Friday, September 3, 2010

Guinness Book of World Records - Credible anymore??

Guinness Book of World Records….blowing bubbles with a tarantula is not world record worthy, that’s just plain ridiculous.

I remember being a little kid on Saturday afternoons watching old Kun-Fu movies, Godzilla Films and a Guinness Book of World Records television show. It was sort of like a Ripley’s Believe it or not type of event with people doing stunts/events/acts of feat that would make a normal person cringe and stand up to take notice. I remember watching the guy who pogo-sticked around the world or the girl with the extraordinarily long hair. I also remember sitting there thinking to myself that these people had such tenacity for sticking to what they set their goal to be no matter if it was to be the biggest, fastest, shortest, tallest, smartest or longest in the world, I mean after all it was a world record book not a small town record book.

Once I had discovered that this was more than a TV show and actually had a book published every year to update and accrue all new broken records, I made it a point to check out every one that I could from the library. As well I would bug my parents each and every year for the new published book as one of my Christmas presents.  Would get the small paperback edition every Christmas and I would begin to read each and every record on the bus ride to and from school and even during my lunch periods. I would read the book of records when I had completed my school work and errands, it meant that much to me. I didn’t read many comics when I was a kid, I read reference books, did I miss a youth of imagination; I would say no. I would look at the people in the record book as goal setters and dreamers and would strive to set and attain my own goals. I remember flipping through the book and reading about the fattest twins, the longest finger nails or the guy who stood in one place for the longest amount of time. 

I had to know more about the book and I had to find out where and why it was created, I mean who would think of such a fantastic and entertaining idea of writing these records down? That man turned out to be Sir Hugh Beaver, who happened to be the managing director of the Guinness Breweries, hence the title for the book of records. He was trying to settle a dispute over which was the fastest game bird in Europe and he became less than thrilled with the lack of knowledge there was on such subjects, so he created his own reference book and the rest is history as they would say.

He wanted his book to be the reference book to end all reference books where you could find any and all information that you could ever possibly need to know and then some. People began to apply for record after record and only the most elite and legitimate of records would be accepted. Then in the new century the book of world records took a turn for the worse and became extremely petty and frivolous.

You began to have people breaking 30-50 world records in their life time when back in the day when people first applied for the record book it was a shock when one gentleman had 6 world records. Now you have people getting into the book for longest time ironing, longest time playing GTA, blowing the most bubbles with a tarantula in their mouth and the ever popular most successful salesman. Are these really achievements? Are these really feats that only these people can do takes great preparation and ability to succeed at? My answer is no, the world records book in my eyes has shilled itself out to the highest bidder and to not hurt anyone’s feelings in the aspect of being “pc”.

If you have a skill, ability and talent that no one else has then go for it set a record and see how long it stands until you or someone else can break it. If you don’t have a skill, ability or talent then it just makes it that much sweeter when you get or break that record because you had set that goal and succeeded in it, you didn’t just stand there 55 hours and 5 minutes ironing. The kicker in the whole ironing or any other extended event is that fact that they are allowed to take breaks for food, naps or bathroom usage. If I am allowed to take breaks like that then heck I have been working at my job non-stop since the day I started only taking breaks for sleep, vacation and sick days, that has to be a record of some sort. I guess the one good thing is they have stopped giving out records for drinking or anything that relates to healthy and safety. So it looks like the fattest motorcycle riding twins will never be broken anymore, oh darn it.

How sad it is that we have gotten to the point that we will accept any crap given to us as something great and spectacular, it’s kind of sad really when you think about it.

Be safe and try breaking the record for the nosiest exploding sledgehammer…I looked and it’s not in there…yet,
John Cannon

No comments:

Post a Comment