Charles Darwin with a purple swarm around his head, contemplating the twist of fate that natural selection sidestepped these still-living honorable mentions.

2009 Honorable Mention

Next Prev Random Honorable Mentions 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!

Caps'n'Hammer Kid
2009 Honorable Mention
Unconfirmed by Darwin


(2009) Everyone does dumb things when they're kids. My dumbest decision was almost a life-altering event. At that time, caps were readily available. For the youngsters in the audience, caps are tiny explosive charges sold for use in toy guns. Squeeze the trigger and a striker hits the cap, making it explode with a pop.

I had a pack of caps that were individually 'printed' on adhesive-backed paper. Having experimented with using a hammer to detonate 'em, in true dumb-kid fashion I moved on to super-size it. I stacked the caps an inch and a half high, knelt down on the sidewalk and hit the stack with a 2-pound ball-peen hammer.

The resulting explosion kicked the hammer back clear to my shoulder, missing my fragile young face by inches. No harm except for a bruise on the shoulder and ringing ears, but an alarming near miss nonetheless.

Sometimes I wonder how any human male survives childhood.

Darwin says, "If you like this, see Cap-ping Cap-pow."

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