On Darwin Award Nominees

Is it wrong to wish a Darwin Award on an unsuspecting boob? I think not…

Yesterday, for reasons that pass beyond all understanding, the company decided that strip stores should be open regular hours. Never mind that it was the Fourth of July, that every American has a patriotic duty to blow up a small part of the country, and in North Carolina they take that seriously, to the point where nothing happens after about mid-afternoon. Money trumps reason, however, and as a compromise I shuttered the store at eight.

My commute home involves a six-mile stretch of the interstate. About halfway home I noticed traffic on the other side backed up to a standstill. I looked off to the west and noticed I was passing the state fairgrounds. Fireworks. Of course.

Then I noticed, on my side of the expressway, cars parked in two rows on the shoulder, and people sitting in lawn chairs on the edge of the expressway.

Yes, people sitting in lawn chairs on the edge of the expressway.

This is the expressway the State Police just targetted for aggressive driving. Posted speed limit is 60, but I’m not atypical–I take the expressway at 70 to 75.

And there were people sitting in lawn chairs on the edge of the expressway.

When I drove home it was about eight thirty. Dusk. Not great lighting, but it was easy to see the people along the highway. By the time the fireworks went off at nine-thirty? Freaking pitch black outside.

Someone could have gotten hurt. Someone could have died.

People sitting in lawn chairs on the edge of the expressway.

Darwin Award, anyone?

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

3 thoughts on “On Darwin Award Nominees

  1. If it makes you feel better at all, I seriously doubt the guys that overheard our conversation today know what a Darwin award is. But I guess that would be the point.

  2. This stunned me when I read it in its first draft, and it still stuns me.

    Please, at least tell me there were no parents camped out on the interstate with young children running around off the shoulder.

  3. I didn’t see children on the shoulder of the expressway, no, though I’ve no doubt, Bill, that there were children there.

    Ironic that the very moment I complained to my sales associate about people along the expressway to watch the fireworks that two customers who did exactly that were in the store.

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