took to world record-breaking in
2004 after being inspired by a record-setting rally
driver in Kenya. What began as a hobby soon escalated
into an active publicity pursuit. Today, he promotes the
work of social and environmental causes. For these
purposes, the most fitting game plans are chosen; then
world titles are attempted and frequently created.
Wall Street Journal:
Shaking On It in Times Square
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Furthest distance to blow a Malteser with a straw:
11 metres 29.5cm
This is the story behind my Guinness World Record™ for the Furthest distance to blow a Malteser with a straw.
An opportunity had arisen for me to attempt one
more world record. I know that you're aware that I was mad keen from
the minute this chance came to my notice. In fact, just the thought of
a world record attempt was enough to get me hyperactive; so hyper in
fact, that friends were pleading with me to calm down. But, when one is
overly excited, that's the last thing you want to hear. I'd made up my
mind and nothing was going to stop me.
But wait! I persuaded myself. I had to think of
some world records to attempt, otherwise I couldn't take this
opportunity, and that would spell the end of existence for me. Right. I
sat down to think over copious amounts of tea. Should I eat, drink,
spit, flick, push, roll, cut, hit, flatten, blow... Ah, blow. Yes, I
felt like blowing something that would be of great entertainment value.
Then the next question popped into my head: what would I blow? I began
the thought process all over again. Then, as if struck by a bolt of
lightning, the answer came to me with brilliant clarity. I'd blow a
Malteser. And I'd feed my team a reward they deserved with those
remaining in the packet. What a well thought out plan, I congratulated
Like an excited child, I dropped all my work and
sped into the nearest shop. At the chocolate isle, I was confused for a
second by the array of sweet treats. But then no more; I found just the
goodies - I knew the ones to choose were Maltesers because nothing else
would do, being light and manufactured by Mars, as well as fitting in
with their advertising campaign ('the lighter way to enjoy chocolate'),
so I snatched the packet and speed-walked to the counter. I couldn't
wait to rip this pack open and, rather than eat any, begin blowing them
away. It was going to be sheer delight.
WIth maltesers having first been created in 1936
by Forrest E. Mars and over 10 billion maltesers made a year, I knew
that this was going to be a good idea, but there was probably already
stiff competition, because of them being so light that they float on
water. Mind you, with the original idea for maltesers being a fun
chocolate ball, with the taste of malted milk, how could I
resist. I just had to try a malteser and see how far I would be
able to blow it.
I found out what the current world record was and
gulped. This looked tough. Could I do that? If I couldn't, I'd feel
like an abject failure. There was only one way: to get out there and do
it. Virtually sweating in a self-inflicted panic over the stress of
perhaps not succeeding, I bolted to the phone. From my desk, I called
so many people I became dizzy. But for a reason I can't understand, no
company seemed as excited about blowing a chocolate as me. What's wrong
with these people, I wondered.
It was time for a new plan. I knew someone
working at the local train station, which happened to be the biggest
one in New Zealand. Picturing its layout in my mind, I wondered if I
could make my attempt there. One phone call later, I had a venue.
Weeks later, proudly clutching my bag with the
Maltesers in it, I marched into the train station. I had arrived to
show everyone how skilled I was at the important task of bowing
chocolates. I pulled out a straw that I was terribly proud of. That
straw, I have to say, cost me a lot of time. I'd peered over restaurant
reception counters, across fast food serving counters, and inspected
supermarket shelves packed with straws for sale in my efforts to locate
the perfect one. As always, people thought I had escaped from an
asylum, but I'd developed a rather dismissive attitude to those types.
I'd had to – how else could one live by the world record? By
persevering, I found the best straw, and only that would be good enough
for the chocolates I was guarding. Well, I smiled at my helpers, the
Malteser blower has arrived at the train station.
I did some chest exercises to increase my lung
capacity as an uninvited audience gathered. By then, I was
concentrating on what I needed to achieve, not what the spectators were
doing. But I did detect blank stares facing my way. I tried hard to
ignore them. Soon I was ready and my team positioned themselves.
Malteser lay on the floor ahead of me.
Instinctively I wanted to raise it to my lips and savour its delicious
creamy taste, just as I'd do at the chocolate tasting
club, but I knew that self-control was all-important now. I held
the straw in my mouth. I knelt, then fell prostrate. At that angle,
looking forward I could see so much dirt on the floor it was blocking
my view: bread crumbs, dust, tiny bits of grit and whatever else the
sweeper would scoop up on their next cleaning round. My aim, though,
was to blow my cute little Malteser through all this fallen matter and
far, far away. I inhaled for the last time and held my breath.
With a whoosh and a splatter of saliva landing in
an arc to the front of the straw, the Malteser was on its way at
break-neck speed. It bounced and rolled, bobbled and tumbled into what
seemed like the distance to me from where I was lying so low. I flipped
my body onto my feet and walked briskly over to join my team who were
pacing alongside the advancing chocolate. With no notice, it swerved
and smacked into a support pillar, then bounced off and zigzagged to a
standstill. I picked it up and returned to where I'd blown it.
Developing full lung capacity a second time, I blew the same Malteser
again. This time, it hit a bench where train passengers had sat to
watch the public TV.
Nobody wanted to eat that little fellow so I did,
dust, grit and all. Thank goodness the chocolate melted in my mouth
like a dream and that's all I tasted. No time to get slack, though! I
breathed in again and fell to the floor with my straw and another
Malteser. This time, I was in for a pleasant surprise. The Malteser
flew across the floor like a bullet. I almost yelled out, “Stop. You're
going too far!” Instead, I bit my tongue and watched as the tiny thing
raced its way to where it gradually slowed. There, having lost
momentum, its course veered left. The Malteser came to rest in the most
inconvenient place – under the seated buttocks of a beautiful young
woman enjoying coffee with a colleague. Hmmm. They giggled. We laughed.
Before an awkward silence set in, I grabbed the
tape measure and got to work. Unexpectedly, I needed to measure two
sides of a triangle, since a structural pillar was blocking our direct
line of sight. Later, I'd have to calculate the length of the straight
line. My helpers were surprised; this chocolate had rolled a lot
further than we'd presumed it would. With the admin over and done with,
it was time to leave – and share the packet of remaining Maltesers.
This world record went on to appear in global
entertainment news in several languages. It was picked up by one of the
foremost photo agencies in Europe, and the story was duplicated in more
newspapers than I could possibly keep count of.