The 6 Most Spectacularly Failed Attempts to Look Cool
No one likes a showoff. Not even fate, apparently -- because every once in a while it sees fit to prick someone's inflated ego balloon with its embarrassment needle, resulting in a spectacular backfire like ...
Russian Wedding Roulette Lands on Red
Weddings are known for fun little activities such as the conga line, bouquet toss and Russian roulette. What, you've never played that last one at a wedding? Well, at a wedding in (where else?) Russia, a friend of the groom was giving a toast when he decided that the best way to really impress the other guests with his unsurpassed wedding-toast skills would be to whip out a handgun, point it at his own head and pull the trigger.
Russian weddings are known to be a favorite haunt of Darwin's ghost.
Now if you're at all familiar with guns, you might have noticed the first clue that this guy maybe isn't the sharpest tool in the shed: He's using a semiautomatic pistol to play Russian roulette -- a game that requires a revolver so that you can spin the cylinder like, you know, a roulette wheel. But he'd emptied the gun of bullets beforehand, so rather than redecorating the wedding cake with douchebrains, when he pulled the trigger it resulted in nothing more than an anticlimactic click. The whole thing was just a harmless little wedding prank, a quaint memory for him and his friends to laugh about in the years to come. Right?
Unfortunately, the virus Dumbassviridae is highly contagious (particularly at parties), and this guy didn't want to be the only one riding the self-inflicted-gunshot-wound train that night. So he recocked the gun and looked around as if to ask who else had the balls to step up to the plate and act like a total jackass, and then a second guy grabbed the gun and repeated the action -- only this time the supposedly empty gun fired a live round into the man's skull.
It's basically Deer Hunter meets Jackass.
Fortunately for him, it was only a rubber bullet. Unfortunately for him, it wasn't exactly a NERF gun firing that rubber bullet, and the man had to be hospitalized due to his severe head wound. Meanwhile, the guy who brought a pistol to a freaking wedding was arrested and charged with hooliganism, since -- even in Russia -- being a complete douche isn't a crime yet.
Cop/Aspiring Porn Star Gets Citation
It was just an ordinary day for Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper James Moss -- that is, until a hot-pink Honda Accord money-shot past his speed trap at 20 mph over the posted limit. Moss pulled the car over, and inside he found alcohol, a bottle of Vicodin and one innocent-looking young gal by the innocent-sounding name of Barbie Cummings.
Spoiler: Not an astrophysicist.
Apparently being no stranger to traffic stop protocol, Barbie got straight to conveniently mentioning that she was a purveyor of the pornographic arts. Intrigued, Moss had her sit in the front seat of his patrol car while he used his (state-issued) laptop to pull up her website, the contents of which (lots of Pomeranians, probably) were apparently the digital equivalent of a "Get Out of Jail Free" card.
So he tossed the pills and booze into some nearby bushes and invited Cummings to join him for some backseat shenanigans in his patrol car. And if that sounds like routine corrupt cop stuff rather than showing off, you should know that Moss captured the entire incident on his cellphone, and afterward he had the bright idea to ask Cummings to post the photos on her blog so his friends couldn't call bullshit when he bragged about banging a porn star.
Cummings obliged him by posting the photos and blogging about the incident in detail.
But unlike most employers, it appears that the Tennessee Highway Patrol isn't too keen on its employees using work hours to film self-starring porn. They put Moss on paid leave and launched an immediate investigation -- "investigation" in this case meaning "repeated awkward viewings of your co-worker's sex tape."
When the event hit the headlines, it didn't take long for other women to come forward to report inappropriate traffic stops by Moss, and he was indicted on six counts of official misconduct, two counts of official oppression, two counts of tampering with evidence and several counts of grossing out other highway patrolmen. He resigned just before the Tennessee Highway Patrol could fire him, and his going-away gift was four years of probation.
And how did Cummings come out in this whole deal, you ask? Moss still gave her the speeding ticket.
Man Has Badass Competition With Gator, Loses
Wallace Weatherholt, or Captain Wally as he's known in the biz, was a tour boat guide in the Florida Everglades. His job was to take groups of tourists too cheap to spring for Disney World out for swamp tours and to not get more than, like, a couple per month eaten by alligators. But ol' Captain Wally apparently wasn't too clear on that last point, as he often tried to impress his customers by luring alligators to his airboat.
In the summer of 2012, Wally took a group of six people (including children) out to show them city slickers a thing or two about what they do for fun in the wetlands. Weatherholt lured an alligator to the boat by dangling a fish over the side.
You know you really should rethink things when your plans are essentially the same as the van/candy thing child molesters do.
When the alligator asked permission to board -- one of the passengers reported that he "had his front feet in the boat" -- Weatherholt put his boot on the alligator's snout and shoved it back into the water to demonstrate just how much of a badass he was (and, just to be fair, that does sound pretty badass). Then he slapped the water with his hand, encouraging the gator to come back for a second round.
Well, all we can say is that it's a good thing Wally didn't decide to truly degrade the gator by taunting it with his "Lil Captain." Because the tourists suddenly found themselves smack in the middle of a SyFy original movie when the swamp monster, seemingly having just then realized that it was a goddamn swamp monster, rose up again and clamped down on the Wallster's hand, leaving nothing behind but a stump and "bone and skin hanging down." On second thought, the effects were probably far too realistic for our SyFy movie comparison.
"Shit, I just bought that watch."
