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 gloves worn on one hand:
This is the story behind my Guinness World Record™ for the Most gloves worn on one hand.
My hands love being covered, whether with mittens, a warm
towel or gloves. Because I often wrap them in something warm, I began to think
of what world record I could try next – and this time, I wanted warm hands!
What better attempt to make than one
I’ve already succeeded at, and would like to improve on? So, for the second
time, I chose to try putting the most gloves on one of my hands. And this
occasion would be quite different, because I planned to make my attempt in a
popular club where a community of travellers regularly meet in the early
CouchSurfers who get together for fun times. Surely having a world
record attempt at one of their gatherings would go well, I presumed.
And so it did. As the club was filling,
in I walked with a bag of latex gloves clenched in one fist and my video camera
and photo camera in the other. I had arrived to lay my claim to yet another
world record. The busy place was noisy; there were lone travellers and groups of
backpackers from many nations stopping by for a few hours: young people from
Europe, north America, central and east Asia, the Middle East, Latin America,
Africa and Oceania were mixing and chatting endlessly. My challenge was to round
up a few and convert them into witnesses for my glove-wearing!
After some time flitting between
conversations, I made my way out onto the crowded open-air balcony where I hoped
to find obliging visitors. Within minutes, welcoming people of many backgrounds
were inviting me to join them. One small group in particular got my attention.
The young ladies inquisitively asked what had brought me along that night, and I
eagerly explained. They kept questioning me and I kept answering, until I asked
if they’d witness, which I suspected they might want to. I guessed right. It was
time for action, so we cleared a small area in amongst the soft foam cubes used
as low chairs while onlookers joked about what was about to happen.
I wasn’t bothered by the gathering crowd – in fact, I loved it. Faces began to peer over others’ shoulders as spectators crept forwards to see what I was getting so hurried over. Patrons began nudging each other at nearby tables, nodding their heads in my direction as if to tell their friends to watch. Even the venue manager came over for about a minute to see what this crazy customer was about to get up to. None of that worried me at all, and the 2 ladies with me seemed quite calm about it too.
On the table, I emptied my plastic bag of gloves, and then I laid out the video camera and explained what we’d be doing. Both my American witness and my New Zealand witness eagerly read the rules, while I poured powder into the gloves to help them slide onto my hand more easily. As the evening faded and the clinking of glass became a more regular noise in the club, my witnesses and I agreed to defeat the gloves in the name of another world record attempt.
The first slipped on nicely, as did the second, fourth, seventh, eleventh, seventeenth… the more gloves I pulled on, the louder the commentary became from the relaxing travellers. In some ways, that spurred me on. Enjoying the shouts of encouragement and the curious bystanders’ smiles, I kept putting on glove after glove.
My hand began to feel limp. Each latex glove constricted the blood vessels a little more. By the time I had 3 dozen gloves on, my hand had gone completely numb. I couldn’t stretch out my fingers to slide them into the glove fingers. Yet, through the throbbing pain, I had a crazy thought: I wondered if this latex that was causing me pain was from trees, or if it was artificial? At that moment, someone bumped me and I refocused my thinking. Ironically, the thick mass of gloves served to stiffen my hand and fingers, making is somewhat easier to slide each powdered glove over my extended digits. The problem was that my whole hand drooped under the weight of the gloves, and my rigid fingers pointed towards the floor. This meant I had to scoop each glove up and onto my hand, which I could do – but only slowly.
The last few of the 44 gloves were the hardest to put on. That wasn’t for lack of encouragement, though. The watchful crowd was now intrigued by every successive glove I managed to pull on, despite my hand looking like a bloated spikey knob. And soon, it was all over. I had forced all the gloves I had with me onto my hand, and exclaimed with disappointment that I could have fitted another half a dozen on, if they’d been there. Oh no.
But the spectators’ attitudes seemed to be one of “Oh yes!” judging by the number of photos being taken of my puffy hand. People were giggling, laughing, commenting and squeezing my hand with caution. I let my pulsing hand sit on the table for several minutes while it was the centre of attention. But as the blood pressure built up, I was subjected to more spikes of pain and began ripping off the gloves in bunches.
Even that had to be done carefully, because I was making sure the witnesses could count all the gloves to prove the tally I’d managed. And I was grateful to have my hand back – free – once again. As more photos snapped all around the table, I let my hand hang for a few seconds so the blood could drain back into it. That hurt. But I knew it was important. I soon perked up and started joking about how I thrived on world records, and how putting on gloves was a big deal to me. The others appeared amused, and I liked it.
My 2 helpful witnesses completed the paperwork and before long, I’d packed the gloves and the powder bottle away again. My mind was then focused on completing the administration so that I could submit my claim to having worn the most gloves at once, and then await the official judges’ decision.
As the night drew on, and as the visiting travellers continued socialising just as they’d been doing before I poured my pile of gloves onto the small table in amongst them, I once again clutched the bag of gloves and left the venue, thanking everyone as I brushed past them in the tight crowd. The gloves, I thought, were still important to me. I may have used them, stretched them and torn a few, but they would have another use.
When I’m left with items from world record attempts, I often find ways to reuse them. Yes, it saves me money… and that’s got to be a very good benefit. But it also means I’m living in a way which more and more world leaders want to see communities live. It’s called living sustainably: using only what is needed, and creating as little waste as possible. I believe in this new way of life, so, to be true to my word, I’ve got to find ways of reusing things from my world record activities. And in some cases, that’s absolutely no problem at all. Not at all!
Why? Because I want to try and beat myself sometime soon. So, for now, these gloves have a purpose. And once I’ve made another attempt at wearing the most gloves, to try and improve on my achievement, I will easily find another use for the gloves. “What then?” you may ask. I’ll donate them to a local family without much money, so they benefit from my recycling efforts. I’m sure dozens and dozens of latex gloves would be useful sometime.
What’s more, imagine telling your
friends that your housework got done with gloves which had been used in a
world record attempt. I think that’s cool. So, I benefit and I’d be
overjoyed to know that I’d helped somebody else in the process.
Oh boy; how I just love world