Trying Out for the Darwin Award


“The Darwin Awards are a tongue-in-cheek honor originating in Usenet
newsgroup discussions around 1985. They recognize individuals who have
supposedly contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of
the gene pool by dying or becoming sterilized via their own actions”.
If you have not followed these yearly awards you might Google them up
and have a look into the depths of human actions at the intersection where
tragedy and humor meet. I am known in my family as a potential candidate
for such actions as: slipping on my own banana peel while stepping off a
curb, and landing in front of an oncoming bus.
Here’s the story—We had a small dining room set that we bought 10 years
ago. When we moved in 2017 to the far out burbs of Arvada, Mary Kay
decided to put a “glass mosaic” top on the table and move it to our patio.
Each year I would help her cover her prize with a canvas tarp to survive the
winter. This year when she pulled off the tarp, and I am not kidding you, it
was infested with mushrooms and was falling apart. Her solution was to
remove the table top from the iron legs and replace the top. I was game,
as I know once she sets her sights on a project I might as well join in.
So far the plan was working. Her brother Dan in Pueblo, got the
measurements and pictures and assured us he could build an all weather
metal top. Now, all we had to do was to figure out what we were going to
do with the mushroom Petri dish that weighed easily, 100 pounds. She
called the We Love Junk people and they wanted a fortune to take it. I
said, “No Way”. She called Waste Management and they said if it was in
pieces the would take it in our standard dumpster.
Mary Kay had cooked up a plan to bash it with a sledge hammer. Mind
you, its top was glass in heavy grout. Well, her plan was set in motion.
She had big plastic tarps that were there to catch flying glass as we beat
the hell out of the table. Something about this plan made me very uneasy.
My parents gave my brothers erector sets at Christmas, I got a basketball
as building or fixing things was not my forte. I was standing on the patio
when my 11th grade physics class kicked in. We have these lovely large

river rocks that grace our landscaping, which came with the house. I
thought “If you put one big flat rock on the patio, and the table on the rock,
I, with the help of a chair, stood on one end and Mary Kay got on the
elevated side, we could use gravity and leverage to break the table in half.
I sold MK my plan. When she stepped on the elevated end I fully expected to be launched somewhere. “Crack—perfection— it broke perfectly in half.
Then, those halves were quartered. Success!!!
I might have gotten a circle D-Minus in wood shop but today I
disassembled the ugliest, heaviest, nastiest useless table with my brain.
Sorry Darwin Awards, not this time. Onward and Upward,
Mark

2 thoughts on “Trying Out for the Darwin Award

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