January 06, 2001

In my last entry I pointed y'all Schlock Fans at the official Darwin Awards web site. Since then, I've become aware of a very, very neat account which purports to explain where the urban legend of the JATO Darwin Award came from. Whether or not this account is factual (and I'm giving it about a 70% chance of such), it's a fine, fine read. If this guy isn't writing fiction, he should be (and I emailed him to tell him so).

The guys in this story show all but one of the trappings of being eligible for a Darwin Award themselves, with the exception of the fact that none of them get killed by their feat of engineering. In fact, I think in the end that the author is worthy of a Darwin anti-award... bettering the gene-pool by being smart, and by reproducing.

If you'd care to take issue with his narrative, go have a look at the best urban-legend website on the net, the San Fernando Valley Folklore Society's Urban Legends Reference Pages (it's easier to just call it "snopes.com"), and read this for the a solidly researched refutation of the JATO Darwin Award.

You be the judge. I'll be the itinerant cartoonist.