. That’s why I learned to play trumpet.

Oh: And Sound of Music, of course.

(Not included: Jungle Book, Mary Poppins and Wizard of Oz. Those were “mine”.)

my parents record collection, which i love to this day, included frank sinatra, barbara streisand, and johnny mathis.
but it was my grandfather who only listened to the classics, that gave me my appreciation of it. my ipod this very day is stuffed with all the above, with the recent additions of tool and metallica thanks to RML.

“oh what a beautiful morning” the opening scene in oklahoma is awe inspiring. that show was a turning point in musical theater. also in my ipod. and i get verklempt just thinking about sound of music. i sang the whole thing over and over to my orphan kittens as they nestled on me to simulate their dead mother’s purr. their favorite part, of course, is “whiskers on kittens”

my fair lady, all time fave, bar none.

@baked: Even growing up, I could never get into Oklahoma, although I certainly enjoy the opener and closer. I know its role in theater history, but kids don’t care about that shit.

i think we are all androgynous HERE, don’t you think?
tommycatt still thinks i’m a man i think.

@nabisco: I’m also omitting my dad’s Bill Cosby collection, which was a fundamental and enduring influence on my life. (Carlin I picked up from Tonight Show appearances: “Don’t be afeered, it’s my beard.”)

In fact, I was well into high school when I realized I had far more comedy albums than music. My ear was tin until I started working as a news stringer for the local FM album-rock station in college.

@baked: TommyC might just be confused by bright shiny objects. I’ve seen it happen.

Good Lord. For a bunch of progressives you sure have old-fashioned musical queen tastes. In NYC you would hardly even count as musical queens. I’m afraid you might get overwhelmed by scorn. I’ve seen that happen too. Is no one singing A Light in the Piazza for example?

Oh well. Kisses to all. I’m off to make the doughnuts.


I am a Sondheim queen. The less said about it the better, tho, except to say that “Company” is perhaps the pinnacle of human achievement.

@baked: No, I’ve come to grips with the fact that you are, indeed, a woman, and sadly, we will never make sweet, sweet love together.

this is nostalgia and classics we’re talking about. i’ll forgive your mocking for calling me a bright shiny object. kisses.


I resemble that remark. However, I am often confused or mesmerized by dull objects as well, and, of course, am riveted by anything mirror-like enough to reflect my hair.


See, now you have me blushing, for some reason.

@nojo: My dad turned us on to Cosby, as well. Ever catch him when he filled in for Carson, rocking the stogie and the late night humor? Awesome.

it’s beddy bye time in jerusalem. love you all xoxoxo

@nabisco: My father’s idea of humor was Red Skelton and Bob Hope. Hope was actually pretty racy with his lech persona and the double entendres.

@Prommie: Prommie, are you feeling ok? Sounds like you’ve come down with a case of the Jezebels.

Nothing to see here, don’t worry about me, its just a little routine nervous breakdown, just the usual. Manic, maybe? Hey, talk sports and I will talk sports, whatever, just going crazy over here.

@Jamie Sommers: ha ha ha! Hey chica, we were asking you about Girl Scout cookies on another thread (not the bewbie one). You selling them yet?

@baked: Welcome to the metal side. The works of Tool are a like a hymnal to me (46&2, Right in Two, Lateralus, etc.) while Metallica is fear, hate and aggression turned up to 11. I was just doing the drum part for Blackened on my laptop while waiting for a legislative hearing to begin. Have you heard Bleeding Me yet?

Fun fact: Creeping Death was inspired by the Ten Commandments movie, where a fog of a plague begins to move over Egypt. “Hey – creeping death,” a band member says and a classic is born.

Keeping my stinque qualifications up despite all the metal and firepower talk, btw. I complemented my secretary on her suede jacket and noticed her hair yesterday and also complimented our office manager on her shawl. So there.

\m/, – (metal!)

@nabisco: Cosby rocked in the 60s and 70s — I have no idea what happened to him in the 80s. It wasn’t the Jello pudding, it was that education dude he hooked up with (and who appeared with him recently on Rachel).

