The Darwin Awards

2010 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!

Medieval Mayhem
2010 At-Risk Survivor
Confirmed True by Darwin

(August, various years, Pennsylvania) Every summer, the Society for Creative Anachronism holds a two-week-long "war" in rural Pennsylvania. The Darwin Awards team loves SCA members for their welcoming enthusiasm and their passion for medieval history and arts both fine and martial. But as with any large organization, there are always a few outliers! And at an event the size of Pennsic, which attracts over 10,000 attendees from around the world, there are bound to be some potential Darwin Award winners running around. For example:

The saying goes, fighters have two neurons, one is lost and the other is out looking for it. A knight fell "dead" (i.e., passed out) on the battlefield after a minor body blow. When he came to, it was revealed his appendix had been removed just last weekend, and he was still "stapled shut" from surgery. Please, hide your knight's helmet if he intends to endanger himself. Protect your fighters!

A woman was taken to the camp's medical facility with heat exhaustion verging on heat stroke. Attempts to lower her temperature failed. Finally the EMTs removed her clothing to apply ice. Beneath her elaborate historic dress, they found that she was wrapped neck to ankles in plastic wrap -- perhaps in order to lose weight? Removing the plastic wrap brought her temperature under control. Remember, ladies: Your date wants to stroke you, not plastic!

When the damp weather made it hard to get a campfire started, a knight suggested using a capful of white gas. His squire heard "cupful" and poured on two. The fumes became a situation. The knight, a real-life munitions expert, said, "We've got to burn it to defuse it." One match later...WHOOMPH! A 14-foot column of hot fire was the result. The mushroom cloud could be seen a mile away. An actor in a nearby play glanced offstage, then hollered, "Fire!" to the crowded theater. The squire is restricted from using accelerants henceforth.

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Reference: Wendy "Darwin" Northcutt

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