For those sheltered few of you who are not fully aware of the Darwin Awards, the awards are given annually (and posthumously) to those individuals who did the most for the human gene pool by removing themselves from it.
DARWIN AWARD RUNNERS-UP: #1 - LOS ANGELES, CA. Ani Saduki, 33, and his brother decided to remove a bees' nest from a shed on their property with the aid of a pineapple. A pineapple is an illegal firecracker which is the explosive equivalent of one-half stick of dynamite. They ignited the fuse and retreated to watch from inside their home, behind a window some 10 feet away from the hive/shed. The concussion of the explosion shattered the window inwards, seriously lacerating Ani. Deciding Mr. Saduki needed stitches, the brothers headed out to go to a nearby hospital. While walking towards their car, Ani was stung three times by the surviving bees. Unbeknownst to either brother, Ani was allergic to bee venom, and died of suffocation en-route to the hospital.
#2 - Derrick L. Richards, 28, was charged in April in Minneapolis with third-degree murder in the death of his beloved cousin, Kenneth E. Richards. According to police, Derrick suggested a game of Russian roulette and put a semiautomatic pistol (instead of the more traditional revolver) to Ken's head and fired.
#3 - PHILLIPSBURG, NJ. An unidentified 29 year old male choked to death on a sequined pastie he had orally removed from an exotic dancer at a local establishment. "I didn't think he was going to eat it," the dancer identified only as "Ginger" said, adding "He was really drunk."
#5 - MOSCOW, Russia-A drunk security man asked a colleague at the Moscow bank they were guarding to stab his bulletproof vest to see if it would protect him against a knife attack. It didn't, and the 25-year-old guard died of a heart wound. (It's good to see the Russians getting into the spirit of the Darwin Awards.)
#6 - In FRANCE, Jacques LeFevrier left nothing to chance when he decided to commit suicide. He stood at the top of a tall cliff and tied a noose around his neck. He tied the other end of the rope to a large rock. He drank some poison and set fire to his clothes. He even tried to shoot himself at the last moment. He jumped and fired the pistol. The bullet missed him completely and cut through the rope above him. Free of the threat of hanging, he plunged into the sea. The sudden dunking extinguished the flames and made him vomit the poison. He was dragged out of the water by a kind fisherman and was taken to a hospital, where he died of hypothermia.
#7 - RENTON, WASHINGTON, USA. A Renton, Washington man tried to commit a robbery. This was probably his first attempt, as suggested by the fact that he had no previous record of violent crime, and by his terminally stupid choices as listed below: 1. The target was H&J Leather & Firearms...a gun shop. 2. The shop was full of customers, in a state where a substantial portion of the adult population is licensed to carry concealed handguns in public places. 3. To enter the shop, he had to step around a marked Police patrol car parked at the front door. 4. An officer in uniform was standing next to the counter, having coffee before reporting to duty. Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced a holdup and fired a few wild shots. The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, removing him from the gene pool. Several other customers also drew their guns, but didn't fire. No one else was hurt.
AND THE 1999 DARWIN AWARD WINNER IS..... THOMPSON, MANITOBA, CANADA. Telephone relay company night watchman Edward Baker, 31, was killed early Christmas morning by excessive microwave radiation exposure. He was apparently attempting to keep warm next to a telecommunications feed-horn. Baker had been suspended on a safety violation once last year, according to Northern Manitoba Signal Relay spokesperson Tanya Cooke. She noted that Baker's earlier infraction was for defeating a safety shut-off switch and entering a restricted maintenance catwalk in order to stand in front of the microwave dish. He had told coworkers that it was the only way he could stay warm during his twelve-hour shift at the station, where winter temperatures often dip to forty below zero. Microwaves can heat water molecules within human tissue in the same way that they heat food in microwave ovens. For his Christmas shift, Baker reportedly brought a twelve pack of beer and a plastic lawn chair, which he positioned directly in line with the strongest microwave beam. Baker had not been told about a tenfold boost in microwave power planned that night to handle the anticipated increase in holiday long-distance calling traffic. Baker's body was discovered by the daytime watchman, John Burns, who was greeted by an odor he mistook for a Christmas roast he thought Baker must have prepared as a surprise. Burns also reported to NMSR company officials that Baker's unfinished beers had exploded.