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I think i would have gone head first, no chance of annoying interlopers then.

Posted by vooodooo84 | May 22, 2008 12:57 PM

That is SOOOO "Fargo"!!! I love it!!!!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | May 22, 2008 12:59 PM

This is so not the way I want to go. Unless, of course, someone was filming.

Posted by Will in STL | May 22, 2008 1:01 PM

Aw the only drawback to reading Slog is knowing exactly what will be in Last Days each week in advance, which used to be my favorite part

Posted by Non | May 22, 2008 1:02 PM

When contemplating suicide one should always remember that Murphy's Law still applies.

Poor bastard.

Posted by unwelcomed | May 22, 2008 1:03 PM

Jesus. I've fed those beasts before. that's terrifying. I was standing next to one once when someone fed some debris that happened to include an old lead sash weight from a window. That thing shot fist-sized chunks of its blades a quarter-mile into the woods.

Posted by Fnarf | May 22, 2008 1:04 PM


Posted by Mr. Poe | May 22, 2008 1:07 PM

The most common and cliched reaction I hear to suicide is that it's "cowardly" and that only weak people kill themselves. I, however, could not disagree more. No doubt plenty would also opine that diving head-first into a wood chipper is just plain dumb, and that may be, but it's also damn ballsy, and clearly the will of a firmly resolute (read: forceful, not weak) suicide.

Posted by ab-fab | May 22, 2008 1:16 PM

If the operator hadn't shut it off, would the cops/insurance companies have hassled him? God forbid the guy got arrested for smoking pot 15 years ago, the P-I would put him on the front page.

Still, attempted-suicide dude is going to be a mess. A horribly handicapped mess.

Posted by eric | May 22, 2008 1:17 PM

I have this (half-baked) theory that everybody (or at least everybody that is occasionally prone to think about things like this) has a "way they would go" if they committed suicide. A visual in their head when suicidal thoughts rear their head.

Otherwise, people would just do it in the most painless way possible, and there wouldn't be things like Elliott Smith stabbing himself in the heart and this guy. I get nervous around guns because for many years that was my visual.

Posted by Julie | May 22, 2008 1:27 PM

Garden burger, anyone?

Posted by Spoogie | May 22, 2008 1:35 PM

Gawd damn, the Slog sucks today.


And yeah, shutting it off was, while understandable, a regrettable action.


Posted by violet_dagrinder | May 22, 2008 1:39 PM

@10: I'm not conspiracy theorist, but I find it entirely unlikely that Elliott Smith's death was unassisted.

As far as the witness report of "guts hanging out," that sounds like an exaggeration, considering the other reporting on the extent of the injury. Perhaps the witness mistook shredded, stringy, bloody muscle and tendons for "guts."

This also reminds me of this guy in Maine who has no face (and no, it's not Mel Gibson). The poor dude tried to kill himself by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun, but instead he just blew off his face and survived. Faceless. Forever. Well, not forever, but you get the idea. Thought your life sucked before? Try living without a face!

Posted by Aislinn | May 22, 2008 1:42 PM

I can't imagine that, upon seeing someone jump into a wood chipper, that anyone would mull over which "option" is more "humane."

Posted by kk | May 22, 2008 1:44 PM

So glad I was eating when I read that, I guess it's my own fault that the title "Suicide and Wood Chippers" didn't tip me off.

Posted by Todd | May 22, 2008 1:55 PM

Well, that's just gross. And messy. Wonder who had to clean that up?

Posted by j4zz3rgrl | May 22, 2008 2:00 PM

Well if he wasn't feeling very chipper before he dove in ...

Posted by Bob | May 22, 2008 2:08 PM

@13 - I agree about Elliott Smith -- there's all the speculation about his girlfriend, etc. But, when I first saw the headline about him stabbing himself in the heart, that's when the thought about "everyone must have some way they envision killing themselves" popped into my head.

Posted by Julie | May 22, 2008 2:22 PM

If I may usurp Will in Seattle's role for a moment... Bob @17 FTW.

Posted by Julie | May 22, 2008 2:25 PM

It sounds like the operator of the wood chipper tried to shut off the machine before it could hurt the poor guy--he was leaping to the ground to shut it off before the guy had even jumped. He was, of course, too late. But he had no way of knowing that, and he probably felt like he had to try. Actually, he probably felt nothing of the sort; I imagine it was a split-second gut reaction, not a logically reasoned one. And once the machine is off, of course you can't start it back up to finish off the job. There's no real better-case scenario here.

Posted by lymerae | May 22, 2008 3:09 PM

Gotta side with @20 on this one. Unless the operator somehow miraculously had time to look in the chipper, assess the guy's situation, think "Would he be better off if I let him finish getting ground up?" - by which time the point would have been moot, of course.

And being a stout defender of personal responsibility, I must point out that Wood Chipper Jumper Dude chose a method of suicide that was not foolproof, and failed. The responsibility for his future pain and suffering lies squarely upon his own shoulders (shoulder? I guess he's only got the one left) and the operator shares none of it.

Posted by Breklor | May 22, 2008 3:29 PM

OMFG. I used to use a wood chipper for work (not this large, though) and the thought of something like this happening freaked the fuck out of me. Those really big ones are crazy.

They should've just let the machine grind on.

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | May 22, 2008 4:32 PM

Julie, I had this conversation just yesterday at work! We decided that being forcefed till your stomach burst would probably suck, as would being eaten alive by dachsunds (imagine the dissonance: Dachsunds -- so cute! AAAAAH THEY'RE EATING ME ALIVE! But... they're SO CUTE!)

Anyway, my death of choice had me in a plastic-lined bathtub (no mess), listening to 'Bolero', covered in rose petals, being poisoned by a combination of Cointreau and sleeping pills.

Posted by Irena | May 22, 2008 5:01 PM

I think it was just a cry for help.

Posted by CP | May 22, 2008 5:02 PM

I had a friend back east who was permanently blind from a suicide attempt in 1983. I used to read mail for him and assist him with paying bills and running various household errands. Today he has earned his college degree online using sound computer software and has married a wonderful (normal visioned) woman with whom he is very happy.

Don't really have a point; just thought I would share. But I somehow don't think Wood Chipper Guy will be able to put his life back together as successfully after his attempt to end it.

Posted by RainMan | May 22, 2008 7:06 PM

13, live and learn--and resolve to do a better job of it next time. which of course, you would if you were even worse off than you were the first time you tried.

Posted by ellarosa | May 22, 2008 8:17 PM

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