Saturday, February 10, 2007

Booknote: The Darwin Awards 4

Northcutt, Wendy. The Darwin Awards 4: Intelligent Design. New York: Dutton, 2006. ISBN: 0-525-94960-7.

Genre: Nonfiction
Subgenre: Humor, Stupidity

This series of books is great for anyone who wants to read about stupid people. I once heard a comedian say that "you can't fix stupid." I suggest that the way to fix it is to remove them from the gene pool so the stupid genes don't pass on. The Darwin Awards are given to those stupid people who do such dumb stunts that the result is death or loss of the ability to reproduce. However, getting close to that often gets people an honorable mention. The stories here are short and most of them are funny; others are just painful to read as you wonder what the hell were some of those people thinking when they did things like:

  • swallow a condom filled with beer (see page 169)
  • light a firework between your buttocks (see page 189)
  • fire a nail gun on your head (this was an honorable mention, see page 269)
By the way, stupidity knows no gender as men and women are equally stupid it seems. I am just glad some of those people will not be having children anytime soon. The book also includes some science essays between the chapters, which may of interest to readers and often serve to put stories in a chapter in context. In addition to the award winners and honorable mentions, the book also includes personal narratives submitted by readers. Overall, a very entertaining book with a cautionary element.

Readers can read more tales at the Darwin Awards website.

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