The Darwin Awards

2000 At-Risk Survivor

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!

Chimney Manners
2000 At-Risk Survivor
Confirmed True by Darwin

(9 May 2000, California) Shaun violated a restraining order when he climbed into his 50-year-old paramour's chimney. But he could not violate the laws of physics. His body predictably became wedged in the in the 12"x15" shaft, and the 30-year-old man was given a few hours of enforced solitude to contemplate his predicament.

Some time later, a neighbor investigating a mysterious shrill voice followed its instructions and discovered the source to be Shaun, stuck Santa-like in the narrow shaft. "I couldn't believe anyone could possibly fit in there," she said. But there he was, 12 feet down the chimney in a squatting position, trapped with his arms above his head.

Los Angeles firefighters attempted to pull the man from the shaft with a rope, but were unsuccessful. Then they called in a jackhammer crew, who chipped a hole through the brick while the chimney dweller screamed in fear. Eventually the man was freed from the narrow confines, and found himself surrounded by reporters who had gathered during the lengthy rescue.

He triumphantly told the reporters, "I'm so stupid I'll probably win a Darwin Award!" Then Shaun was arrested on suspicion of stalking and burglary, and lost the liberty he had so recently gained. As he is still alive, his escapade doesn't satisfy the rules, but Shaun will no doubt be proud to learn that he has received an At-Risk Survivor. Keep your eyes on this future Darwin Award winner!

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Submitted by: Charles Norman, Ian Skinner

Reference: San Diego Union

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