Attendee at SCA Event Honorable Mention Candidate for "Darwin Awards"

Several years ago, someone attending an SCA event in Kentucky did something amazingly stupid. A witness has recently nominated the man for an Honorable Mention in the "Darwin Awards". The Darwin Awards are given annually to people who "improve the human gene pool by removing themselves from it" in an act of extraordinary stupidity. Although one must either die or become sterile to receive an actual Darwin Award, there are Honorable Mentions given for those who do something idiotic that could have been fatal, but fortunately wasn't. According to the Darwin Awards web site, the awards are meant to serve partially as a form of dark humor, but also as a warning to the rest of us not to disregard common sense.

The awards have been given since 1995, but this year the SCA is represented. "About five years ago," according to the Darwin Awards web site, a man untrained in the stunt of fire breathing attempted to show off for his friends at an SCA event in Kentucky (USA). Normally, fire breathers use pure grain alcohol vapor to accomplish the stunt, but this man used camp stove fuel.

Performers at SCA events and other venues have done fire breathing on many occasions, and the safety record is good among those with proper training and equipment. Even with careful training and extensive experience, however, fire breathing is a risky activity. According to the Darwin Awards article, this man had no training at all, and made a very bad choice of fuel. The camp stove fuel didn't completely vaporize, and a trail of liquid around his mouth caught fire. The man was burned around his mouth and the back of his head and had to be rushed to a hospital.

Fortunately, the injuries were not fatal, and the man recovered. Had things gone differently, the victim could have sustained fatal and/or severely disfiguring burns to his mucous membranes, lungs, and face. In emergency medical services, even small burns to the head are regarded as "critical burns."

Thanks to "Mad Molly Magee" of the Middle Kingdom for forwarding the information to us.