Hands up all those of you who know what a ‘Darwin Award’ is? Ok … for the benefit of the rest of the class I shall explain and give you a few random examples. This lesson is not for the squeamish – and any reader objecting to splattered blood should at this moment move on to ‘The Leader’s’ entertainment or fashion page.

The Darwin Awards celebrate both the height of stupidity and poetic justice of a manner. The awards have been in existence since 1985 and are bestowed on a man (88.7% are men … and the sisters will be happy at this one) who has done something so massively stupid that he died and thus removed himself from the human gene pool.

The theory being that the winners have removed themselves from the world’s gene pool and by their idiocy have protected humanity!

The best thing I can do at this stage is to give you an example. This is the first Darwin Award that I heard of a few years ago. A gun-toting bank robber rushed into a bank, shouting at customers and staff to hand over all the money. The terrified customers were already throwing their purses and wallets to the floor and the cashiers were rooting in the drawer.

To ensure they stayed scared, our worthy winner decided to fire a warning shot into the ceiling, to show this was serious business. He pulled the trigger but nothing happened. Surprised and now feeling a tad disadvantaged, he looked down the barrel and tried again. It worked the second time. Got the idea?

The award for the year 2000, was unanimously (all the awards have to be verified and found to be factual) taken by an Iraqi terrorist by the name of Khay Rahnajet. Mr Rahnajet was a genius in the manufacturing of all types of bombs. He made the dinkiest letter bomb you ever saw and mailed it to where it was sure to result in a huge loss of life. The only mistake this zealot made was to apply insufficient postage on the packet and the bomb was returned to sender. He opened it…! You want more..?

A 33-year old knife-happy Leicester man was found stabbed to death in his own house. There was no indication of a struggle. The mystery was solved when it was discovered that Darren had boasted that evening of having located a stab-proof jacket. The inquest established that he went home that night and went about testing the abilities of his new Jacket, whilst wearing it… naturally.

If you are going to rob, it pays to do a bit of research and choose your cash cow carefully. This advice was comprehensively ignored by a Washington man in 1990. He knew they did great business and that the cash register would be loaded at ‘H&J Leather & Firearms’. Yes, my friends, a gun shop.

Despite the gun shop being full of customers, including a uniformed police officer – with the police car parked at the door; the would-be armed robber stuck stubbornly to his plan. He announced his intention and fired into the air to hurry things up a bit. Predictably, the cop drew his weapon immediately. So did the store owner and several of the customers. Now there was only one likely outcome – but at least the loser got the Darwin Award for 1990.

You don’t have to be one of the bad guys to win an award, as long as you are not lacking in the stupidity department. Two university students were competing for the heart of a certain lady. They decided to settle the dispute between themselves by playing a game of ‘chicken’ on their motor bikes.

Both rode at each other to determine which one would flinch. Neither one chickened as they rode towards each other at 50 mph. There became joint winners of the award that year. And to really cap the award, the lady at the centre of the contest said that she hadn’t really been interested in either of them! Is that gratitude, I ask you? Anyway … that’s women for you! Ok so … just one more:

Two Kentucky pals were having a few beers out in the back yard – a good few, like. The neighbours could not help but overhear Larry insisting that his buddy re-enact the famous William Tell trick of shooting the apple off the top of his head – only he was going to use a can of beer instead.

Larry placed the beer on his head and insisted that Joseph shoot. And shoot he did. He was three inches low with his first and only attempt. And we have a winner…!

Don’t Forget

It’s bad enough to act the fool, but it’s worse when you’re not acting.