Thursday, April 26, 2012


Why You Can’t Be The Prettiest Girl in the World

The other day I was surfing the Guinness World Records website at work. (Trust me, I was doing actual work.) Scrolling through it, I stumbled across an odd but useful list for aspiring record-breakers: A catalogue of feats for which Guinness will not award records. After all, just because they recognize "Hairiest Teenager" and "Heaviest Weight Lifted by Nipples" doesn't mean they don't have standards. A few items from the list of records Guinness says you'll never see, organized by category:


– Records based on the killing or harming of animals.

– We do not endorse speed records for travelling over large distances on horseback, because of concerns over the welfare of the animals involved.

– Endurance records, such as 'longest time living with snakes'.


– We do not accept any claims for beauty as it is not objectively measurable.

– Cancer survival – due to the varying types of cancer and degrees of severity they are found at, it is not possible to compare fairly between each individual case.

– We do not accept claims for elbow licking.

– Due to the medical condition elephantiasis, we do not monitor a category for largest head.

– We no longer accept public claims for hunger strikes or fasting.

– Massage marathons – we cannot visually judge style and form as to be correctly done for a long time.


– With all handwriting related claims, we cannot possibly standardise levels of legibility, neatness etc, therefore we cannot accept claims for smallest handwriting.

– We do not accept claims for silent reading.


– We accept cramming records only for small iconic vehicles such as the VW Beetle and the Mini.

Lisa Pollak is a producer at This American Life. In her previous life as a newspaper reporter, she wrote about a 51-year-old Virginia woman chasing the record for long-distance tap dancing, a victorious effort that ended after nine hours (20 miles) of heel-toe, skips, and shuffles.  

64 Comments / Post A Comment

sorry your heinous

I am... the world's silentest reader.


Totally convinced me. Wow.@k


Let's judge the most beautiful person based on how long a baby stares at them.


@Megano! The winner would be my husband. I swear, I think babies are trying to scan him, they stare so intently.

Or it's the facial hair.


@Megano! I fear the winner would be a jangly set of housekeys.


@angermonkey Facial hair! Babies and toddlers ADORE my husband and will stare at him for days. He has messy curly-ish hair and a mustache and beard.


@t-square Oh man if his hair is really curly and poofy and my dog would flip the fuck out.


This is not actually the reason I can't be the most beautiful girl in the world.

Em Dubs

I have a friend who swears they pooped the longest unbroken poop ever and that it should've been submitted to Guinness.

Somehow this friend also happens to be in a nice and stable loving relationship. Record breaking poops are the key to everlasting love apparently.


Where can I find this story about the woman who tap-danced for 20 miles?


s'plain me the elbow licking exclusion?


@noReally I always accept claims for elbow licking.


@noReally Elbow licking stand-off for the unofficial record? Pretty sure I could do it.


@noReally I seem to remember this from a previous post - that a LOT of people can lick their elbows and it's not really that special. It's kind of like when I was a kid auditioning for community theater musical productions and every kid sang, "Tomorrow" from Annie for their audition song until it was banned. It's kind of like that...

fondue with cheddar

@queensissy How is that even possible? Do you have to have really short arms? Or a long neck?

I'm pretty sure one of the cashiers at my local Asian diner chain restaurant could probably do it. She's got an honest-to-goodness Madonna with the Long Neck neck.


@jen325 That Baby Jesus is, like, 7 years old -- and there is so much other weird stuff going on in that painting I can't even continue.

fondue with cheddar

@gtrachel Yeah. A lot of Madonna and child paintings are full of weirdness, but the weirdest have babies that look like creepy tiny adults.


How about the most beautiful girl in the room? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmDTSQtK20c


@discocammata Just don't quit your day job.


@discocammata the most beautiful girl I have ever seen with a kebab


@discocammata She could be a part-time model!


@BadWolf Or a hiiiigh class prostitute.


@Lucienne or an air hostess in the 60's!

Reginal T. Squirge

What about private claims for fasting?


I volunteer to undergo the world's longest massage.


@Too Much Internet I don't know, after awhile wouldn't it start to get ... bruising? Or chafing? Or I'd freak out and be like "OMG STOP TOUCHING ME NO HUMAN CONTACT EVER EVER AGAIN MUST BE A MONK NOW" ... but then I have problems with touchyness, so. I am perfectly happy with the standard length of massages. I'm willing to be a judge of "best massage ever" though! Because I'm a giver.


