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!

Cap-ping Cap-pow
2009 Honorable Mention
Unconfirmed by Darwin

Personal Account

(1967, Pennsylvania) I was 9 years old. Fireworks were illegal in our state, but you could buy rolls of caps. A "friend" showed me how to make a decent firecracker out of them. Take a straight pin and load the caps onto it by pushing the point through the center of each powder-loaded circle, folding the paper accordion-style. Fill the pin about half-full, then pull the caps off while keeping them as tight together as you can. Wrap the wad in a tissue, twist one end to make a wick, and light the wick for a nice little bang from your homemade firecracker.

Kids all know that bigger is better. I figured I would use a large pin to make a large firecracker. There was a hat pin in Mom's sewing box and I started loading that colossal pin with a roll of caps. There is no telling how long I worked on that firecracker. I probably had two inches of caps stacked up by the time I was ready to pull them off and wrap the wad in tissue.

I gave the wad a tug, but it wasn't sliding off the pin. I tried harder, still no luck. The head of the pin didn't give me much to hold on to, so I put the pin between my teeth and gave a big tug...

That stack of caps exploded with the sound of a shotgun shell. I was standing there with black powder all over my face when my folks and brothers ran into the room. Although my ears were ringing and my lips were tingling, I was required to explain what I had done. Once they stopped laughing, my folks checked to be sure all my parts were still intact.

Fortunately, they were.

Darwin says, "If you like this, see Caps'n'Hammer Kid."

Reference: Ross Pavlik, Pesonal Account

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