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Monday, January 25, 2010

Award season is upon us

While we are priming up for the Academy Awards, some of us have already watched the Golden Globes, the Grammys, the Emmys, the Tonys, the People's Choice awards, the Screen Actor's Guild awards, the Independent Spirit awards, the Director's Guild awards, and on and on.

However, none of these dramatic, climactic, suspenseful presentations ("I want to thank the Academy, my beautiful wife Zeona, and little Ricky and Lucy... you kids go to bed now, and of course, my agent and best friend, Bradley F. Braverman") are my favorites. No, not by a long shot. Who can deny the thrill of the Darwin Awards (highlighting human stupidity) or the Bulwer-Lytton awards (featuring the world's worst opening sentence of a fictional novel). Now here is class, excitement and real human entertainment... and somehow, the two do go together...sort-of. For example:

Darwin 1: When his .38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up, the robber-to-be earned his Darwin by turning the gun to his eye so he could 'check down the barrel'... then he pulled the trigger again. It worked!

Bulwer-Lytton 1: Harvey placed the muzzle of the .45 against his head, and as the cold steel touched his temple, a sudden shiver raced along his spine and the hair-trigger took on the frisson, his brains missing Marlene's photo, where he wanted it to go, and splattered across his burgundy nightgown, so he got the color combination right.

Darwin 2: As a female shopper exited a convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. Within minutes, police grabbed the snatcher and took him back to the store. When asked to stand in front of the lady for a positive ID, he replied, "Yes, officer. That's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."

Bulwer-Lytton 2: After quickly scrutinizing the two dangerously buff men coming toward her in the dark and wondering whether she could take them both out, P.I. Velma Plusch mentally inventoried her arsenal -- two pistols, two stiletto-clad feed, two leather-gloved hands, two each eyes, ears, lips, and breasts -- and decided that she could.

Darwin 3: An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train.  When asked how he received the injuries, he told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

Bulwer-Lytton 3: Leopold looked up at the arrow piercing the skin of the dirigible with a sort of wondrous dismay -- the wheezy shriek was just the sort of sound he always imagined a baby moose being beaten with a pair of accordions might make.

Now here's a toss-up: After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting had escaped.  Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride.  He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn't discovered for three days.

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