A cautionary tale
The Camel (being Black and miserable) has always been preoccupied with unfortunate endings. Here is an interesting tale:
Captain Robert FitzRoy was in command of The Beagle, a ship that was to set sail on a voyage to South America and Tierra del Fuego. He had assembled a full crew but was deeply concerned about one thing ? his father, who had also been a sea captain had taken his own life during one particularly long voyage.
FitzRoy was a deeply religious man and was greatly concerned about befalling the same fate as his father, thus being cast into the fires of hell. He believed that one of the main reasons for this was a lack of an educated travelling companion with whom to converse on the way so he hit upon the solution of recruiting a young botanist to study the fauna and flora they encountered on the journey. As he was a keen amateur botanist, this field was a source of great pleasure to him and he felt certain that discussing this at his dining table each night would help keep him mind active.
So, Captain FitzRoy and his young companion, Charles Darwin set sail on 29th December 1831. At the end of the five-year voyage, the young scientist began to write up his analysis. He approached FitzRoy with the controversial conclusions of his field study, the central tenet of which caused great anger to this deeply religious man. FitzRoy embarked on a crusade to prevent this controversial work seeing the light of day.
However, he was not victorious and on November 22, 1859, "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: Or, the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life" was published by John Murray publishers of London.
FitzRoy then descended into madness and in a fit of depression on April 30, 1865, slit his throat.
And so, these days, many hold up Darwin's theories of human evolution as fundamental explanation as to the nature of species. And yet...
15 February 2002, Russia) A 26-year-old man tried to enter a bar in Tomilino, near Moscow, carrying a concealed gun. He was stopped by an alert security guard, whereupon the man menaced the guard with the weapon.
The guard kicked it out of his hands, and the gun fell onto a billiards table.
The security guard asked the players to pass the gun over to him. One of them, our Darwin Award nominee, thought the best way to accomplish this task was to pick it up with his pool cue. The gun slid down the cue stick, and its increasing thickness was sufficient to push the trigger and shoot
the 19-year-old in the chest. He died immediately.
The owner of the gun said he had intended to surrender the gun to the police that day, and went to the bar in order to summon courage from alcoholic libations.
The Black Camel 04-02-2003