(Personal Account) This isn't a Darwin, but easily could have been. 30+
years ago, my college installed new granite tables in the chem lab, and
somehow a bet got started on who could scratch the tabletop first. The
bet went uncollected for a couple of years: those granite surfaces were
pretty sturdy. Then along came my friend, "Mass Destruction."
Armed with an explosive blasting cap and a ball peen hammer, he was
determined to win that bet. Placing the cap on a table, he swung the hammer
and hit it squarely. The hammer exited the lab at a high rate of speed over
his shoulder. By some fluke, nobody was injured. Mass Destruction did win
the bet--the granite was cracked through.
Here is the explanation of how his nickname came about. Earlier that year he had been doing an organic analysis when the Prof came by and casually asked where he was in the procedure.
"I'm nitrating the unknown."
"You didn't get a reaction at the last step?"
It turned out that the prof had added too much denaturing agent to the unknown (glycerin) so it was not identified at the proper stage. Mass Destruction was now casually stirring 250 ml of nitroglycerin on an ice bath! The Prof encouraged him to keep stirring--gently--while he evacuated the other students and called the bomb squad.
After the bomb squad had made all the needed arrangements to dispose of the nitroglycerin, they generously allowed Mass Destruction to push the button on the detonator.
DarwinAwards.com © 1994 - 2017
Reference: Personal Account