October 16th, 2009

Can a large man survive a harpoon through the stomach?

Googlefu: “harpoon through the stomach”, “can you survive a harpoon through the stomach?”, “harpoon casualties”, “death by harpoon”. Have also looked up information about the large man mentioned in the subject line on Wikipedia, and made a few BMI calculations through a google-search.

Context: I'm writing a story set in the modern day, on a planet not unlike our own. The story in question is catalyzed by a prestigious villain for a long-running game series being attacked by sentient robots he made in a television cartoon considered by many to be Dis Continuity (hint: see icon). The villain in question stands at 185cm high and weighs 128kg (282lb), making a BMI of 37.4, which is apparently considered to be at obese level; also, going by the dates I'm working with, he is currently in his late 40s.

Query: Would a man with such a BMI survive a harpoon being shot through his stomach combined with multiple punches and attacks on the body by the aforementioned robots? If not, would it necessarily be the harpoon that kills him or the physical violence? Or if so, would the injuries inflicted on him be permanent, or at least long-lasting?

Thanks in advance for the help! 

EDIT: Thank you all for your insight and stuff; you've helped me decide where I'm going to take this thing now. =)

Toreador Concept Art

Russian as a second language in Finland, circa Winter War

Setting: Finland (probably in or near Karelia), 1939, alternate world but that's not much to do with the question.
Searches: "Russian speakers in Finland," "Russian + Finland + bilingualism," the previous along with qualifiers like "1930s", and similar, mainly turning up modern-day information about Russian immigrants. Also tried Googling Winter War and Continuation War interpreters.

I have a Finnish character, about twenty-four, probably not super-highly educated (at least in a formal setting) but quite curious, quite bright, and very motivated. Part of the plot as it's shaping up is that he's sent into a particular situation because he can speak (and read) some degree of Russian (plot-wise, so his nonviolent interaction with a younger and not-much-more-educated Russian character won't be restricted to charades and that whole point-at-various-things-and-say-their-names bit).

I'm guessing it won't be too much of a long shot seeing as Russia's next door - am I wrong? Would it be rare? Conversely, did everyone and their dog know some (in which case he has other qualifications to pull out for the job)?

Thanks in advance!

ETA: Wow. At this point I've got a lot of food for thought and further ideas on where I'm taking this thing. Thanks again for all your help!