Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Visionary

I have been called a visionary.

By myself, obviously. With that criteria, I've also been called "a future Pulitzer Prize winner" and "a fine hunk of man."

In this case, though, I have some evidence. I present the dossier (from CNN):
Suresh Joachim broke the Guinness world record for the longest time spent watching TV. He finished Friday with 69 hours and 48 minutes...

Joachim, who lives in Toronto but hails from Sri Lanka, now holds more than 16 Guinness records, including the longest duration balancing on one foot (76 hours, 40 minutes) and bowling for 100 hours. He does it, he says, to raise awareness of suffering children.

The longest duration balancing on one foot. Seventy-six hours, forty minutes.

When I was ten, I decided that I should break a world record. It was imperative. There was a certain kind of cachet with being a world record holder, because in 1971, the Guinness Book of World Records was an absolute craze in America. Everybody had the book, and everybody read it to see what kind of crazy things people would do.

Even at ten, though I had an angle. It had to be something I could do indoors, because it was way too hot outside to even think about leaving the air conditioning. And I wanted maximum glory with minimum effort. It didn't matter what record I broke, right?

So with that in mind, I started scrutinizing the Guinness Book of World Records. Every page. Every record. The book was huge, the print was tiny, and I went through it all, searching for the softest world record in existence.

And I found it. Out of the thousands of world records I studied, I found one that looked undeniably, unquestionably soft.

Balancing on one foot: four and a half hours.

Are you kidding me? I could set a world record and still be done in time to have Sloppy Joes for dinner.

That was it, then. I didn't know about official record attempts or witnesses or anything like that. I just knew I was four hours and thirty minutes away from breaking a world record, baby.

I found the exact middle of my bedroom, got a clock out of my mom's bedroom, and, with extreme care, stood on one foot.

For about ten seconds. Just a little balance issue. A warm-up. I tried again.

And again. And again. Man, standing on one foot is a bitch.

After about half an hour, my record-breaking attempt ended, only four hours and twenty-six minutes short of fame. Even four minutes (my best effort) felt like a long, long time.

Here's the point, though: that record was soft. I had correctly picked out the softest world record on the books.

I was Columbus, but without a ship.

Give my regards to the New World.

Site Meter