I must admit to a disappointment: He did a show at Mac Court in the 70s (that would be the Pit, Dodger), which was basically three canned stories and out. Very solid, very professional, but lacking in magic.

And a second disappointment: You listen to those early albums on a decent stereo, and you start hearing all the audio edits. So annoying that I prefer to stick to memory.

@nojo: Two words: Picture Pages. I don’t even want to tell you how traumatized I was as a child for never owning my own Mortimer Ichabod marker.

@nojo: My wife’s step-father was a football coach at Temple when Cos was there, you know, the idiot squad, “You better not touch, certain areas of your body, while you’re out there on the football field.” That time.

@Prommie: “Ooooh, I got hit in the—”

Wonderfulness, right? The album’s about a thousand miles north of here, so I’m working from memory.

@Prommie: Initially, I agreed with you totally and completely. But after being reminded of The Impending Depression and Coming Cannibalistic Anarchy by Drinky Clown (fucker!), I want these people to hang around because they are the low-hanging fruit when we resort to eating human flesh. I’m sure they’ll be easy to trap with Twizzlers and a trail of Cheetos.

@flippin eck: ::stands bolt straight and hollers, “FLIPPIN ECK!”::

@Benedick: I was dragged to see A Light In The Piazza by female family members and, for the life of me, did not understand why it was so popular. Give me Ethyl Merman. Give me Bernadette Peters. Give me Patti Lupone (also saw her in Mahagonny in LA, with the heavenly Audra McDonald). Please.

@baked: I love your Danny Bonaducci sushi story, BTW.

If you like articles in scholarly journalsm might I recommend: O’Halloran, R. L., & Dietz, P. E. (1993). Autoerotic fatalities with power hydraulics. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 38, 359–364.
When I ran a library in a state institution I showed it to the Safety Officer. He loved it. He said he almost used as the basis of a safety talk to the guys in the Maintenance Shop, but he was afraid it’d give them ideas.

@Jesuswalksinidaho: WTF?

In a similar vein, if you go to the west digest on the topic workers comp, subtopic “horseplay,” you will discover that an amazing number of people are killed on the job when their co-workers decide it would be funny to aim a high-pressure airhose in the direction of their rectum when they bend over (high pressure air nozzles are common in many work environments). Apparently, you don’t have to get the nozzle anywhere near their assholes, the high pressure air stream will go right up their ass, inflate their rectum, an embolysm will result, and they will stroke out in seconds. And the guys thought it was a harmless prank.

Interesting, but whats the connection with anything on this topic?

Now, autoerotic deaths, thats a strange thing. The only time I ever watched a genuine porno movie all the way through was in college. There was a dude I knew slightly from high school, there was a group of us, I wound up in his house one afternoon where he screened The Devil in Miss Jones one Sunday afternoon.

A week later he was found dead. Autoerotic strangulation. So awkward, I knew his sister better than him, next time I met his sister was awkward, “gee, sorry your brother strangled himself while jerking off.”

Life is some journey.

The article was about post-mortem investigations of autoerotic strangulation deaths. Like the poor guy who wrote love poems to his John Deere. And how did it repay his affection….

Worker’s comp cases are interesting, like a stripper who get hurt when another dancer oils up the pole too much and she slips and whacks her head and the club tries to claim that she was an independent contractor. Guys injured playing hoops at lunch where the employer has set up a goal and encouraged then to play for fitness. Using swivel chairs as stools. Using swivel chairs for racing in the office.

Stinquers would like this scene of a pair of Diplodicus doin’ it. Oops, the Allosaurus or whatever is all over an egg bearing female. New Mexico used to have armored fish. Awesome.

My dad worked at LAX for a summer as a baggage handler back in the early ’60s. According to how he told it, he once witnessed your described horseplay with the airhose that inflated the tires of 747s (or whatever the hell the planes were in 1961) and he said “the guy’s ass and stomach came flying out his mouth and then he died.”

Naturally this was the pre-litigation world, and I think PanAm or whatever now bankrupt airline paid off the widow of the baggage handler with a burial, $200/mo pension, and free flights for life.

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