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!

Down In The Dumps
2009 Honorable Mention
Unconfirmed by Darwin
Confirmed True by Darwin

(12 May 2006, UK) During the scrape and resurface of a large residential street in Edinburgh, it was noticed that a large foul sewer ran down the street. As it was belived to be quite shallow, it was necessary to determine its exact route in order to avoid damage by the resurfacing works. Working in a foul can be dangerous, so three workmen were sent to an expensive two-week training course, and another six thousand pounds went into the purchase of appropriate equipment: masks, suits, gas monitors.

The supervising engineer decided to pop along one afternoon and see how works were commencing. The tent covering the foul was shaking and bulging oddly. He threw open the flaps and was presented with the unsavory sight of three men wrestling over the open manhole, covered in waste matter! Two were shouting at a third, who was unconscious, drenched in waste, and not breathing.

What was going on?

The civil engineer, trained in resuscitation techniques, began the unappealing process of clearing the unconscious man's airway. Fortunately at that point he started breathing again, and immediately vomited a stream of waste. The ambulance was summoned, and then it was time for 'splaining.

Remember the training course? Remember the expensive new gear? Dumb, Dumber, and Dumbest decided that that was all too much effort. The foul was so close to the surface, they figured, that it would be easier to simply hang one of them upside down with a torch to see the lay of the line. They held an arm wrestling contest, and the loser was flipped upside down and lowered into the narrow manhole. Immediately he was overcome by the gas fumes, and passed out.

With no shout to stop, Dumb and Dumber continued to lower Dumbest until he was immersed up to his shoulders in the pooling waste. After a minute or so with no response, they pulled him up and realised what had happened. They were both fighting to administer CPR when their supervisor arrived.

All four men received injections to ward off infection. Dumbest was kept in the hospital for futher treatment. He developed a nasty mouth infection that caused him to lose teeth, but he survived. Denied Darwin Awards, the three men subsequently decided to try for a Stella Award. Dumb, Dumber, and Dumbest filed claim against their company for injury and trauma, as their shortcut was not specifically forbidden in the method statement. The company settled out of court.

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Submitted by: Anonymous
Reference: Eyewitness Account by the Civil Engineer

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