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.
Wall Street Journal:
Shaking On It in Times Square
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Most eggs shelled in one minute: 4
This is the story behind my world record for the Most eggs shelled in one minute.
I’m a desperate man; very desperate. So desperate
that I will dodge my responsibilities to try and claim another world
record. Attending meetings, paying accounts and buying groceries can
all wait. That’s right – I’d even make my girlfriend come second to
world records if I could find one.
But since I can’t find a girlfriend – something
which puzzles me, there really isn’t anything standing in my way of
gaining world record after world record. So my life quite literally
centres on every world record I can claim. Big ones, small ones and any
other description you wish to attach to a world record; I want it. And
I’d like it now!
This, friends, means I am sufficiently insane to
call a family living in my neighbourhood and beg to play with boiled
eggs in their garden. While I was at it, I decided to suggest a few
other world record attempts at the same time. To me, there’s nothing
wrong in doing so, and I set out to make it a reality. When I explained
that foremost in my mind was the desire to destroy a tray of beautiful
hens’ eggs under the watchful eye of the homeowner, to my surprise, he
welcomed me. Hearing it was for a world record attempt even made the
man excited. That, in turn, got me wiggling my buttocks from
excitation. Now that’s what I call a successful telephone conversation
Within weeks, having practised, I arrived at the
house with my assistant. The family were happy to see me, and I was
really pleased they’d taken such a positive interest in what was so
important to me. First, I pulled a tray of eggs from my bag and the
lady of the house boiled them. But this was no ordinary boiling
exercise. Oh no. We laid out the eggs, checked for cracks in the
shells, then found a pot which was most suitable. The container
couldn’t crack the eggs if they bounced while boiling, and we needed
enough area to shift each egg around the pot as needed during the
process. The correct stove top element was chosen for its heating
speed, size and proximity to the kitchen bench where a smaller bowl of
room temperature water was placed. The egg-boiling operation went on
for half an hour, and included a number of disasters. Some eggs were
unusable, and others looked insufficient when they’d cooled down.
Between the parents, their children, the one
visitor, my assistants and I, a range of eggs was chosen. Never in my
life have I been so fussy about what egg I decide to handle. Right
then, though, it was all-important. I danced around the household
members as they helped prepare the eggs. This could have been annoying,
I will admit, but it was worth the effort – there was a world record at
stake. As often happens to me when I get overly excited about an
imminent world record attempt, I became hyperactive, started speaking
incredibly fast, and passing out instructions liberally. The planet
ought to stop in its tracks, as far as I was concerned, because I was
about to make a world record attempt. And if I wasn’t able to get the
globe to halt its progress just for me, then I’d get this family to.
That’s just what happened, now that the most prized eggs had been
When the women in the house discussed the
possibility of leaning out of a window to watch my antics in the front
garden, I commented that I’d like them to. When the husband suggested
that a lady living close by might want to see the action, I hurried him
along. When my assistant asked where the table would be placed, I threw
out my arm and expected the table to be there when I next looked. These
things tend to occur when record breakers are functioning at their
peak, so I let them unfold in the spirit of the moment. To me, it’s all
a part of the process, but I dare say I’d rather be me and not those
receiving the hyperactive instructions.
Within minutes, a table was in the front garden,
making a convenient area for all the world record attempts I’d make.
With the plates on the table and everyone having completed the required
admin, I enthusiastically announced that I was ready as ever. The hard
boiled eggs were all placed within easy reach of the shelling plate. I
wiped my hands down the front of my shirt, somewhat of a hallmark of my
behaviour immediately prior to a world record attempt.
The allocated timekeeper counted down. Anyone
seeing what came next would have thought I ought to be locked up in an
institution for life. In my mind, I envisioned all my existence – my
life from birth up until that minute – being focused down a venturi of
concentration towards the shells on those eggs. By the time one minute
had elapsed, I wanted the egg whites containing their yolks in one
cluster, and the shells anywhere else. This had become the only goal of
any worth to me at that moment.
As I heard
the word “Go!” my hands both rushed forward to hold an egg and hit it
to lift a section of shell. My fingers picked, picked again and then
gripped a small bit which flicked off. I knew at that point already
that my attempt was pointless. Letting the slimy partially shelled egg
roll out of my hand and across the table, I called for everyone present
to cancel what they were doing for the admin process. I sighed. That
was looking more of a challenge than I’d wanted. With a nod, I
instructed the timekeeper to repeat his duty, which he did obligingly.
I had to perform better, and I was very aware of it. The second attempt
wasn’t much better than the first. What worried me was I was using up
the best selection of eggs but getting no results.
Concerned that a third disappointing attempt
might mean I ran out of eggs, I began focusing to the point of causing
myself substantial unnecessary tension. The others could see it,
because they commented that I was becoming agitated. They were correct,
and their words helped calm me somewhat. Not by much, though. I was
simply too intensely involved mentally. Those lovely, but vulnerable
eggs had only a few more moments to exist on this planet and I’d
destroy them forever. It was so important to me that I did the best
possible job, and my hands were so ready they were twitching with
Through this mental intensity, I was able to
steal a thought about how I must appear to those around me: who on
earth would devote this much energy and preparation to the
straightforward task of shelling eggs? Only A Galpin would! I guess
that’s what separates me from many others; I am too different to be
anything but a full-time record breaker. Those I ask all agree. So it
must be true.
Nothing could have been more real at that very
moment than my body being aggressively focused on attacking some
innocent eggs. All was quiet in the garden, apart from the occasional
mutterings of those waiting for my next instruction. It was a case of
the calm before the action, because within seconds, the word ferocity
would be a good description of my behaviour.
I nodded to the timekeeper and the third
countdown began. Upon the start signal, those delicate little eggs
experienced their worst possible assault ever. Ten fingers, ten nails
and two thumbs ripped at each, peeling off section after section of
shell. They stood no chance whatsoever. By the time 60 seconds had
passed, those little eggs had been dealt to with a vengeance that is
surely unknown in the land of poultry. Bits of shell were lying on the
plates, on the table, and there was slime adhering shell to my hands
all the way up to my wrists. It felt good. I felt like a mighty
conqueror; an authenticated egg-annihilator. What satisfaction it
brought. In my state of bliss, there really wasn’t anything to do but
stand back and smile at the witnesses. Hearing giggling from the
window, I turned, and seeing the ladies, burst into rapid commentary
about the experience.
It was a great self-made moment in my life, and
one I’d treasure each time I shelled an egg for the rest of my life. Or
was it? There were a number of checks to be done, and I had to control
my agitation. Firstly, I checked that the correct time had been taken:
one minute precisely. Yes, it had. Next, I invited both witnesses to
pore over the 4 shelled eggs and check that each had no eggshell
remaining on it. That’s just what we found. The part-shelled egg didn’t
count, so we moved it aside. Once the team had satisfied themselves and
me that all was in order, I completed the final admin requirements and
then it truly was time to relax. Glory. Have you any idea what an
amazing feeling it is to have completed a world record attempt, and be
savouring the moment? Nothing can beat the emotional reward.
This was a pleasure for me, albeit a slimy
operation with eggshell sticking to me. But it is all part of the fun.
And the best part of the fun will come when someone wants to challenge
this. Can they do it? You think so? If we challenge one another in
person, I’d be in utopia – particularly if the challenger works in
media. I’d be able to demonstrate world record breaking for anyone and
everyone to see, and I’d be living up to my reputation of “loose for
media”. Now that would be special.