Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Define "World Record"

When I was a kid, I totally dug reading The Guinness Book of World Records. There were so many cool things in there! And so many weird things! Come on, admit it! How many times did you look at that picture of the World's Fattest Twins? Those two guys with the sunglasses and the beards on those little motorcycles? You know what I'm talking about! I think they were Benny and Bobby or Benny and Billy. Definitely Benny. Or the guy with 200+ cigarettes in his mouth, all of them just smoldering as he (presumedly) puffed away? That stuff was cool! That's why we liked it! That's why I have to ask this question: What the hell, Guinness? What the hell?

The Guinness Book Of World Records has become laden with some of the stupidest crap I have ever read (sans this blog). It's not even made up of things that require some sort of skill or effort to do. I think that 'uniqueness' or 'special' should be an identifying and qualifying trait for a World Record entry. I mean, 200+ Marlboros in the pie hole is quite the feat. It requires effort. Probably some training. Definitely a lot of Marlboros. What about Robin Hoods? That's right. Robin Hoods. How many of those do you need for a World Record? Oh, please.

"More than a thousand people helped to smash the official world record for the number of people dressed as Robin Hood in one place at one time. " Why is this even a record that CAN be "smashed"? Why Robin Hood? Why not Little John? What about Merry Men? I don't get it.

''All participants wore a hat with a feather, a green or brown tunic and green or brown trousers or tights" I'll bet that was a sight to behold. Behold!

There were 1117 morons who turned out for this event. That shattered the previous record of 600-something idiots. (Yes, it is approximately a 2-to-1 moron/idiot ratio in Nottingham.) It's hard to say what is more disturbing, the fact that 1,117 people turned out to do this or the fact that there was a previous record to be broken in the first place.

And if you didn't have a Robin Hood costume (and it you're the Sheriff, apparently), there was no need to worry. The Nottingham City Council's Children's Services Costume Department specially designed a costume for the Sheriff (who, incidentally, is the sworn enemy of one Robin Hood). Um, there's a Costume Department in Nottingham's Children's Services Division?? Why? What in the hell are they doing over there in Nottingham anyway? I don't know either, but Casual Friday must be a hoot.

This whole thing had me thinking about other stupid World Records. Since I was thinking about it, I had to know more about it. Now I know too much and I must purge myself of this knowledge. I learned that there are a lot of stupid World Records. A lot. Here are just a few of them:

  • Matt McAllister in Santa Barbara set the World Record for putting on as many T-shirts as possible in 4 hours. That resulted in him wearing 155 shirts which weighed over 100 pounds and wasted just over 4 hours.

  • Les Stewart from Mudjimba (that's in Australia) typed out all numbers from one to one million on a manual typewriter. The words, not the numbers. Why this is a record I do not know. But what I do know is that this guy is going to get his own post because it's too strange to just give him a line or two here along with Matt, the Robins Hoods and Ashrita (described below).

  • Ashrita Furman, of New York, was in Thailand and decided that he could break the World Record for the most squat thrusts in one minute. On top of an elephant. Why is that even a CHOICE for a World Record?! Does that mean there's a World Record for Most Jumping Jacks On Top Of A Giraffe, too?! How about Most Sit-Ups With Your Feet Strapped To A Gazelle?! WTF?!

    Fattest twins! Tallest man! Shortest dwarf! Most cigarettes! Tallest tree! THOSE are world records! Please take note!!

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