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 hair clips on the head in 30 seconds: 33
This is the story behind my Guinness World Record™ for the Most hair clips on the head in 30 seconds.
I’ve never wondered why I was born a boy. But if you’re reading this, you may have that question about me. Recently, I spent a night playing with girls’ hair clips. But the game started weeks earlier, when I began hunting for the snap-type clips young girls often wear. My intention, though, had nothing to do with looking good. All I wanted was another world record certificate.
Instead of buying new ones, I searched the internet for used hair clips being sold cheaply. My attitude is that if I can use old hair clips, I would not be wasting new ones. Some people might call that recycling, or minimising waste. I support them.
In the end, sadly, I could not find second-hand hair clips, so I did buy new ones. But now I’m going to give them away to a young girl whom I’m sure will appreciate and use them. So I’m still achieving my recycling aims, just in reverse! Don’t you think it is good to go about life this way – by reusing items so that the things we have from nature can last longer for people? I believe in this stuff and I encourage you to do the same
I came home and cleared my desk. Admittedly, I have never stuck a hair clip like this in my hair so first, I had to figure out if they go into my hair forwards, backwards or some other way. A minute later, I had the answer. Slowly at first, I began inserting one clip after the next. When I thought I’d mastered the technique, I began to work on my speed. Technique and speed used impressively together require skill, and I needed to develop skill at using snap-type hair clips to have any chance of success.
There were two parts to this exercise: the theory and the practical. In theory, I had worked out that I needed to align all the hair clips parallel and not too far from my forehead, then snatch each with an upward twist of the thumb and sweep it into my hair with the tip of my index finger. I’d need to repeat this process more than once a second, which I thought would be easy. But I hadn’t yet discovered that girls must be used to having their hair pulled and snapped off by cheap hair clips.
With 34 clips carefully spaced and laid out on my office table, I set the timer and raced into action at the start signal. In practical terms, what I had planned wasn’t working out. Being springy, some clips jumped from my fingers, others landed on neatly placed hair clips and still others scattered across the smooth table. I lined up all the clips once again and restarted, but with no further success. So I tried again. And again. And again.
Each attempt was painful because those clips which did stay in my hair had either scraped my skin and hurt me, or were so tangled in hair that I cringed when pulling them out. I must have ripped dozens of hairs out of my head, and so now I’ll sympathise with flinching young girls who’re having trouble pulling out their own hair clips. It is sore.
I wiped the forming tears from my eyes and took a break. Over a cup of steamy tea, I pondered how I could increase my speed while remaining accurate enough not to spear myself in the head repeatedly with metal hair clip tips. Unsure of whether I had got the perfect formula for this, I continued trying. This time, though, I used both hands, thinking I could double my speed. Wrong! At first, doing that slowed me down because I couldn’t coordinate the same actions to my left and to my right.
But I suspected this was the way to go, so I kept practising. Surprisingly quickly, I learned that with concentration, I was able to more-or-less synchronise my left and right hands into sticking the hair clips on my head. All I needed now was speed. I got faster and faster, but not without pain. At least 6 times, I jammed a clip into my head, which stung with such acute pain I had to stop my attempt. But the more the clips hurt me, the more determined I was to be the victor.
Eventually I achieved what I wanted – 33 clips stuck in my hair at once, all within the 30 second timeframe. At last! With a head covered in sore spots, wet eyes from the pain of pulling my own hair out, and hair clips coated in my natural skin oils, I could relax. I was confident this would get the world record, although the judges would decide. I washed and packed away the clips, ready to donate. And what made me feel good was that – depending on the outcome of the world record submission, the young girl I’d gift these hair clips to might be getting really famous ones.
Sure enough, I got this world record. And does that make me feel tremendous! But my success with the hair clips has accidentally caused me a problem. What do you think that is? Well, now that I’ve succeeded, I’ve got to find another world record to challenge myself at. That means I’d better get to work. Now!