Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.
1998 Urban Legends

The following stories are apocryphal. They are included on the Darwin Awards website because they are inspirational narratives of the astounding efforts of legendary Darwin Awards contenders.

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Gerbil Rocket 
1998 Urban Legend

(1997 - 1998) "In retrospect, lighting the match was my big mistake. But I was only trying to save the gerbil," Eric Tomaszewski told the bemused doctors in the Severe Burns Unit of Salt Lake City Hospital. Tomaszewski and his homosexual partner, Andrew "Kiki" Farnum, had been admitted for emergency treatment after a felching session had gone seriously wrong.

"I pushed a cardboard toilet paper tube up his rectum and slipped Ragout, our gerbil, in," he explained. "As usual, Kiki shouted out 'Armageddon,' my cue that he'd had reached nirvana, so to speak. I tried to retrieve Raggot but he simply would not come out, so I peered into the tube and struck a match, thinking the light might attract him."

At a hushed press conference, a hospital spokesman desribed what happened next.

"The match ignited a pocket of intestinal methane gas in Kiki's colon. Flames shot out the tube, ignited Mr. Tomaszewski's hair and severely burning his face. It also set fire to the gerbil's fur and whiskers, causing it to scurry further up Kiki's colon, which in turn ignited a larger pocket of gas further up the intestine, propelling the rodent out of the cardboard tube like a cannonball.'

Tomaszewski suffered second degree burns and a broken nose from the impact of the gerbil, while Farnum suffered first and second degree burns to his anus and lower intestinal tract.

Sadly, Ragout the gerbil did not survive the incident.

Submitted by: Tracy Fry, R.C. Wallner

References: Walton and Johnson Page

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