The Darwin Awards

1998 At-Risk Survivor

Next Prev Random At-Risk Survivors have misadventures that stop short of the ultimate sacrifice. Nevertheless we salute the spirit of their colossal blunders with an Honorable Mention. Better luck next time!

Cooking with Gas
1998 At-Risk Survivor
Unconfirmed by Darwin

(19 August 1991, Connecticut) The good news as Hurricane Bob bore down on the Atlantic coast was that everybody in Gary's office was sent home early to prepare for the storm. And Gary was well prepared. No matter how bad the devastation, he would have light, heat, water, and hot food. So he had nothing to worry about when the power failed under the massive onslaught of the storm.

The bad news was that, despite his thorough preparations, Gary had forgotten one important detail.

As night fell, he fired up the oil lamps and placed his Coleman camping stove on top of the electric range in his kitchen to cook his dinner. After finishing the meal, Gary commended himself on his foresight. He went to bed secure in the knowledge that Mother Nature could not beat him.

Diligent linemen worked through the worst of the weather to restore power. Before dawn, all the appliances in Gary's house were again working, including the electric range. But Gary had forgotten to check that one important detail...

The burner under the Coleman was on, heating the little stove's gas canister through the night. It finally exploded, blowing the kitchen wall two feet off the foundation, snapping several floor joists, and smashing every window in the house. The explosion caused $65,000 in damage, and Gary had narrowly escaped an encounter with destiny -- saved only by his closed bedroom door.

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Submitted by: Anonymous
Reference: New London Day

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