Ralph Darwin grew up with no purpose. He’d always wanted ambition but never knew how to find it. He looked under an old chair in the garage but even he knew that wouldn’t be the source of his justification of taking up precious space and resources. He was nowhere near related to a Charles sharing his surname, but he felt a kinship nonetheless. After a brief but telling tryst with Jean Poole, his connection to the famed evolutionist was strengthened and he narrowed down his destiny to involve the man. He walked to the end of a wharf, looked down with minor and fleeting appel du vide, and instantaneously founded the Darwin Awards, a tongue-in-cheek-in-butt examination of chlorinating the human gene pool. Nominees and eventual winners are posthumously selected based on the unique and sensational stupidity of their own actions leading to their death.

Ralph’s awards took off on the internet, whatever that means, virally and the like, but it wasn’t enough, and so it turned out to be only the first step in the ambitious project. The next stage centres around a documentary being produced wherein he attempts to survive various dangerous methods in which former D’Awards winners have perished.

Although he himself didn’t suffer from dropsy, Ralph started his film by mimicking Heraclitus of Ephesus, who covered his body in cow manure. Darwin managed to outrun the dogs let loose to chase him until he reached the safety of a lake that cleansed him of the dung. Skydiver Nick Piantanida was the next copycat victim, with Ralph setting a record for the highest parachute jump in history. Instead of an understandable demise, he survived and ended up sponsored by Red Bull. Basil Brown’s death from liver damage was next on the list, with Ralph stuffing his face with too many millions of units of Vitamin A and a decagallon of carrotic juice. While his skin yellowed as the days past, since he survived we might say that he turned golden as a calf.

His success getting to his head, Ralph then upped his game and tried to live through what an Edward Archbold could not. Needing to win a cockroach-eating contest and come out the other side without choking to death on the arthropod body parts, he arranged a battle against Joey Chestnut. Ralph somehow destroyed the professional hot dog eater at his own game, and stood on the dining table to celebrate by splashing beer around and mocking Chestnut relentlessly. Suddenly, a giant hyperintelligent radioactive cockroach appeared and pointed a couple of his massive legs right at Ralph, who was stunned. The crazy cockroach then picked him up, dumped some hot sauce all over his head, then ate Darwin whole, allowing him to become the most recent and final winner of the Darwin Award he created.

July 29 – Ken Burns gets the final Darwin Award winner
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