(27 April 1999) This story is true though I have no physical proof, just that it is talked about at family reunions about my great great grandfather.|
He was affectionately called Dr. Bob because he was the town doctor in the area of Blackwater Falls, West Virginia, in the mid to late 1800s where he lived with his wife. He frequently had insomnia and would put chloraform on a handkerchief which he placed on his face and asked his wife to remove when he had fallen asleep. She dutifully did this without fail.
Unbeknownst to his wife, he was quite affectionate with the women of the area. One day, a young teenage girl left a baby boy on his door step claiming it was his and that she could not care for it, nor bear the shame. His wife said they could take the baby in, as they did not have any children
of their own, and said that she forgave him.
That evening, when he couldn't sleep, he put the chloraformed hanky on his face. Unfortunately for him, his wife "forgot" to remove it and he expired. It is never mentioned whether or not she was charged with a crime, only that the baby was sent to live with one of Dr. Bob's siblings. I'm not sure if it qualifies as a Darwin award, because he was able to procreate before he died.
The child was my great grandfather who was a genius in his own right and produced other geniuses. But you know what they say. . . there is a fine line between genius and nuts. Some of my aunts and uncles have crossed that line. My Uncle Bob invented the security system that is set off by body heat. He is now living on welfare because he has been declared mentally incompetent.
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Submitted by: Janet Behning