The lure of the morbid. The fascination of really bad news. The strange thrill of things going spectacularly wrong. Tragic, sensational, spine-chilling, and addictively entertaining, it’s The Darwin Awards meets The Stupidest Things Ever Said. In story after story we meet the star-crossed, the extremely unlucky, and the fatally foolish. Sure—it’s grim, sometimes ghastly. But isn’t it nice to know that someone, somewhere, had a worse day than you?
Sometimes it’s natural: A driver goes for the ride of his life when a 100-mph gust blows his truck off the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in New York. (He survives the steep plunge into the Hudson River.
Sometimes it’s supernatural: The woman who peels an artichoke only to have it explode in her hand.
Short-sighted: A rattlesnake owner kisses his beloved pet, and discovers that the affection isn’t mutual.
Delightful: A tanker truck carrying liquid chocolate splits open in a traffic accident, drawing children from miles around.
Unexpected: A folding bed traps and nearly kills a man.
Heartbreaking: Art restorers accidentally dissolve the ink off a newly discovered Da Vinci drawing.
Gross: From the brain of a man complaining of mental instability, doctors remove a four-inch worm.
And grosser: A diner discovers—in the most revolting way possible—a rodent along with his fried chicken.
And even, seemingly, cosmic justice: An incensed homeowner catches a mouse and decides to teach it a lesson by tying a kerosene-soaked rag to its tail and setting it on fire. The mouse flees; the man’s house burns down.