Fools rush in … and back out

Published 7:01 am Tuesday, December 31, 2019

As 2019 wheezes its last breaths, let’s take a moment to dwell upon all that has made this a remarkable year. Yes, in good conscience we should absolutely do this.  You know, wax poetic over our fellow man’s amazing accomplishments. But, on the other hand, why not instead go a different route? Put all that laudable uplifting stuff aside and pay homage to the ridiculous?  What I speak of is, of course, the 2019 Darwin Awards.

The Gold is the highest honor Mr. Darwin can bestow upon another human being.  This year it was awarded to James Elliot who has to be, hands down, the absolute dumbest, most meat-headed winner of the dotard endowment ever!  James earned his honor while in the midst of a fizzled holdup in Long Beach, California when his .38 revolver failed to fire.  Staring in confusion at his intended victim, who remained standing upright before him, James did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel of his gun to see what the problem was …  and pulled the trigger again.  This time it worked. It’s a crying shame that James had to meet his maker in such a way.  But, then, could it be that his maker was trying to cull James from the gene pool?

Honorable Mentions

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1. After losing his finger in a meat cutting machine, the chef at a hotel in Switzerland submitted a claim to his insurance company.  Supposing it was due to negligence, the company sent out an agent to investigate.  Being thorough in his fact-finding probe, the man tried the machine himself. It went downhill from there. His finger also came off.

2. Recovering in the hospital from serious head wounds which he suffered from the hit of an oncoming train, an American teenager explained how he got his injuries.  The young lad told the police he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train. (How proud his parents must have been.)

3. A guy in Arkansas had a major yearning for a bottle of beer.  After contemplating several ways in which to get it (other than, of course, walking into a store and buying it), he decided the best thing to do was throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab a six-pack and run.  Thus he proceeded to lift a heavy cinder block and heave it at the window.  The cinder block hit the window, bounced back and hit the thirsty thief knocking him unconscious.  The store window was made of Plexiglas. (Well, how was he supposed to know??)

4. A female shopper in New York was accosted by a man who grabbed her purse and ran.  The clerk immediately called 911 whereupon the woman gave a detailed description of the robber.  Within minutes, he was apprehended by the police and delivered back to the store.  Taking him out of the car the police told the suspect to stand there for a positive ID.  Studiously looking around, the robber’s eyes landed on his victim.  “Yes,” he proudly replied pointing at her, “that’s the lady I stole the purse from.” (Can a person be too honest?  Too dunderheaded?)

5. At 5 a.m., a man walked into the Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan, flashed a gun and demanded all the cash in the drawer.  The frightened clerk said he could not open the cash drawer unless he had a food order.  The robber, thinking that made sense, paused for a minute, then ordered onion rings.  The apologetic clerk replied that onion rings were not available on the breakfast menu.  The frustrated gunman walked away. (If he had only order biscuits and gravy he could have been a rich man.)

5-Star Stupidity Award Winner

Needing some gasoline, a Seattle man decided to siphon some from a motor home by sucking it out with a hose.  The police arrived to find a very sick man curled up on the pavement beside the RV in a pool of spilled sewage.  Seems the poor fellow plunged the siphon hose into the sewage tank by mistake.  The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, stating that it was the best laugh he’d ever had and that he figured the feckless perp had been punished enough. (Burp!)

Could, perchance, any of these award winners be your distant relatives …  or long lost friends?  If so, be glad they are distant and hope that they remain lost.  Still, one has to wonder at just how much we can learn from these empty-headed champions.  Like who knew that liquor store windows were made of Plexiglas? And in this time of open disclosures, will it become law that all liquor store owners must, in consideration of robbers, clearly post this information on their front windows?

Furthermore, in good conscience must a detailed instructional drawing showing a cinder block bouncing backwards and hitting the thrower also be included?  Additionally, should we demand that Burger King serve onion rings for breakfast when obviously there is a demand for them?

And, come on now, admit it … hasn’t everyone wondered at one time or another precisely just how close they could get their head to a moving train?

In all of this, the single greatest regret may be that the block headed James Elliot, winner of the highest award for stupidity, was unable to accept his trophy.  We can only hope that in his permanent deep dark absence, he did not have lurking offspring with identical genes who received it posthumously for him.

But, then, I suppose 2019 has not been the only year when stooges raised their empty heads.  Take this report, for example, written by a student of history:

“The Nineteenth Century was a time of many great inventions and thoughts.  The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. (Can rivers spring?) Then there was Cyrus McCormick who invented the McCormick raper (reaper) which did the work of a hundred men.  Add to this Louis Pasteur who discovered a cure for rabbis. (Wonder what the Jewish community had to say about that?) Not to be outdone, the naturalist Charles Darwin told the entire world about his ‘Organ of the Species,’ Madame Curie discovered radium and Karl Marx became one of the Marx Brothers.”

It leaves me wondering if going overboard in the consumption of matzo ball soup was what was doing those rabbis in?  Also, just how many kudos should we give to the efficiency of the time saving raper?  And, finally … and certainly not least of all is this …  who knew that Groucho was a communist?

But then, dear readers, when in the embrace of a fresh new year, why should we dwell upon the sullied past twelve months? Remarkably—right on schedule—a new calendar gives us the gift of starting over, shaping up and scrubbing our slates clean. I’m all for that … except first I must do something.  I just noticed that my gas gauge is low. No one’s around, so why don’t I just siphon some gas from this guy’s RV?  Hmmm, let me see.  Which tank is it ….