The Glory Of Guinness

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Allow me to reflect/obsess about Guinness World Records for a moment. Publicly, I mean. I’ve been obsessing about it pretty much since the idea to try and break the longest webcast one first came to me, back in mid-2014 sometime.

The idea of being a Guinness World Record holder has been a fantasy of mine for pretty much as long as I can remember. Even as a kid, I wanted the “glory” I imagined would come with such a title. I was always keenly aware that I didn’t have any…unique…talents nor qualities which might land me in the annals of history, yet the dream was always still there. Vague, but always present.

Flashforward a few decades, and I got it into my head to write up a mini-bucket list of sorts, in part to help me remember the things I most want to do in the near-ish future, and because really, we should all have little goals and things to look forward to, because we’re all dying from the day we’re born. Or whatever that phrase is. Anyway, I of course added my lifelong dream of being a Guinness World Record holder to the list, and even thought I’d be able to check it off fairly quickly, as there were a few group attempts coming up in Toronto in the near future.

The problem with group attempts is that I have no control over whether or not they are successful. I have to depend on countless others to show up. Also, unless I was the organizer, my name wouldn’t be on the certificate, which would have me more just outside the annals. No, to be bucket list worthy, I would need to either find a record I could beat, or think up a record I could set. Back to the no unique talent nor quality dilemma.

So what can I do, I wondered? I can write. I can blog. I can…podcast. A quick search of the GWR site lead me to my next attainable goal: Longest Uninterrupted Live Webcast! At the time, the record was set at 36 hours, so I talked to my cohost Tim and we decided to shoot for 40 hours. Well, Tim wanted to go 48, but I talked him down to 40. At the time.

While we were planning, I saw on social media that another group was going to aim for 40 hours, so I talked myself back up to Tim’s original 48 suggestion, because screw those guys in advance of their attempt! We were going to obilterate them whether they were successful or not! And thus the months of planning began.

My idea didn’t catch fire as much as I’d hoped – not even close, if I’m being honest – but the event itself was still a lot of fun. And stress. And would set off an MS flare in which I couldn’t feel one side of my body for, like, a year. Still completely worth it, though, and I learned a TON of things from the whole experience. Even as early as the next morning, my mind was already turning with ideas for what we would do next time – either in the inevitable event that someone broke our record, or if we got tired of waiting and decided to break it ourselves. I also had the feeling that, having now gotten a taste of what I was trying to do, several others would be even more on board with the next attempt, because they could now see the possibilities, as well. Together, we would make it bigger and even more amazing than the first one!

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Over a year later, I am still trying to get footage from the even cut and posted online, and I still have to send store codes to all the guests in case they would like a copy of the GWR certificate with their names on it as participants.

But this morning, I woke up to see that our record has been broken – had been years before we made our attempt, even. Some TV show in Germany went just over 150 hours back in 2011, and somehow they’ve now been verified as the record holders.

My store codes are still valid, and in my GWR profile it now says “Broken” under the record name, instead of “Titleholder”, which means I haven’t been erased completely, but DAMN! 150 hours?!

Clearly that was a group effort, and none of them stayed awake and active the whole time. Not sure I believe they followed all of the same regulations as we did, either, like having 2 witnesses on at all times, or having the schedule approved by GWR before making the attempt, or even doing it in a public-accessible space. But official is as official does, and now my name isn’t on the website for the world to see anymore.

I doubt we’ll be taking that record back, after all.

Naturally, by the time I was getting ready for work, I was already over the disappointment and onto more pressing matters, such as could we take it back? Maybe with the whole Smithee.tv channel working together to provide content over the course of a week? Or could we set our own new record, like Most Consecutive Guests on a One Hour Podcast, or something? Or do I focus all the more now on the Most People Wolf Howling record I’m still hoping to beat in the name of Bitten, before their final season comes to a close?

Can my former, short-lived Guinness glory be regained?

It’s Wednesday Hump Day, guys. Let’s see what happens!

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