The Darwin Awards celebrate those who voluntarily ( and most stupidly) remove themsevles from the genepool each year.
In 1982 Lawn Chair Larry, beloved survivor of a Darwin Award attempt, attached 45 huge helium balloons to his comfortable Sears lawn chair, packed a picnic lunch, and cut the tether. But instead of drifting lazily above the Los Angeles landscape, the combined lift of 45 weather balloons rocketed Larry into LAX air traffic lanes 16,000 feet above sea level. Astoundingly, he survived the “flight.”
In homage to Larry’s whimsical adventure, a Catholic priest recently ascended towards heaven on a host of helium party balloons. Andelir Antonio de Carli, 41, was attempting to set the world record for clustered balloon flight to publicize his plan to build a spiritual rest stop for truckers.
Spending more than 19 hours in a lawn chair is not a trivial matter, even in the comfort of your own backyard. The priest took numerous safety precautions, including wearing a survival suit, selecting a buoyant chair, and packing a satellite phone and a GPS. However, the late Adelir Antonio made a fatal mistake.
He did not know how to use the GPS.
The winds changed, as winds do, and he was blown off course toward the ocean. He could have parachuted to safety while still over land, but chose against this prudent act. Not until he was hopelessly lost at sea did he telephone for help. But rescuers were unable to reach the voyager since he could not provide his location. He struggled with the intricacies of his GPS as the charge on the satellite phone dwindled.
Instead of a GPS, the priest let God be his guide, and God guided him straight to heaven. For several weeks, bits of balloons were found on mountains and beaches. Ultimately the priest’s body surfaced, confirming that he, like Elvis, had left the building.
The kicker? Caltholic priests take vows of celibacy. Since they voluntarily remove themselves from the gene pool, the entire group earns a mass Darwin Award. Adelir Antonio is a winner twice over!
Reference: globo.com, Sydney Morning Herald, Associated Press, and numerous others
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