Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

1994 Darwin Awards

Honoring Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool--by removing themselves from it in the most spectacular way possible.

"Hazard Befell Him"
1994 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

(27 March 1981, Indiana) Late one March evening, Bruce awoke at the foot of a utility pole in the woods, his dog asleep by his side and a crispy, dead raccoon nearby. Bruce was alarmed to discover severe burns on his forearms, hands and genitals, which were eventually amputated.

What happened? The details came out in court, when Bruce sued the utility company for removing him from the gene pool.

He had been out 'coon hunting when his dog caught the scent and chased a raccoon up a power pole. The raccoon perched on a glass insulator. Bruce was prepared for just such an event. He strapped his trusty steel pole climbers to his boots, and made his way up the pole...

The court found Bruce contributory negligent, stating succinctly, "It [is] clear that, in climbing the utility pole, slapping and squalling at the raccoon, thereby agitating it when it was perilously close to charged wires, Bruce should have appreciated the hazard that ultimately befell him."

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Submitted by: Suzanne Core
Reference: 1986 Ind. App. LEXIS 3134

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