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Darwin Awards
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

 
 
Gag Reflex
2007 Personal Account

A story to make parents shudder...

Friends were hanging out in the basement, joking around and playing video games. Andrew was irritable that night. He chose to to deal with the situation by threat. If certain named people did not stop bothering him, he said as he loaded his Tippmann 98 custom paintgun, he would shoot them.

Andrew assured everyone that the safety was on, and he would not shoot unless provoked. Yet, oddly, one guy was not reassured. He jumped on Andrew and wrestled for the gun. Andrew threw him aside, and (as he later explained) "to prove the safety was on," he opened his mouth, inserted the barrel of the paintgun, and pulled the trigger.

Readers confirm that a uvula does not grow back. Jason says, "I can confirm that the uvula does not grow back. I had a uvuloplasty, a total removal of the uvula for the dual purposes of opening the airway for sleep apnea patients, and reducing or curing snoring." Chris says, "I know from first hand experience. When I was 12, a surgeon got my uvula stuck in the blood suction tube. His solution was to cut it off. I am 27 now and still no new uvula."

His eyes widened as the paintball fired into his throat at 300 feet per second. He fell to his knees coughing blood, but refused to let anyone call an ambulance. Trouble with parents would surely result! Yet his throat was so swollen that he had difficulty breathing.

After two hours, Andrew recovered long enough to kick everyone out, and suffer in private. He couldn't eat for three days, and couldn't talk for a week. Once he was able to open his mouth, he realized he had blown his uvula clean off. It was gone! And he had no gag reflex, either.

His uvula is not yet growing back, but he shows no symptoms of long term damage. Considering how many people die or are seriously injured by blanks, he was extremely lucky. We often tease him Andrew it. The best part of the story is that his parents never found out!

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Reader Comments:
"Paintball Gun + Teen Boys = Trip to ER"
"Paint your tonsils."

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