The Quest to be No. 1

In early December my wife suggested that we attend the World’s Largest Ugly Sweater Party in St. Louis. The organizers’ hope was that more than 1,175 ugly sweater wearers would attend so that we would break the world record. I said ok as it would be a good opportunity for me to wear the sweater she knitted for me last year. We didn’t break the record but later in December it was broken when 3,473 people wearing ugly holiday sweaters attended a Kansas University basketball game.


No better way to say “Merry Christmas, I love you.”

This got me thinking about peoples’ quest to be number 1 at something or to be part of something that is the biggest or the best. Many of them are hoping to have their achievement documented in The Guinness Book of World Records which will prove that they are “Officially Amazing”.

I recently flipped through the 2014 Guinness Book. This interesting reference book lists the world records which they have certified. They are categorized into chapters such as: sports, extraordinary exploits, the human body, etc. Unfortunately, they don’t have a chapter on sex. I’ll come back to this.
Some of the listings are feats that we would all love to have accomplished such as Usain Bolt’s incredible 9.58 second 100 meter dash which certified him as the fastest human on the planet. The fastest female is Florence Griffith-Joyner who ran the event in 10.49 seconds. Perhaps even more impressive, however, is Julia Plecher’s performance. She was clocked at 14.53 seconds in HIGH HEELS. Try that Mr. Bolt.

Other covetable achievements include:

• Most consecutive major league games with a base hit – 56 by Joe DiMaggio in 1941

• Most goals scored in a National Hockey League career – 894 by Wayne Gretzky

• Fastest Solo Trek to the South Pole by a female – 39 days 9 hrs. by Hannah McKeand and,

• Oldest person to climb Mount Everest – Yuichiro Miura at 80 years 223 days old.

But other accomplishments are less notable. These include a number of records dealing with collections including the largest collection of airline sickness bags (6290 – presumably unused), beer bottles (25,866), human teeth (over 2 million – probably achieved by a dentist) and napkins (50,000). And while most men think that the largest collection of shoes is owned by their wife, I had guessed it was the former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos. It turns out that she had a mere 3,000 pairs. No. 1 in the category of shoe ownership is actually Darlene Flynn who in 2012 owned 14,684 pairs. This was up from 7,765 in 2006 which means that between 2006 and 2012 she acquired over 3 pairs a day. I couldn’t find the record for a man but I am guessing that it is about 6 pairs. By the way, I expect to find most of these collectors on the TV show Hoarding: Buried Alive sometime soon.

Some of the Guinness records are strange and definitely not enviable. That would include Donald Gorske’s accomplishment. Since 1972 he has eaten 28 thousand Big Macs which makes him numero uno for most Big Macs consumed. And while He’s “lovin it” his heart probably isn’t. You have to wonder if he doesn’t hold the record for highest cholesterol as well. Surprisingly, Mr. Gorske didn’t make the list of the ten heaviest humans (he doesn’t even look overweight). That “honor” goes to the late Jon Brewer Minnoch who at his heaviest tipped the scales at 1400 pounds. His poor wife only weighed 110 pounds.

But perhaps the most unenviable record is held by Madeline Albrecht who tested products for Dr. Scholl’s. She set a record by smelling 5,600 smelly feet during her 15 years with the company. She also smelled a large number of armpits during her career but she has not submitted the paperwork to claim the honor in that category.

stupid record

The record of most voluntary gun shots to the nuts is 1.

Some of the Guinness records, which should not be tried at home, are held by people who are truly UNHINGED. These include:

• Australians Chayne Hultgren and Gordo Gamsby who were recognized for throwing a running chainsaw 13 feet and catching it. Gordo must have drawn the short straw as he had the privilege of catching it.

• Dietmar Loeffler of Germany who won fame for the most times hit by a car in two minutes – 8. None were on the autobahn. The most on the autobahn is still one.

• Denni Duesterhoeft, another German, who ran over 500 feet while on fire.

• Canadian Sweet Pepper Klopek who released 47 mousetraps on his tongue in one minute. Ouch, that had to hurt. And;

• Hubertus Wawra, yet another crazy German, who extinguished 39 fire torches with his mouth in 30 seconds.

Their parents must be so proud. These guys bring to mind humorist, Jarod Kintz’s observation that, “The most deadly combination to man is a low IQ and high testosterone.”

But it’s not just men that are UNHINGED. There are many women that are nuts too. The craziest has to be the Thai woman who lived for 33 days in a small glass room with over 5,000 scorpions. She was stung 13 times.

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 10.30.10 PM

A woman also holds the most stupid duck face selfie record.

Then there are some who seem to make a living by setting world records. The leader is Ashrita Furman who has been recognized 155 times by the Guinness officials. His accomplishments include: most M&Ms eaten with chopsticks in one minute while blindfolded (20) and catching the most paper airplanes in his mouth in one minute (16).

And now back to sex as promised. Here are two world records not found in the Guinness book but can be found on the internet (so of course they must be true):

• The most bras removed in one minute with one hand (20). The guy was, of course, a magician, and

• Most orgasms in an hour by a male (16). This was probably achieved by a teenage boy after watching a magician remove 20 bras. By the way, that’s approximately one every 4 minutes.

Everyone wants to accomplish some feat that no one else has done or to be the best in the world at something. We all want to hold a world record no matter how kooky. So even though crocheting the longest chain (253 ft.) while running a marathon (Susie Hewer) may not be as noteworthy as achieving the fastest ascent up Mount Everest (Pemba Dorje Sherpa – 8 hrs. 10 min.), it’s still a world record.

I got another ugly sweater for Christmas this year. Maybe my goal will be to obtain the world’s largest collection of ugly sweaters. Or, failing that, perhaps I could organize the largest number of trees hugged at one time. That seems doable as the record is only 702 and I have a lot of liberal friends.

croc collection

Biggest Crocs collection isn’t catching on.

John Wade, a frequent contributor to Unhinged Magazine, is a retired Chief Financial Officer who lives in Wildwood, Missouri.

©2016, all rights reserved
published with permission of the author

You can also read why John Wade opposes Canadian immigration, hey?