15 July 1999, USA.
A 25-year-old man died of injuries sustained from a three-story fall, in Alabama,
precipitated by his attempt to spit farther than his buddy. His plan was to hurl himself
towards a metal guard-rail while expectorating, in order to add momentum to his saliva. In
a tragic miscalculation, his momentum carried him right over the railing, which he caught
hold of for a few moments before his grip slipped, sending him plummeting 24 feet to the
cement below. The Military specialist had a blood alcohol content of 0.14%, impairing his
11 August 1999, Germany
A 42-year-old man killed himself watching the eclipse while driving near Kaiserslautern,
Germany. A witness driving behind him stated that the man was weaving back and forth as he
concentrated on the partially occluded sun, when he suddenly accelerated and hit the
bridge pier. He had apparently just donned his solar viewers, which are dark enough to
totally obscure everything except the sun.
25 May 1999, Ukraine
A fisherman in Kiev electrocuted himself while fishing in the river Tereblya. The
43-year-old man connected cables to the main power supply of his home and trailed the end
into the river. The electric shock killed the fish, which floated belly-up to the top of
the water. The man waded in to collect his catch, neglecting to remove the live wire and
tragically suffered the same fate as the fish. In an ironic twist, the man was fishing for
a mourning meal to commemorate the first anniversary of his mother-in-law's death.
16 August 1999, Germany
A hunter from Bad Urach was shot dead by his own dog on Monday. The 51-year-old man was
found sprawled next to his car in the Black Forest. A gun barrel was pointing out the
window and his bereaved dog was howling inside the car. The animal is presumed to have
pressed the trigger with its paw. Police have ruled out foul play.
Under similar circumstances, an Iranian hunter was shot to death near Tehran by a snake
that coiled around his shotgun as he pinned the reptile to the ground. Another hunter
reported that the victim, named Ali, tried to catch the snake alive by pressing the butt
of his shotgun behind its head. The snake coiled around the butt and pulled the trigger,
shooting Ali in the head.
August 1999, Australia
Drinking oneself to death need not be a long lingering process. Allan, a 33-year-old
computer technician, showed his competitive spirit by dying of competitive spirits. A
Sydney, Australia hotel bar held a drinking competition, known as Feral Friday, with a
100-minute time limit and a sliding point scale ranging from 1 point for beer to 8 points
for hard liquor. Allan stood and cheered his winning total of 236; (winners never quit!)
which had also netted him the literally staggering blood alcohol level of 0.353, 7 times
greater than Australia's legal driving limit of 0.05%. After several trips to the usual
temple of overindulgence, the bathroom, Allan was helped back to his workplace to sleep it
off, a condition that became permanent. A forensic pharmacologist estimated that after
downing 34 beers, 4 bourbons, and 17 shots of tequila within 1 hour and 40 minutes, his
blood alcohol level would have been 0.41 to 0.43, but Allan had vomited several times
after the drinking stopped. The cost paid by Allan was much higher than that of the hotel,
which was fined the equivalent of USD 13,100 for not intervening. It is not known whether
Allan required any further embalming.
28 January 1999, England
A flock of sheep charged a well-meaning British farmer's wife and pushed her over a cliff
to her death. Betty Stobbs, 67, was charged by dozens of sheep as she brought them a bale
of hay on the back of a power bike. The sheep rushed forward and rammed the vehicle,
knocking Betty and her bike over the edge of a vacant 100 feet quarry near Durham, in
North East England. "I saw the sheep surround the bike. The next thing she was
tumbling down the incline," neighbour Alan Renfry told reporters.
22 March 1999, Cambodia
Decades of armed strife have littered Cambodia with unexploded munitions and ordnance.
Authorities warn citizens not to tamper with the devices. Three friends recently spent an
evening sharing drinks and exchanging insults at a local cafe in the South Eastern
province of Svay Rieng. Their companionable arguing continued for hours, until one man
pulled out a 25-year-old unexploded anti-tank mine found in his backyard. He tossed it
under the table and the three men began playing Russian roulette, each tossing down a
drink and then stamping on the mine. The other villagers fled in terror. Minutes later,
the explosive detonated with a tremendous boom, killing the three men in the bar.
"Their wives could not even find their flesh because the blast destroyed
everything," the Rasmei Kampuchea newspaper reported.
5 September 1999, Israel
The switch away from daylight savings time caused consternation among terrorist groups
this year. At precisely 5:30 Israel time on Sunday, two co-ordinated car bombs exploded in
different cities, killing three terrorists who were transporting the bombs. It was
initially believed that the devices had been detonated prematurely by klutzy amateurs. A
closer look revealed the truth behind the untimely explosions.
Three days before, Israel had made a premature switch from Daylight Savings time to
standard time in order to accommodate a week of Slihot, involving pre-sunrise prayers.
Palestinians refused to "live on Zionist time." Two weeks of scheduling havoc
ensued. The bombs had been prepared in a Palestine-controlled area, and set on Daylight
Savings time. The Confused drivers had already switched to standard time. As a result, the
cars were still en-route when the explosives detonated, delivering to the terrorists their