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 garlic cloves eaten in one minute: 4
This is the story behind my Guinness World Record™ for the Most garlic cloves eaten in one minute.
Some people love eating garlic. Some just eat it
for the world record certificate it could bring them. I'm the latter.
When I received the rules, I thought about this
for a few weeks. Did I really want to do this? Of course I did, I told
myself, mindful that is could secure me one more world record. That
made up my mind; I would do it no matter what. At the shop, I stood
inspecting garlic cloves for almost half an hour. Staff kept walking
past me, and I was getting irritated because it seemed they presumed I
was about to steal. I didn't mind how suspicious the shop management
got, I needed the right cloves which I thought would go down my throat
in the most beneficial way. So I kept running my fingers over
individual cloves, holding up stalks to compare the bulk of each clove,
and contemplating how I'd get this right. With a gut feeling that I was
making the correct choice, I bought a bag.
Back at home, my kitchen became a smelly
preparation area: garlic all over. In my efforts to classify the
cloves, I separated them, measured them, weighed them as per the rules,
and then sat thinking. The first test needed to be simple. I lined my
stomach with a swig of milk, and tried to eat a clove as fast as I
could. Pathetic, I rebuked myself. Do it again! My second attempt
wasn't much better. I needed to put in a lot more effort. My practising
had begun in earnest. I found myself going to the shop for an awful lot
of milk and the odd pack of garlic.
The practising was having several uninvited side
effects. Each time I seated myself at my outside table with a selection
of peeled cloves – which looked more like maggots with an eating
disorder, I was ingesting more garlic than I'd normally eat in a
fortnight. This was a drastic change for my body since I was practising
two to four times weekly. At each sitting, I'd drive myself to consume
as much as possible like a glutton of note. More than once I vomited,
and out came clear evidence of insufficiently chewed food. I wondered
how full or blocked my insides would be with similar-sized chunks of
the aromatic plant. It wasn't long and my stomach started hurting.
Next, through no fault of my own, let's just say I felt the need to
offer any visitors a face mask. Actually, I worried about receiving any
visitors and had to discourage some. They couldn't understand my
strange rejection. I was too embarrassed to explain.
On a more social topic, the odd person did
comment that I smelled strongly of garlic: it must have been coming out
through my skin and on my breath. If anything was becoming clear, it
was that I was definitely not going to find a girlfriend any time soon.
To comfort myself, I went home and ate more garlic. Remember, I had a
goal: to succeed at the world record. Becoming a strong-smelling moving
object was unfortunately an unwelcome by-product of my desire to
Eventually, I worked out what to do. And I had a
terribly sore stomach to prove it. I sat down for the final consumptive
event, this time in front of yet another TV camera. Following much fuss
by the others over everything I wasn't concerned about, I was itching
to get stuck into the culinary delights laid before me. The assigned
timekeeper was keen too, and I could see that thumb hovering over the
stopwatch on its string. Three, two, one and I was performing. No, in
fact, I was behaving in the most antisocial, vulgar and inconsiderate
way an eater could. I popped each clove into my mouth with impressive
speed, bit it lightly – if it broke into more than three pieces it was
lucky, cocked my head back and used all my available muscles to force
the mash down my throat. Powerful vapours rushed up the back of my
nose, out my mouth and in my nostrils as I sucked in my next short
breath. Bits of the white matter lodged firmly in my upper throat and
the only way to get them loose was to force more lightly chewed garlic
against them. I was salivating heavily, swallowing what felt like
tablespoons of the stuff. But strangely, I couldn't taste much of the
garlic. Surely that'd be because the chunks barely had time to touch my
All too soon – or not soon enough, depending on
which way you view it, I was told to halt by the timekeeper. I stopped
in mid-chew, letting my jaw drop wide open. I felt a blob of garlic
flesh drop from a tooth as the witnesses leaned forward to inspect the
contents of my mouth: lots of saliva, and a concrete-like mix of garlic
pieces smeared around. Not surprisingly, they made their required look
brief, and the one witness wrinkled their nose up in disgust. Having
satisfied both witnesses that I had a clove in my mouth when told to
stop, they could check the tally and I could finish chewing in peace.
Yes, spitting the rest out would have been my preference, but with the
TV cameraman still watching me through his eyepiece, I figured I ought
to show a little manners. So I washed the remaining mouthful down with
a glass of milk, which, quite coincidentally, tasted of very strong
The TV presenter said a few things about me while
I relaxed. Not too concerned, I just wanted to get out of there and
have a real meal while I dreamed of getting the certificate if my world
record claim were to be accepted.