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.
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Most chopsticks snapped in 30 seconds: 33
This is the story behind my Guinness World Record™ for the Most chopsticks snapped in 30 seconds.
On the same day, in the same location, I made two
similar world record attempts – both for snapping chopsticks. The nice
thing about that was my preparation for one attempt more-or-less
covered my practising for the second attempt too. Now that's what I
I'd spent roughly a month preparing, and during
that time, I'd collected a great bag full of used chopsticks. Standing
by my belief not to support forest destruction for the manufacture of
chopsticks meant I had to tolerate handling freshly used chopsticks.
Yuk! I spent hours dedicated to collecting them from many sushi bars
with the help of numerous puzzled staff, some of whom no doubt thought
I was on the patient list at a mental institution. Anyway, having
expressed my disgust at handling somebody else's used chopsticks, I am
still fit and healthy these days, so maybe handling someone else's used
eating utensils isn't that bad after all.
On the day I'd arranged to make this world record
attempt at a friend's house, I lugged a large bag of chopsticks down
the road and introduced my team member to those waiting. Of course, I
didn't tell everyone what the state of the chopsticks was! There were
too many ladies about. In any case, I wasn't in a terribly social mood
– all I wanted was to get on with what I considered to be the most
important activity. All else had become totally insignificant to me
Minutes later, I was setting up the equipment I
needed. For this world record attempt, I was more than confident since
I had just completed the previous similar one. That had its advantages:
it was excellent and timely practice. But it also had a drawback: my
hands were already tired and I then had to produce world
record-standard results for a second time within an hour. But the lure
of another world record behind my name was enough to spur me on, and I
enthusiastically went about all the preparations.
The women who'd been leaning out of the bedroom
windows and watching my previous chopsticks attempt in the front garden
came back and waited for more. The pressure was on! As pedestrians,
cyclists and vehicles passed just metres away, I completed the admin
required before I was to begin. A smug thought crossed my mind: did any
of these people passing realise that a new entry into the record books
they love perusing could be made right there and then? Probably not, I
mused and continued.
one, I laid out each and every chopstick
in the same way I'd done before. I placed them with great care and
attention, making sure the angles and distances between each were
constant. If that wasn't the case, my wrists might find it difficult to
adjust in mid-action under the tension of the ticking stopwatch. I
spent quite a while doing this, until the others present began
commenting that I'd wasted enough time on my beloved chopsticks. Right,
I confessed, it could be time to do what the ladies were waiting for:
me to get snapping.
I nodded to the assigned timekeeper and he nodded
back. Within seconds, his countdown was nil and it was up to me to
prove my abilities. I snapped each little wooden stick individually as
quickly as I could manage. The 30 seconds seemed to drag on for much,
much longer. My forearms stung as if they were on fire. My eyes moved
from one chopstick to the next so fast, time melted away into an
extended blur. Despite this, I continued at a great rate. Then, as if
I'd been surprised by a shot of gunfire, I stopped in a daze. The
timekeeper had announced that time was up and I was obligated to obey.
I straightened by back and relaxed while taking
in lungfuls of fresh air. Looking over the table, it was evident that
I'd done a good job, I thought. There were half-chopsticks in every
direction. That sight got my approval, but I knew I'd need to wait for
the judges' official decision on whether I'd succeeded or not. What I
could do next was complete the required admin which was soon all taken
You know, that day I snapped more chopsticks than
I ever have, and probably ever will. And the ironic thing about it is
that now I have the experience and ability to do it really well. Isn't
it strange that we always get the experience we want after we need it
when we are trying to get it! Well, I did my best and that's what
counts the most, I believe.
The onlookers commented positively, which was
lovely for me. I wondered if they'd ever thought, that one day, they
could hang out of a bedroom window and watch world record history being
attempted. I bet that had never occurred to any of those ladies. I
pondered many thoughts as I cleaned up the chopstick pieces and thanked
those who'd been involved. After that day, I was tired. Yes, tired in
the sense that I needed a rest. But I was still overly excited about
world record possibilities, and of course, looking forward to the
official decision on my chopstick snapping skills!