The Naughtiest Bite: The Darwin AwardsFeb 11, 2013
of Charles Darwin’s birthday February 12, I’d like to share an oldie but goodie from Wendy Northcutt of The Darwin Awards fame. Northcutt believes in “commemorating those individuals who ensure the long-term survival of our species by removing themselves from the gene pool in a sublimely idiotic fashion.”
Her books include Evolution in Action, Unnatural Selection, Chlorinating the Gene Pool, Countdown to Extinction, Felonious Failures, and many others. Darwin Award winners must be either dead or alive, but if alive either shorn of their naughty bits or of their capacity to reproduce.
As The Naughty Nutritionist™, I laugh loudest when food punishes the foolhardy. One of my favorites is a case from Unnatural Selection in which Northcutt argues that “crime does pay, if you are fishing for elective surgery to go along with your stolen goods.”
“Lobster Vasectomy “
“A 24-year-old supermarket shoplifter stuffed a pair of live lobsters in his pants and sprinted for the door, but he never had a chance. The violated crustaceans brought the thief to his knees in front of startled cashiers when they fastened their powerful claws around his delicate parts. Doctors were able to remove the animals with pliers. They said the thief would fully recover — except for one small detail. ‘It was a do-it-yourself vasectomy.’ This man’s daring supermarket exploits make him one of the few Darwin Award winners to live to tell the tale.”
But is the story true? Given the fact that lobster is served up around the world as a sacred food for fertility, I’d sure like to think so. How insanely perfect would that be for a lobster to have cut a criminal out of the gene pool? Sadly, several signs suggest this one’s too good to be true, and merely an Urban Legend.
As Northcutt puts it, “Florida lobsters have no large claw, astoundingly enough. In any case lobster claws are restrained with bands by the time they get to the supermarket, making this mishap unlikely. A urologist reader deemed the story medically implausible, as a force strong enough to severe the vas deferens, which would sterilize the victim, would almost certainly crush the blood vessels, thus requiring removal of the testes.”
Love it? For this and other Darwin Awards, Honorable Mentions and Debunked Urban Legends:
Wendy Northcutt’s latest book is Countdown to Extinction:
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