2003 Darwin Awards



1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended
victim during a holdup in Long Beach, California, would be robber
James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered
down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.....

And now, the honorable mentions:

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat
cutting machine and, after a little hopping around, submitted a
claim to his insurance company. The company, suspecting negligence,
sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the
machine and lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved!

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his
car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find
a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus
driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be
transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to
admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and
offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the
passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the
patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies.
The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days.

5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from
serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked
how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was
simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving
train before he was hit.

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the
counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash
drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register,
which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the
clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total
amount of cash he got from the drawer...$15.

(If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime

7. A thief burst into a Florida bank one day wearing a ski mask
and carrying a gun. Aiming his gun at the guard, the thief yelled,
everyone was silent.

Then the snickers started. The security guard completely lost it
and doubled over laughing. It probably saved his life, because he'd
been about to draw his gun. He couldn't have drawn and fired before
the thief got him. The thief ran away and is still at large. In
memory of the event, the banker later put a plaque on the wall
engraved with the words, "Freeze, mother-stickers, this is a ****-up!"

8. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided
that he'd just throw a cinderblock through a liquor store window,
grab some booze and run. So he lifted the cinderblock and heaved
it over his head at the window. The cinderblock bounced back and hit
the would-be thief on the head knocking him unconscious. The liquor
store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on

9. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man
grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the
woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher.
Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him
in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out
of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he
replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse

10. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into
a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at 5 a.m., flashed a gun, and
demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't
open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered
onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast.
The man, frustrated. walked away.


11. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked
on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police
arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor
home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted
to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his siphon hose into the motor
home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to
press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.