We all know that the hallmark of excellence is a Guinness World Record. The greatest feats of all time have all been celebrated there, the organization recognizing accomplishments as noteworthy as “having a terrifyingly huge mouth,” “being good at sitting on a toilet,” and “headbutting a shit-ton of walnuts.” It’s only natural, given this sort of prestige, that some people—like Vice reporter Will Tilghman—will go to great lengths to earn a place alongside these modern day titans.
Tilghman documented his quest for Guinness fame in a video showing him preparing for and trying to win three different records in a single day. After narrowing down a list of possible feats he could pull off, Tilghman decides to take a run at becoming the world’s fastest raw onion eater, the best at throwing teabags into mugs, and the human most accomplished at stuffing lit candles in their mouth. He talks to a wise sage along his path—the guy who holds the record for cutting watermelons on his stomach apart—and embarks on an Olympian-style training regimen before the fateful day arrives.
“I’ve never won anything, I’ve never been the best at anything, and there really isn’t anything super special about me,” Tilghman says in the introduction. “Growing up, I felt like I never brought home some big accomplishment or prize to make me seem impressive or to make my parents proud of me.” With his mom and co-workers watching on, Tilghman does his very best to break some records, failing first at teabag throwing then raw onion eating. Tension mounts as he crams his mouth with candles—because one candle didn’t properly light, Tilghman only manages to tie the existing record, not beat it.
And yet, this is enough. Tilghman gets a framed certificate, congratulations from his peers, and his mom saying she’s proud of him. Most important of all, though, is undoubtedly the confidence that Tilghman must feel knowing that, at long last, he is a true equal to the “dog with the world’s longest tail.”
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