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Wasted youths

This morning's papers had a couple of stories about stupid teenagers.

In North Conway, New Hampshire, some kids thought it would be funny to re-create a story I heard about on Paul Harvey. One of them dressed up in a phony prison outfit and handcuffs and went into a Wal-Mart to buy a hacksaw, while his buddies videotaped the whole thing. The clerks, naturally, called the cops, and now he is facing disorderly conduct charges.

But this story out of Gardner, Massachusetts is a bit more serious. A group of teenagers were bored one evening, so they decided to see which was stronger: a five-iron golf club or a fire hydrant. They took turns whaling on the hydrant with the club, seeing the club bend further and further.

Finally, 15-year-old Rafael Naranjo found the answer: the hydrant was stronger. Unfortunately, he found that out when the club shattered and a fragment of the shaft impaled him in his neck. He was rushed to a hospital, but died from the wound.

I keep hearing Mr. Naranjo's death called a "tragedy." No, it's not. He died because he did something incredibly stupid. I prefer to save the word "tragedy" for calamities that aren't someone's own dumb fault.


Comments (13)

Actually, J, the literary d... (Below threshold)

Actually, J, the literary definition tragedy is precisely a calamity that is someone's own dumb fault.

First definition in the dictionary (link):

A drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances.

So you see, Mr. Naranjo's ruin was a tragedy; his stupidity was his tragic flaw.

I have NEVER been that bo... (Below threshold)
mark m:

I have NEVER been that bored at any moment in any day of my life....and I live out in the booney's. Darwin Awards material there....

My Dad had a saying, long b... (Below threshold)
Lew Clark:

My Dad had a saying, long before the Darwin Award appeared. "It is the natural way. They kill themselevs before they get old enough to reproduce more idiots."

I love this quote -<p... (Below threshold)
Alex:

I love this quote -

Police say Naranjo "playfully" swung the 5-iron golf club at a fire hydrant at the intersection of Pleasant Street and Moran Street around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Just imagine what could have happened if he had swung the club a little harder...

But I agree, this is a definite Darwin Award nominee.

I agree:Think of i... (Below threshold)
BWS:

I agree:

Think of it as Evolution in Action.

HT: Niven and Pournelle "Oath of Fealty"

Just think, how many more i... (Below threshold)
billburz:

Just think, how many more idiots would be procreating and flooding the world with even more idiots, if this kind of thing didn't happen? Thank God for stupidity, it is a blessing indeed.

Like Heinlein said (as Laza... (Below threshold)
Sabba Hillel:

Like Heinlein said (as Lazarus Long) this is a paraphrase from memory

Stupidity is often a capital crime

This is exactly why teenage... (Below threshold)
JohnMc:

This is exactly why teenagers are not recognized as adults. Their brains are not developed enough to make rational decisions. “If I do A, what could be the outcome?” They also have not lived long enough to relate that their own lives can end at any point in time for almost any given reason.

Are the parents to blame? Maybe, but only if they saw the kids doing this and did nothing to stop it. Otherwise, they would have no knowledge that they were doing anything this stupid or any kind of harm was about to come. This is a devastating blow to that family and it will never be the same. Assuming that the kid’s parents are married, statistics indicate that it is much more likely that it will end in divorce when a couple sees the death of their child.

The real tragedy in all this will be the eventual lawsuit to the golf club manufacturer who should have engineered a club that would repeatedly withstand “playful” blows against a fire hydrant without killing anyone. That should be a multi-million dollar case (at least for the trial lawyer).

Enough of this Socialist/a... (Below threshold)
Genesis is the truth!:

Enough of this Socialist/atheist clap trap! What's wrong with you people, do you hate America? This is a clear example of Intellegent Design. God put that boy on earth to die tragically, so we could all learn from his stupidity, and thus make sure that no one else would ever hit a fire hydrant with a golf club.

Some people serve as objuec... (Below threshold)

Some people serve as objuect lessons by dying of stupidity, and others (^^) by living with it.

Genesis you beat me to it.<... (Below threshold)
Scotty:

Genesis you beat me to it.

okay seriously i knew this ... (Below threshold)
kim:

okay seriously i knew this kid and it WAS an accident he was the happiest kid iv ever met and it was a tragedy! He would never do anything if he thought it would hurt himself or others! especially since all of his friends were there and i just can't believe you all are sitting here blaming it on him, think about if it was your own best friend...would it be a tragedy then? what about a parent or a sibling? yea it was a stupid thing to do but you can't blame him for it, he's a kid. And it wasn't that he was bored, his friends started to do it first! The way i see it he gave his life instead of his friends and that makes him a hero.

you're all a bunch of fucki... (Below threshold)
angel:

you're all a bunch of fucking immature assholes who have nothing better to do then sit on the god damn computer all day and make fun of people who tragically die. you all need to shut the fuck up and get over yourself.. don't sit there and try to tell me that you guys have never done anything stupid like that.?.. yeah i thought so. me and ralph were really close and i really dont appreciate you fucking IDIOTS making fun of him like that. how would you feel if you were his family reading this? yeah




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