Armed and Clumsy:  The Ancestors:  1

How far back do the roots of Chuck's "Armed and Clumsy" category extend? The Wikipedia entry on handguns says: "The first handheld firearms that might better be called "pistols" were made as early as the 15th century..." Could we find a report of some soldier of the era accidentally wounding himself? It's a challenge!

In any case, here is an incident from 1949.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Mar 10, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Accidents, Guns, 1940s

Skydiver lands on grandmother at 4th of July party

It's like the Fourth of July version of "Grandma got run over by a reindeer."

A 63-year-old grandmother has filed a claim against the city, seeking compensation for injuries she received when a descending skydiver landed on her at a city-sponsored July Fourth celebration...
Lilienthal said the sky diver kicked her in the head, tangled her in parachute lines and dragged her across a field as her family watched, horrified.

Ukiah Daily Journal - Aug 14, 1992

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 04, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Accidents, Holidays, 1990s

People who have slipped on banana peels

I came across a 1927 case of a cliche come to life — a thief fleeing on foot who was caught because he accidentally slipped on a banana peel, which sent him sprawling.

New Cambria Leader - Nov 11, 1927

I figured that Chuck must have documented cases of people who have slipped on banana peels, and sure enough he has.

• 2011 — Ida Valentine, who filed a lawsuit against a California 99 Cents Only store after slipping on a banana peel and suffering a herniated disk. (posted here on WU)

• 2007 — Joyce Walker, awarded $4,110 for injuring her knee in a hospital restroom after slipping on a banana peel. (

• 2001 — Dorothy M. Ellis Williams, who sued a Quiktrip gas station after she slipped on a banana peel on the pavement outside their store and injured her back and knee. (google groups)

MythBusters has investigated whether you can really slip on a banana peel, and they concluded that although it's not as easy to do as the cliche might suggest, it's definitely possible. Older skins are more slippery. They also note that the cliche originated in the early 20th century after bananas first became a popular fruit, which led to numerous old skins littering sidewalks, and therefore numerous accidents.

Also, back in March 2016 it briefly became a fad among teenagers to take videos of themselves slipping on banana peels and then post the videos online. It was called the "banana peel challenge" #bananapeelchallenge. (Daily Mail)

Photo by Sandman_KK (via Flickr)

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 03, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Accidents, 1920s

Rube Goldberg Accident

An unusual accident that recently occurred outside a post office in Kingmont, West Virginia has elements of a Rube Goldberg contraption.

An 87-year-old woman was backing out of her parking spot when she accidentally hit the accelerator. This caused her car to spin 180 degrees and hit a van.

The van was knocked to the side and hit a jeep.

The jeep started to roll forward and hit a concrete barrier.

The poles holding the concrete barrier in place snapped, and the barrier fell over, landing on the foot of 75-year-old Patricia Piercy.

Piercy was subsequently taken to the hospital for her foot injury. She was the only one hurt.


Posted By: Alex - Wed Apr 13, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Accidents

Love trapped


A man who died after having sex with a prostitute ended up trapped inside of her. They had to be taken to the hospital to be "de-coupled"

Posted By: BrokeDad - Sat Feb 06, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Accidents, Love and Romance, Public Humiliation, Sexuality

Porn, Accidentally Shown

There was a recent case in which some x-rated material was accidentally shown during a funeral for a father and son. This got me interested in similar cases where this has happened. So I dug into the archives and came up with a list of incidents, stretching back some fifty years, involving porn, accidentally shown.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 03, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Accidents, Public Indecency

Bus Driver Asks Kids If He Should Hit Dog, Then Does

January 1994: A school bus driver in Port Washington, Wisconsin insisted he was only joking when he shouted out "Should I hit the dog?" seconds before he hit a dog on the road. The animal belonged to two of the children on the bus. It often came up to the road to meet them. The driver, who later resigned, blamed the accident on icy conditions.

The Journal Times - Feb 4, 1994

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 03, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Accidents, Animals, Dogs, 1990s

Fire Alibi

This has to be one of the worst excuses ever.

The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) — Mar 2, 1955

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 03, 2016 - Comments (8)
Category: Accidents, 1950s

Death By Condom Machine

Three men decided to boost a condom machine and blow it open to get at the condoms, and presumably, the money inside. They set up the blast and ran to their vehicle for cover. Unfortunately the last guy in the car did not get his door shut in time and was struck in the head by a piece of the machine when it blew up. He later died at the hospital, Darwin Award.

Posted By: patty - Mon Dec 28, 2015 - Comments (15)
Category: Accidents, Goofs and Screw-ups, Crime, Stupid Criminals, Death

The All New Ford Informer

A woman who left the scene after she rear ended someone got turned in by her Ford vehicle via the automated emergency assistance system. When contacted by the dispatcher she tried to deny the accident but when police came out the car gave her away, again, due to all the damage.

Posted By: patty - Sat Dec 05, 2015 - Comments (9)
Category: Accidents, Goofs and Screw-ups, Technology

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Chuck Shepherd
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

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