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Left Coast/Right Coast: Death by Atomic Wedgie (and other stupid human tricks)

Every once in a while, I am impressed by an act of such galactic stupidity that it warrants serious attention.
Mike Gold is a retired entrepreneur providing his views on various subjects. Photo credit: Richard Ying.

By Mike Gold, a retired entrepreneur "living the dream in the Pacific Northwest."

Every once in a while, I am impressed by an act of such galactic stupidity that it warrants serious attention.

One of these occurred this past week. It was "Death by Atomic Wedgie." Apparently a son-in-law and father-in-law were drinking (you just know alcohol had to be involved somehow). One said something nasty about the other’s spouse and fisticuffs occurred. But, oh no, it didn’t stop there. The son-in-law gave his father-in-law an atomic wedgie.

For those who didn’t grow up in some inner city hell hole, a “standard” wedgie is when you grab the top of the back of a man’s underwear and pull it upwards. The result is the undies get bunched up in the crack of the person’s rear end. Of course it is stupid and pointless. Just something a dumb kid would do.

An atomic wedgie is where the back of the underwear is pulled so far up that you drag it over the top of the person’s head. Voila! An atomic wedgie. Very rare and very hard to do.

In this case, the elastic waistband of the underwear got wrapped around the throat of the father-in-law and he was asphyxiated and subsequently died. The son-in-law will be charged with manslaughter or perhaps Murder 2.

Now no one wants to see someone have an unnatural death. But you have to admire the ingenuity of the son-in-law. Frankly, atomic wedgies are so rare to begin with, it would never have occurred to me or any other “normal” person to envision such an outcome.

Just imagine as an adult – what circumstance would make you think, “Hey, I think I’ll grab ‘ol John’s underwear and pull it up until I can drag it over the top of his head.” Can you imagine coming up with this stunt other than when inebriated?

Too bad the perpetrator was not the one who died. Otherwise, he would have been an automatic recipient of a Darwin Award. As I wrote in one of my earlier columns, these awards are for those who in the process of “offing themselves” improve the gene pool.

I’m still laughing thinking about this. Shame on me? Heck no, just sitting back and enjoying the moment.

Over my life I have been privileged to witness random acts of stupidity that almost measure up to this one.

During house meetings in our fraternity house (I can safely say that the movie Animal House was based, in part, on our particular house), when most of the fraternity brothers were bored beyond belief - some of my classmates started a series of (there is no way to say this but to say it) gaseous emission lightings.

You would pull up your legs, and light a match which you held close to your rear end and then, ahem, let loose. Some of the flame balls were at least a foot in diameter (remember, this is methane gas – very explosive).

One particular evening, a brother, perhaps fueled by some extra spicy Mexican food, managed to set his pants on fire. You really find out who your friends are when a. you get bit on the butt by a poisonous snake (and someone has to suck the venom out), or b. when you are called on to douse the flame on someone’s rear end pants.

On this evening, the brother in question suffered burnt pants and some “singeing” of the hairs on his private parts. Again, I can’t recall who was called on to apply the ointment.

A fraternity down the street from our main campus (it was Theta Xi – nicknamed Theta Zoo – and again, one of the models for Animal House) held a party one Friday night. The brothers thought it would be fun to take an upright piano located in the living room, get a half dozen or so drunk brothers to get behind the piano (which was on wheels) and accelerate it to “warp speed” across the room with the objective of seeing if they could get the instrument to go through the outside wall of the room. Well, they succeeded. The outside wall collapsed and a couple of them wound up in the emergency room to get stitched up.

Last, here are a few examples of additional galactic stupidity. You know the stunt man’s last words were, "Hey guys watch this!."

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