Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


It’s time for another installment of The Darwin Awards.

(5 November 1995, Arkansas) Tenacity and determination are advantageous to an organism. But combined with a lack of common sense and an excess of bravado, these traits may well prove deleterious.

After ten inches of rainfall, rivers in Northern Arkansas had flooded over their banks. Stephan Burchard, 27, decided that this was the perfect excuse to tackle Big Piney Creek, a challenging whitewater run at normal water levels. Dressed in overalls and a sweat suit, and notably lacking a life vest, Stephan set out with three friends and two rafts "of the type obtained by sending in Marlboro cigarette packs."

Nothing but a dose of common sense stood between Stephan and glory.

Enroute to the Big Piney put-in, the four men were stalled at a low-water bridge over Indian Creek. The water was flowing 3 feet over the bridge, so they could not drive any further. A crowd of experienced whitewater paddlers had gathered at the Indian Creek bridge to pay respectful homage to the freakishly high water. They were a benevolent group, and they implored the foolhardy party to desist. But the men would not be deterred.

Despite the fact that Indian Creek courses through two miles of dangerous willow jungle before joining Big Piney, the men put-in at the flooded bridge. The four men climbed into the rafts, two per, and IMMEDIATELY capsized.

Undeterred by continuing pleas from more experienced paddlers, and undaunted by their first dunking, the men launched again. They managed to stay on the surface for 200 yards, before capsizing downstream.

At this point, one man realized he was fighting a losing battle. He bowed out, and hiked back to the bridge. The two other men climbed back into their raft, and Stephan decided to venture onward solo. A half mile later, the flotilla "encountered" a tree across the stream, and both rafts capsized. Stephan was pinned against the tree.

A search party located Stephan's body later that day.

Despite warnings from experienced paddlers, despite capsizing twice, and despite seeing the cold water flowing menacingly 3 feet over a bridge, Stephan chose to tackle a hazardous river. His tenacity was selected against, removing him from the gene pool forever.

ANALYSIS, "The absence of a life vest was probably the victim's most significant error. These inexperienced and ill-prepared paddlers ignored warnings from a group of obviously knowledgeable paddlers." CONCLUSION: "Warning unprepared floaters can be unproductive, but it is worth trying anyway."



At 5:42 AM, Anonymous linda said...

That comes from being young and thinking you are invinceable. I know I spelled that wrong but you know what I mean LOL

At 10:40 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

lol, yep...that's exactly what brought that on. :D

At 5:33 PM, Blogger lime said...

stupidity and stubborness makes for a lethal combination once again.

At 5:38 PM, Blogger lime said...

btw, i just read your response to my comment on the last post....which experience..my power outage in a bad storm at night which led to me holding my bladder until the built up pressure reached critical levels for fear of using the bathroom after reading your book? LOL if so that's really pretty hilarious. glad my discomfort inducing cowardice can sell a book or two. can i get a signed copy for my trouble? LMAO!!!

At 5:43 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

lol, that would be the one. :D and of course, I'll hook you up with a mighty signature. :D

At 5:55 AM, Blogger lime said...

fabulous! thanks


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