Summary: The annual Darwin Awards are still running in 2259. Jim is a fan. Bones thinks Jim's a wannabe. Spock is just confused by what humans find funny.
Originally posted on fanfiction.net
Rating: T, because McCoy cusses - I just can't write him any other way.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the plotline, and even the plot bunny is really my dh's fault.
Jim sat in the rec room, scanning messages on his padd and began to chortle with laughter. "Bones, you have to see this!" he exclaimed with boyish glee.
Bones, having his own reading interrupted for the fifth time now, looked at his younger companion with an expression neither boyish nor particularly gleeful. "What's set you off now, Jim?"
"I just got the list of this year's Darwin Awards! Some of these are hilarious!"
"I do not understand, Captain," said the tall Vulcan sitting across from them. "What could be so humorous about honors awarded for major advances in the study of evolutionary biology?"
"Not the Darwin-Wallace Medal, you pointy-eared science library." McCoy said. "The Darwin Awards, a very old earth tradition of selecting the stories of evolution-in-action in terms of people who remove themselves from the gene pool in some utterly idiotic fashion."
"Fascinating." Spock observed, eyebrows ascending to halfmast. "Humans actually celebrate evidence of mental inferiority?"
"Not celebrate per se." Jim explained. "More like make fun of - have good laugh at."
"But it does not sound particularly humorous." Spock tilted his head in what Jim thought of as his humans-are-really-weird attitude.
"Careful, Spock." McCoy warned. "The universe is likely to implode if you and I start agreeing on things."
"C'mon, Bones." Jim said. "How many times have you said the gene pool could use a little bleach? How can you not like the Darwin Awards?"
"I'm a doctor, Jim. Listening to new and creative ways that idiots try to kill themselves isn't funny - it's my job description."
"But Bones, there is no way you can NOT laugh at some of this." Jim insisted. "Take this one: Two guys are flying one of those ultralight bubbletop hovercars around the Grand Canyon. They're zipping along between canyon rims when they see a bunch of tourists sight-seeing donkey-back. So they decide to buzz over and moon them - in tandem! They get within a hair's breath of the trail the tourists are on and both of them turn around and drop trou. Unfortunately, asses can neither steer nor see a cliff, so they smash right into a wall of rock and - BAM! - they simultaneously eliminate themselves from the gene pool and raise species average IQ." Jim laughed out loud.
Bones tried valiantly to maintain a sour expression, even scowling extra deep in a vain effort to avoid even smiling. But he had to breathe eventually and a laugh escaped with a gasp of air. "Well, it certainly was a dumbass stunt." he remarked with a wry snicker.
"Dumbass stunt!" Jim cried, laughing again until Bones joined him.
Spock sat back steepled his fingers, studying both of them with a perplexed lift of his eyebrows. "While I concede that their actions show a defiecency in logical reasoning even beyond that of most humans, I fail to comprehend how the story could be construed as amusing. The hovercar undoubtedly marred a planetary geologic treasure when it crashed."
Jim and Bones looked at each other and burst out laughing again. Spock's eyebrows ascended a notch higher.
"But the two guys dying doesn't strike you as quite so tragic, does it?" Jim asked once he'd caught his breath.
"While no death is without a tragic element, these two appear to have been the proximate cause of their own deaths due to their own lack of foresight and basic mental accuity. The grand Canyon, however, is a natural wonder of inestimable value."
"So you're less concerned about loss of human life than damage to nice scenary?" McCoy growled.
"Need I remind you that you were only a moment ago laughing about said loss of human life?" the Vulcan inquired.
"He's got you dead to rights on that one, Bones." Jim flashed a trademark grin.
"Okay, so I can't get too broken up about those two candidates for Least Intelligent Lifeform in the Universe removing themselves from the human genome." Bones said. "But most of those are just, sad, stupid or both. I doubt there's another real laugh in the whole bunch."
"Really?" Jim said, rising to a challenge. "How about this one: Our Darwin candidate is on a biological field expedition to Ignus IV, so he has to have like at least a master's degree in xenobiology, right? He's wandering around collecting samples and leans against this giant rock that's sitting in the middle of nowhere. The rock moves and his field partner is like 'uh, Darryl, I don't think that's a rock'. So what does Darryl do? He takes his stylus and pokes it! And of course it not only moves, but this little spot opens up near where he poked it. His partner, who actually has a survival instinct, is backing away. But what does Darryl do? He sticks the stylus in the opening. This results in an ear-splitting roar and a wall of razor-sharp teeth opening abruptly and snapping shut on our intrepid biologist, who clearly had slept through the lectures discussing survival of the fittest." Jim laughed. "You can't tell me that isn't funny."
