While the Olympics are in full swing, and the world is captivated by the sporting prowess of athletes from places we’d never previously heard of (um, Marshall Islands? I’m sorry, but I really have no idea where you are on the globe), I have to admit that my future is not looking bright for winning any sports medals – except maybe an encouragement award.
If you’re not in the running for any Olympic medals either, you could try your hand at winning one of these dubious honours:
Named in honour of Charles “Evolution” Darwin himself, these awards are handed out to those so committed to the survival of the fittest, that they remove their dubious genes from existence altogether. Previous winners include an angry wheelchair bound man who, in frustration that a lift had left without him, rammed his chair into the lift doors three times before they sprang open and he plunged down the shaft (2010, South Korea); a thief who sprayed himself in toxic gold paint in order to disguise his identity while robbing a store which prevented him from breathing (2009, USA); and a man who was kicked to death by the cow he was trying to have his dastardly way with (2007, Cambodia). On reflection, you may have to be a man to qualify for one of these awards.
A rip off of the Nobel Prize, these awards are handed out for “improbable research that makes people laugh then think”. Research has included demonstrating that people make better decisions about some things, and worse decisions about other things, when they need to wee; that people slip and fall less on icy footpaths in winter if they wear their socks on the outside of their shoes; and for inventing a bra that can be converted in the case of emergency into two gas masks. I’m assuming in whatever emergency may arise all men will be wiped out, as they’ll be too busy high-fiving each other at all the naked breasts they’ll be ogling.
Named for Stella Liebeck who was awarded $2.9M after filing a lawsuit against McDonald’s for spilling a cup of coffee into her lap, burning herself, the Stella’s were awarded for ridiculous cases. Winners (who thankfully didn’t win their lawsuits) include a man who sued his local dry cleaners for $65,462,500 for a lost pair of trousers, which were presumably made of gold, encrusted in diamonds, covered in platinum and plated in pink diamonds; a woman who sued a shopping centre for $50,000 for failing to warn her that “squirrels lived outside” when she was “attacked” by one as she left after a shopping trip; and a man who sued his bank for $2 million for the “stress and and pain” caused when he overdrew his own bank account and was charged the standard fee. You know what they say…only in America.
Dished out every year by the British Plain English Campaign (who knew that existed either?) for “a baffling comment by a public figure”, you can just imagine the number of entries they would have received when Bush was in presidency. Notable baffling comments have included Naomi Campbell’s “I love England, especially the food. There’s nothing I like more than a lovely bowl of pasta.”; Alicia Silverstone’s “I think that ‘Clueless’ was very deep. I think it was deep in the way that it was very light. I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it’s true lightness.”; and former United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” Um – what?
With Fifty Shades of Grey all the rage at the minute, it’s good to know it has lots of company in the bad sex category. Let me just leave this one line with you: “Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her.” Oh yeah. That just happened.
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