The Darwin Awards

2007 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!

Shattered Ego
2007 At-Risk Survivor
Unconfirmed by Darwin

(New Jersey) On a warm summer day, I was walking along the lake with a childhood friend. We reminisced about youthful summer days spent fishing on the lake. A railroad track runs next to the lake. We used to put pebbles and pennies on the train tracks, and take cover as the train zoomed by and annihilated the objects.

My friend is a school teacher who dabbles in photography, and as we walked, he would take various nature shots. Every fifteen minutes or so, a train would fly by. My friend was suddenly seized by a creative urge to put stones on the tracks, and take a photo as the train ran over them. An action shot, he called it.

I insisted that this was a bad idea. But he proceeded to place several fist-sized stones on the rail. I took cover a good 100 yards away as he sat in wait, twenty yards from the tracks. Soon we heard the train approaching. He crouched down and put the camera to his face. As the train flew by, he fell flat on his back!

Exactly what I thought would happen, happened. The train sent stone shrapnel flying straight toward him, and one piece hit him in the face. I ran to his side. He was spitting out blood and two broken teeth. Despite the look of horror and surprise on his face, I couldn't help but laugh. I warned him! "At least, did you get the shot?" I asked.

He gave me a look that said he wanted to kill me.

When he developed the film, he found an "action shot" all right. It was a blurred picture of the top of the train and the sky above it, snapped as he fell backwards. I suggested posting the photo in his classroom along with a picture of his two broken teeth, and a sign explaining the dangers of playing with trains.

This man is a role model for the next generation!

ORIGINAL SUBMISSION

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