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2007 Personal Accounts
Email a Friend The Darwin Awards salutes the spirit portrayed in the following personal accounts, submitted by loyal (and sometimes reluctant) readers. Next Prev Random

 
 
Catching a Buzz
2007 Personal Account

I work in a geology lab with very smart people. James can tell you the petrogenetic peculiarities of low-alkali tholeiitic basalt after hydrothermal alteration. But our hero James recently demonstrated that there is a significant difference between intelligence and common sense.

While casting about for ways to rid himself of a pesky wasp nest, his eye fell upon his trusty Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner. Armed with this fearsome weapon, James attacked the wasp nest. He sucked up all the wasps, who buzzed angrily as they struggled in vain against the wind-tunnel. The dustbag was soon alive with their buzzing.

James now found that he had a new problem: to wit, a vacuum cleaner bag full of live, disgruntled wasps. He had to find a way to kill them before he could safely turn off the vacuum. And while his previous idea was merely ill-considered, his next was a moronic masterpiece.

He held the vacuum tube in one hand, a can of RAID in the other, and proceeded to spray the insecticide into the vacuum. What our smart young scientist failed to remember is that aerosols are flammable, and vacuum cleaner motors generate heat. The resulting explosion removed his facial hair, and scattered the dusty, angry contents of the Dirt Devil all over the vicinity.

Adding insult to injury, James was not the only one to survive with minor injuries. The wasps proceeded to vent their spleen upon the exposed (and slightly scorched) skin of the scientist, who referred to the episode as "an unfortunate lapse in calculation of consequences."

Reader Comments:
"Of Wasps and Men"
"No good deed goes uns(t)ung."
"Catching a buzz."

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