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Danecdotes: World records make for an interesting world

Rick Aulie celebrates with his son, Isaiah, on the green of the fourth hole Thursday, July 26, at Whitebirch Golf Course in Breezy Point after unofficially breaking the world record for the fastest hole of golf by an individual with a time of 1:39.20. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Pine River-Backus Elementary School Principal Rick Aulie recently made his way into the record books.

One week ago, he finished the par-5 fourth hole at Whitebirch Golf Course in 1 minute, 39.20 seconds to best the Guinness World Record for the fastest hole of golf by 11 seconds.

That is an interesting accomplishment. I would never have thought to run between my shots out on the golf course. I still don't think I would ever do it, but it is very entertaining to watch Aulie achieve this record and my hat is off to him.

That said, his record reminded me of all the time I spent looking at the Guinness Book of World Records at school and how odd I found most of those records.

I feel like those weird records gave me weird ideas. When I was in third or fourth grade, I would constantly get those novelty erasers that were shaped like a dog, cartoon character or something like that, and they would tear through the paper you were using long before they actually erased anything.

Since they were basically useless, I decided to chop them into small bits with my safety scissors and create the world's largest pile of chopped erasers.

By the end of the school year, I had a decent-sized bag full of eraser pieces, but the school year ended and I gave up on my dream of making it into the record books. To be fair, I never looked into what the record is - maybe I did break that record - or even if that is a record that is tracked. I would be willing to bet it is not.

In any event, even if I did break that record, that is a silly record to have.

Aulie's record is a fun one - one to tell your grandchildren and drinking buddies about for years to come - but many records in the book of records don't seem fun, and they range from pointless to downright idiotic.

I can chalk my goofy eraser goal up to my 10-year-old brain committing to one of its weird ideas, but for a lot of the people in the Guinness Book of Records, I really would like to know what was going through their adult minds to make them want to do the things they do.

There was recently a story about a man who cut the fingernails on his left hand for the first time since he was 14 years old. He is 82. Those five fingernails combined to be about 30 feet long.

A London man is in the book for cutting eight apples in half with a chainsaw within one minute - while holding those apples in his mouth.

Another man from the United Kingdom holds a record by holding 400 straws in his mouth for 10 seconds without using his hands.

An American man broke 46 wooden toilet seats in one minute with his head.

For records like the three I just mentioned, my main question is, "Why bother?" Is the modicum of fame you are gaining really worth the risk? I would argue it is not.

I would never judge these men and women, because we all have our quirks. I'm sure plenty of you would have told me 20 years ago that collecting eraser bits was dumb, and you would have been right.

But saying you have a world record has to be a pretty cool feeling. Just make sure it makes for a good story.

Dan Determan

Staff Writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper.