Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

2005 Darwin Award WINNER

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.

Chimney-Cleaning Grenade
2005 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

(13 January 2005, Croatia) One fateful afternoon, 55-year-old Marko retreated to his semi-detached workshop to make himself a tool for chimney cleaning. The chimney was too high for a simple broom to work, but if he could attach a brush to a chain and then weigh it down with something, that would do the trick. But what could he use as a weight?

He happened to have the perfect object. It was heavy, yet compact. And best of all, it was made of metal, so he could weld it to the chain. He must have somehow overlooked the fact that it was also a hand grenade and was filled with explosive material.

Marko turned on his welding apparatus and began to create an arc between the chain and the grenade. As the metal heated up, the grenade exploded. The force of the explosion killed poor Marko instantly, blasting shrapnel through the walls of the shed and shattering the windshield of a Mercedes parked outside. Marko's chimney was untouched, however.

Reader Comments:
"That fellow made an 'ash' of himself."
"Home improvement gone terribly wrong."
"Soot-black humour."
"Sounds like he blew it!"
"A cautionary tale for Santa."
"Chim-chimeny, chim-chimeny, chim-chim-Kaboom!"

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