best of craigslist > washington, DC > I Almost Won A Darwin Award
Originally Posted: 2004-06-09 11:49am

I Almost Won A Darwin Award

Yes, so I almost won a Darwin Award last night. I say almost because, as many of you know, you have to die in an incredibly stupid manner (thereby removing your incredibly stupid genes from the pool) to win one. Since I am obviously alive, I didn’t win.

So you may ask, how did this happen?

I own an incredibly shitty car with over 400K miles on it. From time to time, parts wear out, wheels fall off, strange odors surface, etc, so I’m often doing maintenance on it myself to save a little money.

The other day the cable that acts as the grounding-wire to my started motor broke off. As many of you know, no starter motor = no ignition (unless of course you have a stick shift and roll start your car like I do). After a cursory search I realized that the washer at the end of the grounding-wire had broken, but with a piece of duct tape, I could temporarily reattach the wire and start my car.

Before crawling under my car to reattach the wire, I wisely (or so I thought) disconnected the negative battery cable to my car. What I didn’t realize was that, while under the car, the elasticity of the battery cable must have pulled the anode back towards the battery, essentially reattaching the cable.

When I went to reattach the grounding-wire (mind you, I’m under my car at this point with no jacks), it grazed the side of the starter motor and caused a short circuit, which caused the starter motor to turn on, which in turn, turned my car on. Seeing as the car was parked in 1st gear, it suddenly began to lurch forward with me underneath it, dragging my along the ground. Worse yet, there’s only about 6 inches of clearance where the differential joint and transmission stick out under the body. Had my head slid under this part of the car, it would have burst my skull like a grape. At this point I remembered thinking to myself, “So this is how it all ends for me.”

THANK GOD, my car only lunged forward about 6 feet before smacking an old crappy pick ‘em-up truck in front of me. The impact jarred the wire loose from the starter motor and my car stalled out with me safely underneath (except for a few scratches and a seriously bruised ego).

Had I actually killed myself, I can only imagine what the local papers would have said: Local Man Runs Self Over. Yup, I think that would have qualified me for a Darwin Award.

Thanks for listening to my rant. Now if you’ll go excuse me, I’m going to see if I can shoot an apple of my own head.




this is in or around The Shallow End of the Gene Pool

post id: 33296493

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