Friday, 31 August 2007

A Fundamental Question


One magical Olympic night in Atlanta, a man going by the name of Michael Johnson hurtled round the bend and into the straight and crossed the line in a world record time of 19.32 seconds. Behind him, in the crowd, the camera flashes went off like fireworks, the people wishing to capture the memorable moment (who knows how their photos actually turned out!)and take it home to show their grandchildren, no doubt. Now the great man himself joins Big Colin Jackson and blonde Sue Barker every summer to sit and natter about athletics. Just imagine how the title of "200m World Record Holder" must have looked on his CV when he posted it off to the BBC.

Why do I mention all this? Well, the other day Spanish TV screened its own Record Breakers-style programme, in which some weightlifter trying to hurl a human being as far as he could in an attempt to break his own record, which he did in the end. No, it wasn't dwarf throwing; the sport has gone politically correct and they just chuck a 10-stone weakling instead. This guy was then followed by a woman attempting to break the world record for putting the most objects in glasses with her toes in the space of a minute whilst standing on her hands (i didn't stick around for that one). Unfortunately, the man who currently holds the world record for clipping the most pegs on his face couldn't make it.

Now take Michael Johnson's record, an outstanding achievement of which any athlete can be proud and one worth recording or having a crack at. But as for these other records, well I've one small question: why? They're not even a half-decent party trick (I met a guy once who could pick up a pint of beer and sink it in one without using his hands - that was impressive, my friends!). Did anyone know such a record exists? Do they even care to break it, and if they do, would they own up to it afterwards? Michael Johnson must feel pretty insulted to have performed a truly mind-blowing physical feat, only to be placed in the same pages as the guy with the longest fingernails in the world!

Anyways, I'm gonna hang out some washing while the sun's still out. Ah shit, has anyone seen my pegs?

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