$69 hot dog one for the record books

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By John Pawlak

I really don’t even know where to begin with this one.  I was reading one of those side stories off the home page of a news site about a hot dog.  Yeah, a hot dog, but not the kind that you or I might eat. It was a $69 hot dog.  Grilled in white truffle oil and topped with duck foie gras, tourists can enjoy this overpriced hot dog while being laughed at by New York residents who find the whole idea a bit hard to digest.
The gist of the story was that this wacky wiener is now in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most expensive hot dog ever. Knowing that there are people out there willing to fork over $69 for a foie gras grease special of the week somehow makes me feel superior in a comforting way. But seriously, you can’t even enjoy a good chili on a thing like that.
The story went on to present a comedic (if not scary) list of record holders in the Guinness Book and it got me wondering; who are these people?  Who takes personal pride in being known for having the longest fingernails (29 feet, 8 inches total) or the longest ear hair (7.12 inches)?  It’s mildly entertaining to know that someone can squirt milk out of their eyeballs or floss their nose with a strand of spaghetti, but do we really need a panel of judges to verify it?  OK, yeah, you can throw a cow pie farther than anyone ever recorded.  But how are you with yak droppings?
Perhaps it’s the sheer lunacy of it all that mesmerizes us as we watch some guy dangle 55 pound of potatoes attached to a sword he just swallowed. Or watching someone balance a 352-pound minicar on his head.  Frankly, I was absolutely astounded to find out that they make cars that only weigh 352 pounds. Um, maybe I’m missing the whole point about why this is exciting?
I soon found myself surfing through a never-ending list of incredible feats of stupidity, all neatly organized and documented by certified technicians at Guinness. Can you imagine the sheer discipline required to train for the “Most cockroaches eaten in a minute” record?
Some of these stories do get you thinking. A woman set a record for “longest time breath held voluntarily,” an astounding 18 minutes 32.6 seconds. What I found particularly amazing is that the record holders thought it important to emphasize the adjective “voluntarily.” I do suppose people have held it longer against their wishes.
Then there’s a guy who holds the record for the largest kidney stone, nearly 22 ounces. I think he also set the record for loudest scream when he passed it.
Speaking of loudest, Guinness states that the record for the loudest burp is 107.1 decibels.  
That’s equivalent to a twin-engine MD-80 at takeoff.  Kind of makes a parent proud to know their kid is accomplishing something at college.
It seems that no record is too stupid to make, or break.  At Warwick University, 451 students dressed up as Smurfs, blue skin and all. That record was broken by 1,253 blue-skinned, blue-shirt, white hat adorned proud citizens of Castleblayney, Ireland. That’s enough Smurfs, isn’t it? The students of Swansea University in Wales disagreed and came out in force, 2,510 Smurfs strong! The real question is: Was there only one female Smurf in the crowd?
A record 13,000 Santa Clauses in Derry City, Northern Ireland. A record of being dragged 1,551 feet by a horse (while on fire).  
The most eggs smashed with one’s face.  A crowd of 13,597 people dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
The most rattlesnakes hanging out of someone’s mouth.  A girl who balanced 15 books on her head while solving the Rubiks cube and reciting pi out 100 places.
Just when it was finally safe to go back in the water, the dry land is filled with nutcases. I don’t really want to complain, but come to think of it, is there a record for complaining that I can try to beat?