Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

2004 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.

Spy vs. Self
2004 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

"Hold my beer and watch this!"

(28 May 2004, Italy) Fabio, 28, left the family ostrich business for a new job as a truck driver. But his interests were more eclectic than the average ostrich-farming truck driver. Relaxing one evening with friends at a pub in Cursi, Fabio shifted the conversation to his new interest in spy gadgets. He pulled an ordinary-looking pen out of his pocket and explained that it was actually a single-shot pistol. To demonstrate, he pointed it at his head and clicked the button. The cleverly disguised gadget worked perfectly, sending a .22-caliber bullet into Fabio's left occipital lobe.

Reader Comments:
"Well... it worked!"
"Here look... I'm a double naught spy!"

Reader Hana points out suspiciously, "The story tells us that he was shot in the occipital lobe, but the occipital lobe is located at the back of the head. Why would he aim the pen at the back of his head instead of the side or front?"

Reader Wumpus says, "The bullet would have had to enter from the back, because it wouldn't have enough force to pass through the front of the face and reach the occipital lobe. A low-caliber weapon might even bounce off the skull. Ronald Reagan was shot in the ribs with a low-caliber weapon, and it just bounced off."

Reader Alex argues, "A .22 cartridge has more than enough power to penetrate any area of a human skull and pass through the brain, at point blank range or not. Just pointing this out in case there is any one out there contemplating putting the Hana theory to the test and unadvertedly taking out a Darwin award."

Wumpus replies, "Alex must be thinking of a .22 fired from a rifle, which has a lot more oomph, due to the rifling and the acceleration of a longer barrel."

Reader JD clarifies, "It's called the "Pengun", and it's 22LR. At 4-5 paces, that means; "OW! F*** you, too!" Pressed against the brow, though... the local butcher uses the same caliber to kill steers. I may be more thick-headed than the average man, but I suspect cattle are more so..."

Reader Cory says, ".22 caliber pistols were once the pistol of choice for assasins. They have enough power to enter the skull, but not enough to come out the other side. While the bullet is inside the skull however, it tends to bounce around like a pinball shredding everything inside. So it very well could hit the lobe, regardless of where the bullet entered."

Ms. Darwin concludes, "And that's the last I want to hear on this subject! It's all hand-waving and speculation! Sheesh!"

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Reference: La Repubblica, La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno

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