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96 Darwin Awards

 It is once again time to vote for the Darwin Award nominees for 1996.
 As you
  know these nominees will not be contributing to the gene pool
 You  may recall last year's Darwin Award winner:  The man who found out
 moments before making a 300 MPH dent in an Arizona cliff that the JATO
 assist take off) rocket unit he'd strapped to his car could not be turned
 once it was turned on....
 the 1996 nominees are:
 NOMINEE #1 [San Jose
 Mercury News]
 An unidentified man, using a shotgun like a club to break a
 former girlfriend's windshield, accidentally shot himself to death when
 gun discharged, blowing a hole in his gut.
 NOMINEE #2 [Kalamazoo Gazette,
 James Burns, 34, of Alamo, Mich., was killed in March as he was
 trying to repair what police described as a "farm-type truck." Burns got
 friend to drive the truck on a
 highway while Burns hung underneath so that
 he could ascertain the source of a troubling noise. Burns' clothes caught
 something, however, and the other man found Burns "wrapped in the drive
 NOMINEE #3 [Hickory Daily Record 12/21/92]
 Ken Charles Barger,
 47, accidentally shot himself to death in December in Newton, N.C., when,
 awakening to the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached
 the phone but grabbed instead a Smith&Wesson .38 Special, which
 when he drew it to his ear.
 NOMINEE #4 [UPI, Toronto]
 Police said a
 lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown Toronto
 crashed through a pane with his shoulder and plunged 24 floors to his
 A police spokesman said Garry Hoy, 39, fell into the courtyard of the
 Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was explaining the
strength of 
 the building's windows to visiting law students.  Hoy previously had
 conducted demonstrations of window strength according to police
 reports.  Peter Lawyers, managing partner of the firm Holden Day Wilson,
 the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was "one of the best and brightest"
 members of the 200-man association.
 NOMINEE #5 [Bloomberg News Service, 25
 A terrible diet and room with no ventilation are being blamed for the
 death of a man who was killed by his own gas. There was no mark on his
 but autopsy showed large amounts of methane gas in his system. His diet
 consisted primarily of beans and cabbage (and a couple of other things).
 was just the right combination of foods.  It appears that the man died in
 sleep from breathing the poisonous cloud that was hanging over his bed.
 he been outside or had his windows been opened, it wouldn't have been
  But the man was shut up in his near airtight bedroom.  According to the
 article, "He was a big man with a huge capacity for creating "this deadly
 gas." Three of the rescuers got sick and one was hospitalized.
 [1/29/96 The News of the weird.]
 Michael Anderson Godwin made News of the
 Weird posthumously in 1989. He had spent several years awaiting South
 Carolina's electric chair on a murder conviction before having his
 reduced to life in prison.  In March 1989, sitting on a metal toilet in
 cell and attempting to fix his small TV set, he bit into a wire and was
 NOMINEE #7["The Indianapolis Star", Wed., Dec. 4, 1996].
 Cigarette lighter may have triggered fatal explosion Dunkirk,
 Indiana. A Jay County man using a cigarette lighter to check the barrel
of a
 muzzle loader was killed Monday night when the weapon discharged in his
 sheriff's investigators said. Gregory David Pryor, 19, died in his
 rural Dunkirk home about 11:30 p.m. Investigators said Pryor was cleaning
 ..54-caliber muzzleloader that had not been firing properly. He was using
 lighter to look into the barrel when the gunpowder ignited.
 [AP, St. Louis]
 Robert Puelo, 32, was apparently being disorderly in a St.
 Louis market.  When the clerk threatened to call police, Puelo grabbed a
 dog, shoved it in his mouth, and walked out without paying for it. Police
 found him unconscious in front of the store: paramedics removed the
 wiener from his throat, where it had choked him to death.
 To poacher Marino Malerba, who shot a stag standing above him on
 an overhanging rock-and was killed instantly when it fell on him.
 #10 [Associated Press, Kincaid, W. VA]
 Blasting Cap Explodes in Man's Mouth
 at Party.  A man at a party popped a blasting cap into his mouth and bit
 down, triggering an explosion that blew off his lips, teeth and tongue,
 police said Wednesday. Jerry Stromyer, 24, of Kincaid, bit the blasting
 as a prank during a party late Tuesday night, said Cpl. M.D.Payne.
 man had it in an aquarium, hooked to a battery,  and was trying to
 it," Payne said. "It wouldn't go off and this guy said, 'I'll show you
how to
 set it off."
 AND FINALLY, NOMINEE #11!!! [Arkansas Democrat Gazette], July
 Two local men were seriously injured when their pick-up truck left
 the road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State Highway 38 early
 morning. Woodruff County deputy  Dovey Snyder reported the accident
 after midnight Monday.  Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc and Billy Ray
 38, of Little Rock are listed in serious  condition at Baptist Medical
 Center.  The accident occurred as the two men were returning to Des Arc
 a frog gigging trip. On an overcast Sunday night, Poole's pick-up truck
 headlights malfunctioned. The two men concluded that the headlight fuse
 the older model truck had  burned out.  As a replacement fuse was not
 available,  Wallis noticed that the .22 caliber  bullet from his pistol
 perfectly into the fuse box next to the steering wheel column. Upon
 the bullet, the headlights again began to operate properly and the two
 proceeded on east-bound toward the White River bridge. After traveling
 approximately twenty miles and just before crossing the river, the bullet
 apparently overheated, discharged and struck Poole in the right testicle.
 vehicle swerved sharply to the right exiting the pavement and striking a
 tree. Poole suffered only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident, but
 will require surgery to repair the other wound. Wallis sustained a broken
 clavicle and was treated and released. "Thank God we weren't on that
 when Thurston shot his _____ off or we might both be dead" stated Wallis.
  "I've been a trooper for ten years in this part of the world, but this
is a
 first for me. I can't believe that those two would admit how this
 happened", said Snyder. Upon being notified of the wreck, Lavinia,
 wife asked how many frogs the boys had caught and did anyone get them
 the truck.

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