Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

2000 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.

William Tell Overture
2000 Darwin Award Winner
Unconfirmed by Darwin

(11 April 2000, Kentucky) Larry and his friend Silas decided to reenact the William Tell scene where the famous archer is forced to test his prowess by shooting an apple off his son's head. But instead of apples, they used a beer can, which was closer to hand. You might suspect that the pair were teenagers, but in fact they were grown men of 47. Larry put the beer can on his head and urged Silas to shoot. But Silas missed the can, fatally wounding his lifelong friend Larry on Tuesday night.Authorities said the men had been drinking, and that the shooting was not prompted by an earlier altercation in the parking lot. © 1994 - 2022

Fish clarifies, "The Swiss archer's name is Wilhelm Tell, he used a crossbow, and legends say he was forced to perform this dangerous act by Bailiff Gessler when he refused to pay homage to the symbol of the King of Habsburg."

What Readers Think

Here's a thought. If two slack-jawed yokels are playing with their rifles and drinking beer, and one invites the other to shoot at his head, and thus gets his brains splattered all over the place, has a crime really been commited? If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? If I pontificate on a website, will anybody care?
Munky - Wednesday, April 12 at 12:01:16 PDT
Sound and vibrations are not the same thing. Sound is a brain's interpretation of atmospheric vibrations hitting an eardrum. If there is no brain as in this case, all the vibrations in the world won't make a sound.
King Harry - Wednesday, April 12 at 14:00:34 PDT
If Hellen Keller fell down in the forest, would she make a sound?
Wumpus - Thursday, April 13 at 01:20:09 PDT
Not funny, Wumpus! The amount of damage being done to new growth in the forest by some fat, blind, deaf socialist stumbling through is a terrifying thought. In natural selection, shouldn't Hellen Keller have been eaten by her parents to preserve the gene pool?
spiderjerusalem - Thursday, April 13 at 01:37:52 PDT
Too bad there was no fatal ricochet.
Stagger Lee - Monday, April 17 at 05:33:32 PDT

Yee-Haw! Love it. The big three. Rednecks + alcohol + firearms = a sure finalist.
spode - Saturday, April 22 at 16:17:46 PDT

I checked around and found this story in a number of large newspapers. Here is a quote which may be relevent to prove that the guy was shot as a result of his own stupidity. ''The one that got shot put the beer can up on the top of his head and told his buddy to shoot it off. He missed the can and hit his head,'' said Bell County sheriff Harold Harbin. ''I don't think there were any arguments, because they were the best of friends.''
General Lee - Thursday, April 27 at 01:50:19 PDT
Darwin in its truest form. I rarely give 10s but this one deserves it.
Valean - Friday, April 28 at 04:21:34 PDT
Darwin for sure but makes you wonder if the friend will collect on the life insurance? If my friend asked me to shoot a beer off his head, I'd make sure there was something in it for me.
Oops! - Friday, April 28 at 11:10:13 PDT

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