Officials later managed to track the alligator down, presumably picking it out of the thousands-strong lineup based on which one rushed the boat when it saw a fresh delivery of scrumptious humans headed its way. They recovered Weatherholt's partially digested hand from its belly -- a process that probably didn't end too comfortably for the gator -- and then rushed it to the hospital, where doctors tried unsuccessfully to reattach it.
And now in addition to one hand, Captain Wally looks to be out 500 bucks -- apparently it's a second-degree misdemeanor to feed parts of yourself to an alligator.
The "Cool" Teacher Explodes Her Classroom
No matter where you went to school, chances are that at some point during your academic career you had that one teacher who prided him- or herself on being the "cool" one. Whether it was the English teacher who always tried (and miserably failed) to incorporate the latest teen slang into her lessons or the chemistry teacher who left a flaming bag of dog poo outside the algebra teacher's classroom as an "experiment," every school seems to have a teacher whose foremost goal is to earn the acceptance of people half his or her age.
At Western Reserve Academy, that teacher was Julie Pratt. Pratt taught chemistry, and she was easily the most lenient teacher at the uptight boarding school, leaving things like homework and strict grading to those other squares on the faculty. One of her students reported that Pratt never had them wear aprons or protective goggles for lab work, since they were "geeky-looking."
"If we pull out of the experiment before we finish, it's just as safe."
During one demonstration, Pratt had her 11-year-old son set four dishes containing different salts on fire so the students could see how each of them produced a different color flame. But the last dish wasn't producing an impressive enough display, and Pratt was not about to have that uncool bullshit in her classroom. So she grabbed a huge jug of wood alcohol and (we assume) told the students who had gathered around her desk to "hold on to their butts."
It doesn't take a fancy chemistry degree to know that methanol plus open flame is the equation for A Very Bad Thing. The jug exploded into a 4-foot-wide ball of fire and stupidity, with students Cecilia Chen and Calais Weber taking the brunt of the explosion. Pratt heroically grabbed the classroom's only fire blanket and used it on her son, then told the rest of the students to haul ass out of there -- leaving Chen and Weber to fend for themselves.
Remember, kids, No Child Left Behind only applies to test scores.
The students would eventually be awarded a hefty settlement for their life-changing injuries, having spent years and countless surgeries to get back to some semblance of normalcy. Meanwhile, Pratt went right back to being the coolest teacher at Western Reserve Academy.
Water-Powered Jet Pack Takes a Dive
If you watch local news shows, you're familiar with what they call the lead-in -- it's the mini-story at the opening of the show designed to grab your attention before they get to the actual news.
During the 2011 San Diego Yacht and Boat Show, a man named John was showing off his new toy, a water-powered jet pack called the Jetlev-Flyer, and reporter Matt Johnson of the FOX 5 San Diego Morning News team saw it as an opportunity for the perfect lead-in. A massive audience for John, a perfect opener for Matt's show -- it was a win-win!
It all starts out swimmingly. Matt makes a flawless introduction and hands the mic over to John to kick off the show. To give him credit, John does manage to get his line out ("It starts right now!") as he launches himself directly toward Matt, who somehow manages to keep his professional news guy smile plastered on his face even as he's about to take a water-rocket to the sternum.
This is exactly how Walter Cronkite's career got started.
The camera quickly zooms out to capture John's triumphant Superman-esque launch into the sky, but instead he pulls an Aquaman straight into the San Diego Harbor.
Cut to the desk anchors, who are in the middle of having the exact same reaction as all the viewers at home:
Fortunately for John, the news team was able to stop snickering for long enough to cut back to him and let him show how the Jetlev-Flyer allowed him to whip around like an aquatic James Bond before continuing with the show. If you've always dreamed of having the ability to perform a jet-assisted belly flop on TV, you can get one of your very own for the bargain price of about a hundred grand.
Captain's Ego Topples a Cruise Liner
Francesco Schettino, captain of the Costa Concordia, is a man known to have a weakness for beautiful women and a tendency to abandon the bridge during dangerous, illegal maneuvers that he himself ordered.
And also for being far too sexy for top buttons.
We're guessing you already know how this story ends: During a cruise in January of 2012, the Costa Concordia was following its usual route along the coast of Isola del Giglio, an island off the coast of Tuscany. But the captain wasn't content with simply floating by at a safe distance from the shoals -- oh no, he wanted to impress the islanders with his magnificent ship. So our gallant captain ordered his crew to make a close sweep of the island, blasting off the ship's whistle as they went by for the benefit of the tourists ashore.
And while his crew was busy putting his ship in mortal danger, Schettino was reportedly busy having dinner with a female acquaintance, presumably bragging about the dangerous captaining he was performing even as he (sexily) slurped up his appetizer.
Well, unless you managed to completely avoid every major news outlet around the time of the incident, you remember exactly how that worked out:
Captain Schettino later claimed that he was "totally banking that shit."
Yeah, it turns out that islands tend to have stuff like reefs and rocks close to shore. Who knew? And those rocks are apparently just itching to pull a Titanic on any ship with a captain brave enough to maneuver too close.
So those asshole rocks went and spoiled the good captain's dinner by ripping a gaping 50-yard gash in the hull. After the initial impact, an officer told the passengers that they were only experiencing a minor electrical problem and that there were totally not thousands of gallons of seawater currently flooding into the lower compartments. But after it became clear that the ship was indeed royally fucked, Schettino sprang into action and did what any heroic captain would do under the circumstances: He got his ass into a lifeboat while there were still hundreds of passengers on board and refused to return to his post even after being repeatedly ordered to "stop being such an asshole" by the Italian Port Authority.