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2008: A Catholic priest recently ascended to heaven on a host of helium party balloons, paying homage to Lawn Chair Larry’s aerial adventure. Larry, the beloved survivor of a Darwin-worthy fiasco, attached 45 helium weather balloons to his lawnchair, packed a picnic lunch, and cut the tether–but instead of drifting above the Los Angeles landscape as planned, he was rocketed into LAX air traffic lanes by the lift of the weather balloons. Astoundingly, Larry survived the flight.

Adelir Antonio, 51, was not so lucky.

His audacious attempt to set a world record for clustered balloon flight was intended to publicize his plan to build a spiritual rest stop for truckers. But, as truckers know, sitting for 19 hours in a lawn chair is not a trivial matter even in the comfort of your own backyard. The priest took numerous safety precautions, including wearing a survival suit, selecting a buoyant chair, and packing a satellite phone and a GPS. However, the late Adelir Antonio made a fatal mistake.

(20 April 2008, Atlantic Ocean, Brazil) In homage to Lawn Chair Larry’s aerial adventure in 1982 wherein our beloved survivor of a Darwin-worthy attempt attached 45 helium weather balloons to his lawnchair, packed a picnic lunch and cut the tether a Catholic priest recently ascended to heaven on a host of helium party balloons. Larry, instead of drifting lazily above the LA landscape, was rocketed into LAX air traffic lanes by the lift of his weather balloons. Astoundingly, he survived the flight. Adelir Antonio was not so lucky. Paying a nod to Lawn Chair Larry, Adelir, 41, was attempting to set a world record for clustered balloon flight to publicize his plan to build a spiritual rest stop for truckers. He did not know how to use the GPS.

The winds changed, as winds do, and he was blown inexorably toward open sea. He could have parachuted to safety while over land, but chose not to. When the voyager was perilously lost at sea, he prudently phoned for help–but rescuers were unable to determine his location, since he could not use his GPS. He struggled with the unit as the charge on the satellite phone dwindled.

Instead of a GPS, the priest let God be his guide, and God guided him straight to heaven. Bits of balloons began appearing on mountains and beaches. Ultimately the priest’s body surfaced, confirming that he, like Elvis, had left the building.

The kicker? It’s a Double Darwin. Catholic priests take vows of celibacy. Since they voluntarily remove themselves from the gene pool, the entire group earns a mass Darwin Award. Adelir Antonio wins twice over!

The rest of the Darwin Awards for 2008 can be found HERE!

DarwinAwards.com

1. Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don’t have.
2. The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intent.
3. I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way.
4. In my attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole.
5. I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home. As I reached an intersection, a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision and I did not see the other car.
6. I had been driving for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.
7. I was on my way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident.
8. My car was legally parked as it backed into the other vehicle.
9. As I approached the intersection a sign suddenly appeared in a place where no sign had ever appeared before, making me unable to avoid the accident.
10. I told the police I was not injured, but upon removing my hair, I found that I had a fractured skull.
11. I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the road when I struck him.
12. I saw a slow-moving, sad-faced old gentleman as he bounced off the hood of my car.
13. The indirect cause of the accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.
14. I was thrown from my car as it left the road, and was later found in a ditch by some stray cows.
15. A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.
16. I thought my window was down, but I found out it was up when I put my head through it.
17. To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian.
18. The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.
19. The pedestrian had no idea which way to run, so I ran over him.
20. An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car and vanished.
21. A truck backed through my windshield into my wife’s face.
22. I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment.

These quotes were found in the July 26, 1977 issue of the Toronto News. They are actual statements from insurance forms where car drivers tried to summarize accident details in as few words as possible. Such instances of faulty writing serve to confirm that incompetency can be highly entertaining.

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