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.

Ostrich Axioms
2000 Darwin Award Winner
Unconfirmed by Darwin

(26 February 2000, Arizona) How many times have you had to listen to someone dispense folk axioms like "Don't squat with your spurs on" or "Don't teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig"? We've all heard these and many others, but other than sticking your head in the sand, none have applied to ostriches - until now.

"Don't slow dance with an ostrich."

(10 June 2000, Colorado) A gentleman in Denver decided that since he couldn't find a human dance partner, he would make do with an ostrich. Yes, an ostrich. Not a duck -- they only know disco. Not a Rhode Island Red -- communists all of 'em. But an ostrich. So he did what any other person with such a yen would do. He went to an ostrich farm, climbed a ten-foot fence, and tried to catch one.

If you can imagine Julio Iglesias singing "To All the Chicks I've Loved Before," let that be the soundtrack for this story. The man and ostrich intertwined like, well, a man and ostrich, and started slow dancing. However, when the dance pace picked up to "Livin' La Vida Loca," the big bird decided that the Arthur Murray dance course wasn't worth the money and began to flap and peck away at the man. Our moron decides to run away from the bird.

Wrong move.

Ostriches have a herd mentality. When one runs, they all run, and their path was right on the tail of our clumsy hero. He decides to fall to the ground and play dead, forgetting that ostriches have really strong legs, and when multiple pairs of them are kicking the stuffing out of you, you really don't have much of a chance.

The owner of the farm finally noticed the racket and called 911 to report the first ever Ostrich hoedown on a human dance floor. The man was rescued from a certain death, but remains in the hospital with pretty much everything broken.

"Don't try a menage-a-trois with an ostrich."

(25 February 2000, Arkansas) David and his wife decided that they wanted an ostrich. Now David is 90 so one wonders exactly why he wanted one so badly, but only God and his wife know. They hopped over the fence of an ostrich pen where they came eye-to-neck with a male ostrich. After first asking the ostrich if he wanted to escort them off the premises, they realized that this was a complicated ostrich, who knew what he wanted from his humans -- to be left in peace.

Our winged friend attacked the couple, killing David and putting his partner in the hospital in critical condition. Before the bird was destroyed at the request of its owner, it was heard singing "Who's afraid of the big bad bird..."

So the morals boil down to a single sentence: "Don't do anything with an ostrich, because they work for Darwin."

Share © 1994 - 2022
Submitted by:
Guest Writer: Kevin Jones
Reference: El Dorado, AR News-Times

Eric Anderson objects, "This ostrich story is a bunch of balony. An Ostrich fights by slashing downward with its feet forward The best way to avoid injury is to lie flat to avoid the ostrich's limited range of motion. And besides, these birds weigh less than 80 pounds so stomping ostriches are not likely to break bones.

Denise T says, "I'm afraid Eric is wrong about the size of an ostrich. Ostriches reach a height of eight feet and a mature weight of 250-350 pounds. That will result in some broken bones if you happen to get stomped by one. Here's the Ostrich FAQs."

Brian Hanley shares this tale:
"One must be respectful of all animals, including ostriches, emus and cassowry birds with one real weapon, their feet. They can disembowel a person with a kick as strong as a deer. In a zookeeper manual I found an entire section dedicated to the stupid things that visitors and keepers do to get killed. A deceased friend of mine had a run-in with a pygmy goat, about 40 pounds but determined. This little billy-goat didn't like my friend. One day it hid from him, and while he was working bent over the edge of a pond, the goat rammed him in the behind. He went flying into the pond, barely missing the drain and rebar he was working on. He made sure he tied that beast up after that."

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