I love the Darwin Awards, given to those who improve the human race by removing themselves from the gene pool via acts of idiocy. The latest batch is, as always, very enlightening. My favorite, given my long love for Italy, has to do with a man and his true beloved. It’s the runnerup for 2008:
Run! No, Run Away!
2008 Darwin Award Nominee
Confirmed True by Darwin
(July 16, 2008, Italy) Ivece Plattner, 68, was queued at a traffic light in his Porsche Cayenne sportscar. Before one reaches the light, there is a railroad crossing. As you might imagine, given Murphy’s law, a train was coming. The man did not let the queue progress forward far enough before he crossed the railroad. The safety bars came down, leaving the Porsche trapped on the rails. It took the driver awhile to realize he was stuck, according to witnesses. Finally, he jumped from the car and started to run — toward the oncoming train, waving his arms in an attempt to save his car!
The attempt was successful. The car received less damage than its owner. He was pushed hard enough to land 30 meters away, and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.
Italians’ love affair with their cars is legendary. I have had innumerable conversations with Italian tax drivers about the traffic, and for some years they told me that if the price of gasoline were high enough, the traffic would diminish. Well, it didn’t happen (that is, the price went up but the traffic didn’t go down). Finally a smart taxi driver said “an Italian will sell his wife before he gives up his car.”
Which I think is by and large correct. This Darwin Award seems to confirm it, don’t you think?