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A Great "darwin" Award


Piprus
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Here's an excerpt I received via email from a close cousin of mine, regarding recent "Darwin" award nominations:

 

RUNNER UP: TACOMA , WA . Kerry Bingham had been drinking with several

friends when one of them said they knew a person who had bungee-jumped

from the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the middle of traffic. The

conversation grew more heated and at least 10 men trooped along the

walkway of the bridge at

4:30 AM. Upon arrival at the midpoint of the bridge they discovered

that no one had brought a bungee rope.

 

Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered and pointed out that

a coil of lineman's cable lay near by. One end of the cable was

secured around Bingham's leg and the other end was tied to the bridge.

His fall lasted 40 feet before the cable tightened and tore his foot

off at the ankle. He miraculously survived his fall into the icy salt

water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen. "All I can say" said

Bingham, is that God was watching out for me on that night.

 

There's just no other explanation for it." Bingham's foot was never located.

 

 

(So from this, what are we to infer?

I would suggest, let us include god within the pantheon, as either, the "Patron god of the incredibly stupid", or, "Patron god of missing feet". What do you think?)

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I deduce that he is grateful that he survived, albeit minus a foot. The incident probably has a profound impact on his religion. He will probably be irretrievably religious for the rest of his life. Also, due to his newly acquired and visible disability he will probably be the centre of attention in his community, which will make life worth living. If he had really meant to kill himself, why didn't he tie the rope around his neck?

 

That is what I get out of it. Maybe you meant something else.

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Years ago when I was in ARES (Australian Army Reserves) I was a mortarman. This was before the Darwin Awards came around. One night we were live firing from Easy Range Wide Bay Training Area when we had a misfire. Now in the Army there are drills for everything, and sometimes they even make sense. "The Number One is to call 'Misfire on Number X', the Numbers Two and Three are to crouch below the level of the muzzle while the Number One vigourously shakes the bipod to dislodge the round in case there has been a hangfire. If the round does not fire, the crew is to wait for one minute. After that the Number One is to give the order 'Misfire Unload' ... "

 

I shan't describe what happens next, save to say that the Loader (Number Two) has what can be a cow of a job, for he is the one who has to get the unfired round out of the barrel. It helps to be a practical, pragmatic soul on such occasions, as one can surely see.

 

Well now, no sooner had the Number One on the mortar in question shaken the bipod and begun the waiting period than his idiot of a Loader jumped up, leaned over the barrel, shone a torch down it and announced that he could "See what the trouble was". Needless to say the other two members of the crew hit the dirt fast. "What are you all doing down there?"

 

Some harsh words and perhaps a few blows later he finally got the point.

Casey

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I don't get the point. Yeah, I'm probably a cow. I read it several times to get all the details straight. Can't make head or tail of why those two hit the ground or how the story fits into this thread. Maybe I should mention that I don't know the first thing about shooting toys.

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Point being...

An individual obviously undertook a patently stupid act.

Said individual survived that act, against all reasonable odds.

Said individual attributes his survival to an act of god.

Conclusion: God is either, the patron god of the stupid, or the patron god of those who are minus one or both feet.

(Skeptic's interpretation: There ain't no god there, Stupid!)

God had nothing to do with it. This is a Darwin award nominee who somehow, by chance, survived what should reasonably have killed him. Minus his foot, but still alive.

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Mortar rounds are fired when they hit a firing pin in the breech, OK? Sometimes, when a round is faulty, there is a delay between when the round hits the pin and when it fires. That is called a "hangfire". That is why the drill is as it is. If there had been a hangfire and this fellow was leaning over the barrel when the round fired, it would exit the barrel and hit him. It would then quite likely explode. That wouldn't do anyone who was within twenty meters of it much good. A mortar round is basically a large grenade. (Hence in German, a mortar is known as a Grenatenwerfer literally, "Grenade Thrower").

 

When such a round explodes, its fragments fly out in a low pattern because they are designed to inflict leg and abdominal wounds. That's why you throw yourself flat. My apologies, I should have written this in a better way to cater for non-military types. Hope this makes things clearer.

Casey

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A mortar round is basically a large grenade. (Hence in German, a mortar is known as a Grenatenwerfer literally, "Grenade Thrower").

 

Almost correct - German term is "Granatwerfer" ;)

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Sheesh, a few years ago some drunk guy jumped off the Whidbey Isl. bridge, I believe the tallest in the NW? He didn't survive.

 

Must have been this guy's cousin.

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The psycology of stupidity (and surviving it) is facinating.

 

Even more so, Piprus and Casey, you both have made me feel a lot less dumb today.

 

I should also invest in a keyboard cover (or stop drinking soda) prior to reading threads like this.

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