It took me way, way too long to realize they meant licking your OWN elbow.

Not It

Okay, how many of you checked to make sure that you can't lick your elbow?


@Not It I can touch my tongue to my nose. But then if I think about it too much it's too gross to even show someone because of the stuff in and around nostrils.


@Not It I just really hurt my neck. I do this about once a year.

Porn Peddler

@Not It I can lick my elbow.


@sox What kind of stuff do you keep around your nostrils, exactly?


@Third Wave Housewife Me too! My tongue is very long.


I mean, just germs in general I guess? But with these seasonal allergies, it seems like there is an awful lot of snot all over my poor little nosey.


@l'esprit de l'escalier Every time it comes up, I have to check if I suddenly have the ability to lick my elbow.

Quinn A@twitter

@Third Wave Housewife Me too! But only the right one. I don't know why.


@Third Wave Housewife @cuminafterall @Quinn A@twitter Me too!


@Quinn A@twitter I only ever try the left one!

There was some children's book I read once about how if you kiss your elbow, you change sex. It consisted of a grandfather who was telling his grandson about growing up as a little girl. I never reallllly believed it, but... maybe?


@SarahP Marvin Redpost! And there was also the one where he thought he was the long-lost son of a king because they both O-double-negative blood. Yay for Louis Sachar!


@Quinn A@twitter I think in order to lick your elbow you have to be double jointed in your shoulder. I mainly say this because I have a friend who can look his elbow, and it pretty much looks like he pushes his shoulder backwards out of its socket.


@Third Wave Housewife Ah but can you touch both your elbows behind your back?

(I can't lick my elbow even with the seeming brainstorm of bracing myself on my desk. Productive day.)


@SarahP Would it work now as an adult? I want to see what it's like to be an Entitled White Man.

Prostitute Robot From The Future

@Not It I googled it. So apparently it IS possible. I just can't.

*looks wistfully at own elbow

So close, yet so far away.


@sox and @everyoneelsewhocandothisalso I can too! I think because my tongue is super long, and the distance between my nostrils and upper lip is short.

mc coolfriend

@Not It But has anyone ever tried coming around at the elbow from the TOP of your arm? I feel like no one has and this could revolutionize the um, revolutionary world of elbow licking. I just did and I got a good inch closer on every attempt and I swear from the damp mark that I made contact with the periphery of what would totally be the elbow in an anatomy chart. (Also, I need to get a job. Or get back on drugs. Or you know, something else that takes time and is putting this much of myself into anything that isn't this).


@Not It I didn't, but only because I already know that I can't.


One can only imagine the horrors of the submissions that lead them put in that cramming caveat.


@Loz: Last night, I got 17 Milano cookies into my mouth at once. That seems like it ought to get some sort of official recognition.


@Loz Most of them were probably of drunk college kids. At least, those are the yrs which I remember being the most crowded, car-wise, and also the time when I would have thought it was a good idea to document it for posterity.


That actually made me have hard-to-shake visions of slowly suffocating under a pile of other drunk people, unable to move or cry out, ignored by the morons on top of me. Added it to the list of things I must impress upon my son are highly dangerous and must never be attempted.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Does anyone know why "You can't lick your elbow" was discovered in the first place? Because, like, who was the first person to just decide out of the blue that they needed to lick their elbow, and what really drippy food did they eat that got all over their elbow?


@Rookie And why did they need to make absolutely sure that no one else could either?


@Rookie I remember some (short?) story about a girl who was told by somebody (obviously I remember this story sooo well!) that if you can lick your elbow, you turn into a boy? (someone please remember this also, so I don't look insane)

Anyway, she tries & tried, but she can't do it. The-End.


I can totally lick my elbow, and was SO MAD that I can't win a Guinness World Record for it that I created an account just to say so. Hi!


@rockproblems What! I demand pictures.

Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook

How I know I'm not grown up enough to function in the adult world: I giggled at "cramming records."

Lily Rowan

@Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook Ditto.


I firmly believe that I have the world's nicest ankles. this makes me sad to know I will never be famous for them.


Become a sock model?


I might have the worlds most terrible ankles. But I'm comforted to know no one could possibly declare them so (except myself). Well, not that comforted i guess.


@Beericle OMG I SHOULD


Lisa Pollak from TAL? This is cool, plus the girl from Marketplace last week? Radio girls are the funnest.


@Shmarmony Have you seen this? http://babesofnpr.tumblr.com/

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