Bones was looking down, shaking his head and chuckling, but Spock's eyebrows were now drawn down into a vee. "I do not grasp what could be considered amusing about the biologist's untimely demise."
"Spock, he poked it - twice." Jim said. "I mean, anyone that stupid deserves to get eaten by an alien lifeform."
Spock leaned forward, bringing his steepled index fingers nearly to his lips. "May I enquire if you would you include yourself in that number, Captain?"
McCoy let out a full-throated guffaw. "He's got you on that one, Jim. Sounds exactly like something you'd do!"
"I do not poke aliens with pointy objects." Jim said, folding his arms.
"Indeed?" Spock replied. "Need I remind you of the cyaniod on Regulus IX?"
"That is totally different, Spock. I mean, I just wanted it to move and it was only the size of a small cat anyway."
"A small cat that could spit venom three meters." Bones said dryly. "I swear, sometimes I think you're so interested in those awards because you want to win one."
"Hey, I do not pull stupid life-threatening stunts." Jim said.
"Really? Because I have your medical records and they say different." Bones countered. "For instance, there's the tendency to pick bar fights with several guys and/or guys twice your size."
"Doesn't count." Jim said smugly. "I usually win."
"One might also cite your insistance on accompanying away missions despite Starfleet regulations requiring the Captain to remain safely on the ship under most circumstances." Spock remarked.
"Not my fault we keep running into exceptional circumstances." Jim huffed. "Besides what kind of coward would send people into situations he wouldn't face himself?"
"There's a fine line between bravery and stupidity, Jim." Bones drawled. "And when it comes to getting into trouble on away missions, you're practically Murphy's Law Personified. Like the last one - what could you have been thinking challenging a neanderthal thing with a big spear?"
"Hey, I dodged it." Jim said.
"You mean you dodged behind Spock," McCoy corrected. "who broke his wrist knocking it aside. Continuing to go on away missions with you probably qualifies him as an Honorable Mention."
"An 'Honorable Mention' Doctor?" Spock raised an enquiring eyebrow.
"Someone who puts their life in danger in a crazy and/or stupid fashion but doesn't actually manage to off themselves." McCoy explained with an evil grin.
Spock drew himself up. "I do not see how excuting my duty as first officer should in any way qualify." he answered stiffly.
"He's right Bones." Jim added. "We have jobs to do out here that require facing a little more danger than most people. That doesn't make us Darwin material."
"No?" Bones snarked. "Space is full of disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence. The very fact that we're voluntarily out here, and with you as a Captain, proves everyone on this ship could make Honorable Mention. Hell, the subtitle for that dumb list is 'A Chronicle of Enterprising Demises'. It's like they knew, which is why the damned thing is not funny."
With that, the doctor got up and spun around to stalk out, running smack into Lt. Margolis, fresh from her hand-to-hand practice. He noticed the position of his hands and withdrew them hastily.
"What is it, McCoy?" she yelled. "Do you have a death wish or something?"
Jim started laughing and Spock looked over and copied something from his padd.
"What are you doing, Spock?"
"I am submitting an entry. If I understand the parameters of the contest correctly, Dr. McCoy has just qualified for an Honorable Mention."
AN: Jim does a lot Darwin-worthy stuff in TOS and in the new film (hello! getting out of the survival pod after it's told you the planet is hostile to human life. Not to mention the whole driving a car off a cliff thing.)
We live about an hour from the place where they filmed The Blob and since dd has become a recent convert to sci/fi we rented it a little while ago. DD couldn't believe the old guy who first finds the Blob (a) pokes it with a stick and (b) stands there holding the stick while the thing slowly crawls up to glom onto his hand. DS (Vulcan-in-training) asked why he didn't just drop the stick and run. My only reply was 'Hey, anyone that stupid probably deserves to be eaten by an alien.' DH looked at me and said 'That sounds like something someone in one of your stories would say.' ...and thus a plot bunny was born.