The Darwin Awards

2017 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!

3 Honorable MEN-tions
2017 At-Risk Survivor
Unconfirmed by Darwin

Three personal accounts of a near-miss brush with death. You will enjoy a trio of tales from this side of the cutting edge. First up is a story about a father. Fathers frequently provide do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do examples for their offspring.

(Circa 1999) My father is normally a sensible man, but years ago he nearly removed himself from the gene pool. He and my mother bought an old farmhouse and spent several years cleaning it up. A dilapidated chicken house on the property was full of odds and ends of all sorts, from old machinery to chemicals used on the chicken farm. My dad was prepping a garden spot, cutting down dried pea vines and piling them up to burn. He had no gasoline to start the fire so he rummaged around in the chicken house and found a bottle of benzene. He dumped it on the dry vines, went inside to get a matchbook, came out and struck the match as he was approaching the pile. The benzene fumes ignited at this distance and the whole pile exploded into flame! The explosion shook the windows in the house, threw Dad backwards, and burned the exposed hair off his body. Not a Darwin--but surely could have been! --Abby English


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