FileTitle: Prose1133.html
Category: Humor
Type: Prose
Description: Darwin Award
Subject: Darwin Award 

 This is from the "ART BELL" Internet Page.  He's a SF Bay Area talk
     radio show host.  He hands out the "Darwin Award" every year.

     "Darwin Award" Nominee You all know about the Darwin Awards - It's an
     annual honor given to the person who did the gene pool the biggest
     service by killing in the most extraordinarily stupid way.  Last
     year's was the fellow who was killed by a Coke machine which toppled
     over top of him as he was attempting to tip a  free soda out of it.

     And this year's nominee is: The Arizona Highway Patrol came upon a
     pile of smoldering metal embedded into the side of a cliff rising
     above the road at the apex of a curve.  The wreckage resembled the
     site of an airplane crash, but it was a car.  The  type of car was
     unidentifiable at the scene.  The lab finally figured out what it was
     and what had happened.

     It seems that a guy had somehow gotten hold of a JATO unit (Jet
     Assisted Take Off - actually a solid fuel rocket) that is used to
     give heavy military transport planes an extra "push" for taking off
     Assisted Take Off - actually a solid fuel rocket) that is used to
     give heavy military transport planes an extra "push" for taking off
     from short airfields.  He had driven his Chevy Impala out into the desert
     and found a long, straight stretch of road.  Then he attached the JATO
     unit to his car, jumped in, got up some speed and fired off the JATO!

     The facts as best as could be determined are that the operator of the
     1967 Impala hit JATO ignition at a distance of approximately 3.0 miles
     from the crash site.  This was established by the prominent scorched
     and melted  asphalt at that location.  The JATO, if operating
     properly, would have reached maximum thrust within 5 seconds, causing
     the Chevy to reach speeds well in excess of 350 mph and continuing at
     full power for an additional 20-25 seconds.  The driver, soon to be
     pilot, most likely would have experienced G-forces usually reserved
     for dog-fighting F-14 jocks under full afterburners, basically
     causing him to become insignificant for the remainder of the event.

     However, the automobile remained on the straight highway for about 2.5
     miles (15-20) seconds before the driver applied and completely melted
     the brakes, blowing the tires and leaving thick rubber  marks on the road
     surface, then becoming airborne for an additional 1.4 miles and
     impacting the cliff face at a height of 125 feet leaving a blackened
     crater  3 feet deep in the rock.

     Most of the driver's remains were not recoverable; however, small
     fragments  of bone, teeth and hair were extracted from the crater and
     fingernail and bone shards were removed from a piece of debris
     believed to be a portion of the steering wheel.