Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 7 May 2004

The Gecko: 7 May 2004

The Gecko: 7 May 2004

This year's Darwin Awards included a few interesting candidates:

** A young Canadian man, searching for a way of getting drunk cheaply because he

had no money with which to buy alcohol, mixed gasoline with milk. Not surprisingly,

this concoction made him ill, and he vomited into the fireplace in his house. This

resulting explosion and fire burned his house down, killing both him and his sister.

** Three Brazilian men were flying in a light aircraft at low altitude when another

plane approached. It appears that they decided to moon the occupants of the other

plane, but lost control of their own aircraft and crashed. They were all found dead

in the wreckage with their pants around their ankles.

** A 22-year-old, Glade Drive, Reston, VA, man was found dead after he tried to use

octopus straps to bungee jump off a 70 foot railroad trestle. Fairfax County police

said Eric Barcia, a fast-food worker, taped a bunch of these straps together, wrapped

one end around one foot, anchored the other end to the trestle at Lake Accotink Park,

jumped and hit the pavement. Warren Carmichael, a police spokesman, said investigators

think Barcia was alone because his car was found nearby.

"The length of the cord that he had assembled was greater than the distance

between the trestle and the ground," Carmichael said. Police say the apparent

cause of death was "Major trauma".

** A man in Alabama died from rattlesnake bites. It seems that he and a friend were

playing a game of catch, using the rattlesnake as a ball. The friend, no doubt a

future Darwin Awards candidate, was hospitalized.

** Employees in a medium-sized warehouse in west Texas noticed the smell of a gas

leak. Sensibly, management evacuated the building, extinguishing all potential sources

of ignition - lights, power, etc.

After the building had been evacuated, two technicians from the gas company were

dispatched. Upon entering the building, they found they had difficulty navigating

in the dark. To their frustration, none of the lights worked.

Witnesses later described the sight of one of the technicians deploying an object

that resembled a cigarette lighter. Upon operation of the lighter-like object, the

gas in the warehouse exploded, sending pieces of it up to three miles away. Nothing

was found of the technicians, but the lighter was virtually untouched by the explosion.

The technician suspected of causing the blast had never been thought of as "bright"

by his peers.

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