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2004 Personal Accounts
The Darwin Awards salutes the spirit portrayed in the following personal accounts, submitted by loyal (and sometimes reluctant) readers. Next Prev Random


Cleaning Solution
2004 Personal Account

(New York, 2004) Mr. T, a 39-year-old manager at a high-tech biotech company that provides burn victims with plasma, by happenstance was also an avid snowmobiler. One morning on the way to work, he stopped to fill his Officially Opproved Gasoline Can to use later as cleaning solution for the snowmobile's engine. (Reader comment: "There are so many ways that plan can go wrong, which will Mr. T. choose?")   He chose to place the container on the front seat and go in to work.

That afternoon, Mr. T. needed to retrieve a stack of medical paperwork from the car. Since smoking was not allowed in the building, it seemed an opportune moment to slide into the driver's seat and light up. But his cigarette wasn't the only thing that was interested when he flicked his Bic.

Fumes had been leaking from the gas container all day. Just a bit, as the car warmed up, a little bit here and there. By the afternoon, when our unfortunate volunteer example of what-not-to-do took his first (and last) drag, the vapors ignited. In the inferno, Mr. T.'s car was severely damaged, but he miraculously managed to escape--with a few deep burns. He became one of the few to be eligible for an employee discount program... for plasma! And, naturally, we expect that he had to print and sign the whole stack of burned medical forms, again.

* Not his real name. A pseudonym, Mr. T. © 1994 - 2020

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