The hottest June on record! Not the hottest in the past few years, or the hottest since I was working in the watermelon fields. No. June of 2019 was the hottest June since they started keeping records back in the 1800s.
That would be enough for one year, but in the past nine months we have endured the record-breaking Hurricane Michael and the record-breaking 20 inches of rain in December. I am just about ready for some ordinary and normal weather around here.
Americans have a fascination with records. As I child I looked forward to the latest edition of the Guinness Book of World Records each Christmas. Even today, I follow with interest those announcements about some record-breaking fact or achievement.
Sultan Kosen from Turkey was officially recognized by Guinness as the tallest living man in the world at eight feet and three inches. That is more than two feet taller than my current height. Kosen is a full six feet taller than Khagendra Thapa Magar, who holds the record for the shortest living man.
Some people achieve notoriety by doing some of the oddest things. For example, Silvio Sabba of Italy holds the world record for stacking the most toilet paper in a tower in 30 seconds. One caveat is that you can only touch one roll at a time. His record is an incredible 28 rolls. For that singular feat, he can say that he is the best in the world, at least at something.
Did you know that the record for stuffing the most straws in your mouth and holding them without using your hands is 459? Or that the fastest record for assembling a Mr. Potato Head is 6.62 seconds.
The largest bubblegum bubble ever blown and documented by Guinness is 20 inches. By the way, you are not allowed to use your hands.
Some of the records are truly iconic and recognize human feats that will always be remembered. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin will always be the first men to walk on the moon. Roger Bannister will always be remembered as the man who first ran a mile in under four minutes, though many have surpassed his feat in the years since.
Peggy Whitson may not be as famous as Neil Armstrong, but she holds an amazing number of records for her own achievements in the space program. Whitson has spent a total of 665 days in space. She has taken 10 spacewalks for a total of 60 hours and 21 minutes, both records for a woman.
She was the first female commander of the International Space Station and at the age of 56 became the oldest woman astronaut to fly in space. These are certainly records worth remembering.
There are approximately 40,000 current records in the Guinness World Record database. Roughly 4,000 are published in the annual book. Perhaps there are some local citizens with a chance to achieve fame as a world record holder.
For instance, surely Glenn Heard with all of his experience growing carrots could surpass the world record for the longest carrot at just over 20 feet. If not the longest, then perhaps grow the heaviest which would only have to weigh in at 23 pounds to catapult him into worldwide fame.
Perhaps Donalsonville’s American Peanut Growers Group could help wrestle documented records related to peanuts back to our local area. The most peanut butter eaten in one minute is just over 13 ounces or just under a pound. The farthest distance ever documented in throwing a peanut is 124 feet and four inches.
Cloverleaf Gin could sponsor an attempt to break the record for the tallest cotton plant ever documented which was 32 feet high. That would make it taller than even the largest cotton pickers.
Temple University smashed the record for making the most peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in one hour. Students, faculty and volunteers came together in an organized effort to make and package PB&J sandwiches for local food banks. Hundreds participated in the event held at the university’s gym.
Using 4,500 pounds of peanut butter, 3,800 pounds of jelly and 4,500 loaves of bread, the group established a new world record by making 49,100 sandwiches in one hour. Watch the You Tube video about this amazing event. Perhaps some good ideas for the Harvest Festival?
Records are made to be broken, but as we get a small break from the sweltering heat this week we can only hope that the new heat records hold for a long, long time. In the meantime, I think I will just sit back in what little shade is left after Hurricane Michael and enjoy a good PB&J sandwich.
Dan Ponder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org