SPOOF DAR­WIN AWARDS – WE TAKE THE CAKE

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NATION - WILLIAM SAUNDERSON-MEYER @TheJaun­dicedEye

AS THE Cre­ators of the spoof Dar­win Awards point out, hu­mankind is ac­tu­ally a steadily de­volv­ing species, nowhere near as bright as it thinks it is.

That’s pretty in­con­tro­vert­ible. I mean, have you watched the parliamentary tele­vi­sion chan­nel lately?

For­tu­nately, Na­ture has its own way, ul­ti­mately, of putting us in our place.

Since the in­tel­li­gence of the species is mostly awol, we can at least be hap­pily as­sured of the im­pend­ing ex­tinc­tion of the hu­man race.

The Dar­win Awards hon­our those who have made the great­est pos­si­ble con­tri­bu­tion to the hu­man gene pool by re­mov­ing them­selves from it. At last, an arena where South Africans can shine.

We might not do bril­liantly at the Olympics. We don’t win the Maths Olympiads or the World

Chess Cham­pi­onships. We are the bot­tom of ev­ery in­ter­na­tional school per­for­mance rank­ing. But at be­ing ter­mi­nally dumb…

One of last year’s Dar­win Award win­ners was made on a tech­ni­cal­ity – he didn’t ac­tu­ally kill him­self but he did re­move him­self from the gene pool.

This Ar­gen­tinian se­cu­rity guard faced years in pri­son be­cause of be­ing in il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of a 45-cal­i­bre pis­tol. The mit­i­gat­ing as­pect – the judge called it “di­vine pun­ish­ment” in set­ting him free – was that while the gun was tucked into his waist­band, it went off, oblit­er­at­ing his tes­ti­cles and any prospect of pro­cre­ation.

Can you see how easy this is go­ing to be for SA? Ours is a coun­try un­ri­valled, ex­cept pos­si­bly by the United States, at stupid acts of self­an­ni­hi­la­tion us­ing firearms.

But it is when it comes to crim­i­nal­ity that we are re­ally go­ing to shine. Many of the acts that win Dar­win Awards are of a crim­i­nal na­ture.

There are dis­cernible na­tional trends. In the United King­dom, these deaths rarely in­volve mishaps with firearms or ex­plo­sives.

UK crime-re­lated deaths are quaintly retro. Sur­pris­ingly of­ten they in­volve a bur­glar who sneaks into premises, per­haps through a chim­ney or by lift­ing roof tiles, then gets stuck and dies of suf­fo­ca­tion or star­va­tion.

The Awards reg­u­larly fea­ture some bloke – over­whelm­ingly, the Awards go to blokes, sig­nalling another in­ter­est­ing evo­lu­tion­ary phe­nom­e­non – who kills him­self try­ing to blow up a cash dis­penser.

Re­cently, pa­thet­i­cally, a young Ger­man man died try­ing to rob a rail­way sta­tion ticket dis­penser by pump­ing aerosol gas into the slot and then light­ing it.

ATM rob­bing is a big thing here, one of our fastest grow­ing cat­e­gories of crime. De­spite our ATM rob­bers be­ing pro­fes­sion­als rather than ama­teurs ,they reg­u­larly blow them­selves up.

Even more of them get them­selves killed by the po­lice. On these sta­tis­tics, one should per­haps think of KZN as be­ing SA’s Olympian-level train­ing camp for Dar­win. This is evo­lu­tion­ary self­de­struc­tion on a lem­ming like scale.

The Min­is­ter of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions and Co-op­er­a­tion, Lindiwe Sisulu, this week ex­pressed con­cern about the num­ber of South Africans, more than 800, de­tained abroad on drug-re­lated charges.

With won­der­ful un­der­state­ment, Sisulu ad­vises Saf­fers trav­el­ling abroad to “fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the le­gal and cul­tural prac­tices” of the coun­tries they are vis­it­ing.

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