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2000 Personal Accounts
The Darwin Awards salutes the spirit portrayed in the following personal accounts, submitted by loyal (and sometimes reluctant) readers. Next


Dead as a Doda  
2000 Personal Account

In the late 1970's the Condor Club of San Francisco was a topless bar. Once the proud home of Carol Doda and her twin claims to fame, the club featured a piano suspended from cables, which would descend from the ceiling with Ms. Doda gyrating atop it. As years went by, Ms. Doda's fame began to sag, and her spot atop the piano was filled by other equally talented dancers. The club became a bit frayed about the edges, but remained in business.

After hours one night, the manager, an older fellow with a few extra pounds, engaged in a little "physical interaction" with one of the ladies, atop the famous piano.

During the course of the interlude, an appendage hit the switch on the piano that caused it to begin its fateful rise to the ceiling. The entwined couple, distracted by other thoughts, didn't care or didn't notice. As the piano reached its hole in the ceiling, the man's legs and arms were wedged in the space between the edges of the hole and the piano. But the mechanism raising the piano ground ceaselessly on, and the couple was trapped between the piano and the high ceiling of the fashionable club.

The woman was solidly pinned under the burly man, and both were topless and bottomless, as befitted the Condor Club.

The janitor arrived a few hours later, and was greeted by frantic screams from the hysterical lady, who had been pinned under the very dead manager for hours. He had apparently suffocated or suffered a heart attack.

Firemen were summoned to rescue the woman, whose unhappy face was caught on film by a local news team.

This is an absolutely true story. The firemen had a good laugh, as did all the press in attendance, one of whom was me. The club later closed, and reopened as a bistro New San Franciscans don't know the history of the club at Broadway and Columbus, but those of us who were there will always smile as we drive by, remembering the killer piano. © 1994 - 2012
Submitted by: Ron Giuntini

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Joseph Varno says "This story is confirmed in the book, Man Suffocated By Potatoes, William A. Marsano, 1987. The news agency credited is Variety, and the deceased is named James. This collection of bizzare Darwin Award hopefuls includes a Brooklyn break-in through a store's ventilation system. The mummified body of the would-be thief was discovered three years later, when the ventilation system was repaired."

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