By Nury Vittachi
Watch out! A massive great wave of pointlessness is sweeping the world. People are spending tons of time doing completely meaningless things. It’s a tsunami of silliness. I'm not joking. Get this. A Sri Lankan man just broke the world record for sitting on a sofa and watching TV.
He sat in front of the idiot box for 72 hours. "I feel fine; I drank between 25 and 30 cups of coffee," Suresh Joachim said.
Suresh already has several world records. He stood on an escalator for five days, travelling 225 kilometers without going anywhere. He holds a record for crawling 56 kilometers. (Why does this remind me of "staff appraisal week" in my office?)
He once rocked on a rocking chair for 75 hours. And he ironed 639 garments in a 55-hour stretch to set a world record. (My domestic helper could give him a run for his money.)
In China, a man named Lui Mei last week demonstrated how he could walk in the world's most uncomfortable shoes: lead boots weighing 290 kilos. He trained for four years to set that record.
Then there were the women in Cyprus who formed the world's longest chain of bras. Listen, Cypriot ladies, you may think that bras are feminine objects of great interest to males, but I have news for you. This is only true if they contain their normal contents.
Then there was one Ashrita Furman who got himself listed in the Guinness Book of Records for rolling an orange with his nose for one mile (1.6 km) at JFK airport in New York. The same guy "tiddled" a tiddlywink for the same distance at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Some of the record holders are not even human! Albert Einstein, a three-year-old goldfish, is listed for being the fish with the largest repertoire of tricks. He can do six things, including playing football and performing the limbo.
Now is it just me, or has the whole idea of "world records" becoming ridiculous? I mean, the silliest category of records is one of the most celebrated: the money ones. The highest price for a pair of jeans is US$60,000 paid by some Japanese guy, the priciest tea was a rare Chinese green tea costing US$12 a cup, and so on. These records demonstrate nothing except that people are stupid with their money. Why should we celebrate that?
No, we should either ban ALL world records or limit them to people doing worthwhile things.
But who am I fooling? There's no way the group of gibbering lunatics known as the human race is ever going to limit itself to intelligent activities.
In which, case I shall follow the "if you can’t beat them, join them" school of thought. I hereby declare that the following world records have not yet been set, and I invite readers to claim these titles or stand back while I grab some myself.
1) Most obviously crooked business person to make a billion dollars.
2) Biggest moustache on a female.
3) Spottiest bottom in the world.
4) Largest number of uses of the word "tiddlywink" in a newspaper column.
5) Stupidest individual to become a national leader.
6) Smelliest sock.
Guess which of the above records this columnist is about to claim? Tiddlywink, tiddlywink, tiddlywink.