Unless you've been on another planet or sitting in the bizarre hearings involving the final "destination" of former reality star, Anna Nicole Smith, then you're aware that everyone and their dog are giving out awards.
It's the annual season for the Oscars and Emmys and the Golden Jockstraps for the top athletes, however, you, perhaps, missed out on the semi-annual Kerwoods, honouring the most bizarre of the bizarre.
But before delving into the grab bag, the Ol' Columnist would be remiss without checking in with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, who have named Liberal Senator Colin Kenny as the winner of the federal "Teddy" Award for being "the worst offender when it comes to government waste and overspending."
The CTF even held an Oscar-like ceremony in awarding Kenny for the "Best Comedic Performance by an Unelected Official" for his starring role in "Letters & Bills from Dubai."
It seems in 2006, Kenny and other Ottawa top dogs (aka freeloaders) were shuffling off to Kandahar to check on our troops. However, there was a twist in the plot and the military commanders held up a stop sign and in Dubai, the "Have Credit Card, Will Travel" Bunch checked in to the Renaissance Hotel for seven days at a cost of, now get this, $30,000. On top of this the entire overseas jaunt for these penny-pinchers came to $138,000.
And are you ready for the "municipal" Teddy award?
It went to my former stomping grounds of Edmonton and their glorious international idea of hiring 30 actors at $30,000 to hand out, get this, yo-yos in Washington on Canada Day.
The Teddies, of course, are named after a fired senior public servant (chairman of the Canada Labour Relations Board), Ted Weatherill, who billed his bosses $733.43 for a lunch for two. Oh, yes, it was in that quaint little village of ... Paris, France.
However, this column was supposed to be about what I call the Semi-Annual Kerwoods and this time I checked through my files and selected a few that have already been given Darwin Awards for "stupidity."
From the hundreds I read, these made my list:
* Man Glued to Rhino Buttocks (1999): A Vermont native toured the Eagle's Rock African Safari Zoo when he decided to "demonstrate the power of Crazy Glue." Our genius rubbed several ounces of the sticky substance on his hands and then placed them on the buttocks of a passing rhino. Well, "Sally the Rhino" took off, goring a shed wall and destroying two fences. Incidentally, did I tell you that "Sally" had been constipated and had been given a laxative? The upset rhino proceeded to "shower" his glued rider with 30 gallons of rhinoceros diarrhea before being detached from the "messy" scene.
* Another Kerwood also goes to a Darwin honourable mention from 1995: It seems Robert Ricketts, a 19-year-old student at Bowling Green U. in Ohio, was struck by a moving train and his head was bloodied. Apparently, Rapid Robert was trying to see how close he could get to the train without getting hit. He miscalculated, but he did live.
* Do you remember Larry Walters? He's the bright one who bought 45 weather balloons and tied them to his tethered lawnchair. After strapping himself in with what every "astronaut" would need -- a few sandwiches, some Miller Lite, and a pellet gun, Ol' Larry was ready for a smooth and lazy ascent to about 30 feet over his backyard. By the way, he had the pellet gun to pop the balloons on his planned slow descent. Well, sometimes the best-laid plans do not work, and Mr. Balloon Man soared into the sky like a cannon and leveled off at 16,000 feet. After crossing the LAX corridor and being spotted by Trans World and Delta pilots, he blacked out over Long Beach where the cops were waiting for Lawn Chair Larry.
* And, finally, another Darwin caught my eye and it was the "Blondes and Oil Changes" episode from 1996. It seems Amy Brasher, another "nuclear scientist" from San Antonio, took her car to a mechanic for an oil change. She, however, forget to tell anyone that there were 18 packages of marijuana packed around the car engine. The mechanic called the cops. Amy had an explanation or what she thought was a reasonable explanation: "I didn't realize that the mechanic would have to raise the hood to change the oil." Duh!