I’m sure most of you have heard about the “Darwin Awards”, this is an organization that celebrates those amongst us who help the natural selection process along by inadvertently removing themselves from the gene pool through acts of stupidity. Well I am proud to announce, or more correctly; am ashamed to announce that we have a Canadian who might be up for one of these awards. Just last week a homeowner in Dunnville Ontario (70 km south of Hamilton) discovered that he had a bee’s nest under the eaves of his home. So in the true spirit of a bonafide Darwin Award contender he decided that the best course of action was to try to burn the nest away with an open flame. This momentary lack of judgment and common sense ended with firefighters having to respond from two stations to put out the resulting fire. After the flames were extinguished, the homeowner ended up causing over $30,000.00 dollars in damage to his home. Seeing that I am not an insurance adjuster nor do I have any real experience in writing a claims policy I can’t comment on whether or not his damages will be covered by his homeowners insurance. However he is very fortunate that he may not actually qualify for a true “Darwin Award” as he did escape with his life and still has the opportunity to add to the human gene pool, let’s just hope that our handyman has learned his lesson and will leave any future extermination jobs to the professionals, God only knows what he might have done had he found mice in the home.
I am happy to say that we have not had an incident such as this in Russell, however we have had a few calls that make you scratch your head. Using open flame torches to burn away weeds, burning trash in a fireplace and wondering why you have a chimney fire. Or burning brush during a windy day and not understanding why the next door field is on fire. All acts of carelessness, fortunately acts that haven’t resulted in anyone being hurt … yet. All parents at one time tell their kids that they shouldn’t play with fire, great advice. Unfortunately some parents also need to heed the same advice themselves. These acts of carelessness are usually not done by children, they are typically the act of an adult who doesn’t take the time to think things through. Let’s make sure we don’t have a “Darwin Award” contender in the Russell area, of all the awards someone can receive, this is not one to be proud of.
Published in the Villager newspaper July 27, 2011
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