Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

2006 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.

Stubbed Out
2006 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

(17 April 2006, England) There's always someone who thinks good advice doesn't apply to him. For example, if a doctor advises that you are going to be covered with a flammable medical treatment, most people would take this advice onboard, and not strike a match until the flammable material has been removed.

Philip was in the hospital to treat a skin disease, said treatment consisting of being smeared in paraffin-based cream. Philip was warned that the cream could ignite, so he definitely should NOT smoke. However, Phillip, 60, knew better than his doctor. And he just had to have another cigarette.

Smoking was not permitted on the ward, but Phillip took this setback in stride and sneaked out onto a fire escape. Once he was hidden, he lit up... inhaled... and peace descended as he got his nicotine fix. It was only after he finished his cigarette, at the moment he ground out the butt with his heel, that things went downhill.

The paraffin cream had been absorbed by his clothing. As his heel touched the butt, fumes from his pyjamas ignited. The resulting inferno "cremated" his skin condition, and left first-degree burns on much of his body. Despite excellent treatment, he died in intensive care.

Using the Darwin checklist:

1.Reproduction -- he may have children, but he won't have more.
2.Excellence -- this one I'll remember!
3.Self-Selection -- he was warned that paraffin and smoking don't mix.
4.Maturity -- at 60 I guess he was old enough.
5.Veracity -- major UK news carriers covered the story.

This ticks all the boxes, and though I feel sorry for the family, his death serves as a warning to others. If a doctor tells you not to smoke, there's a very good reason.

MEDIA REFERENCESS: (1) (2) (3) (4)

Reader Comments:
"Up In Smoke"
"You Light Up My Life"
"Another smoker goes down in flames."
"He suddenly had this burning desrie for a smoke."
"Dying for a cigaret."

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Submitted by: CJ, Andrew Malcolm, Iain Sims, Richard Beeston
Reference: The Mirror, Yorkshire Today

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