You can believe it or not!

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Editor's Note: Buster MacGuire is taking some time off to recover from a recent illness.

Please enjoy one of his favorite columns from the past:

It's on record, folks, that the world's biggest ball of twine is about 40 feet in diameter with a length of 1,325 miles. It weighs almost 9 tons and is located in Cawker City, Kan. Frank Stoeber started this ball of twine on his farm in 1953. He gave the ball to Cawker City in 1961 before his death in 1974.

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Each year the Cawker City Community Club, the official owner/caretaker of the Ball of Twine, holds a twine-a-thon in conjunction with the annual Cawker City picnic and parade, so the ball never stops growing.

Stoeber really had a lot to do.

The Guinnesses thought so highly of the feat they entered it in their world-record book.

Mercy me.

Another chap named Rick Smith threw a standard playing card 216 feet, 4 inches at Cleveland State Convocation Center, Cleveland, Ohio, on March 21, 2002 – another world record that was likewise recorded by Guinness.


Some cat, somewhere, yo-yoed sans cease for several days.

Still another humanoid type rocked in a rocking chair – kept that thing in motion – for more than 2 1/2 weeks.

A swinger, this one a female if memory serves me correctly, swang in a swing for several days.

Then there's the nut that baked a 907 foot chocolate chip cookie in 1992.

These unmatched records, and many more like them, qualify those establishing them as All-World Nitwits.

All this is not to say Guinness dwells in a vacuum that leaves important considerations out on a limb.

Because they do indeed record some records that are of substance and interest.

Old Ripley probably would spin in his grave if he knew about all those inane performances recorded by Guinness, those that excel all previously established showings in certain nonsensical areas.

That's because Ripley's "Believe It or Not" almost invariably dealt in bizarre and unusual events, but his offerings dealt with people and things that challenged the imagination.

Now, we also have the world almanac that is, among other things, a listing of established records and facts, all of which are updated from year to year.

It has often been said that records are made only to be broken at some later date, and the almanac does a good job of keeping the public informed about them.

We at the Advocate also strive to keep the public's inquiring minds updated on all of the important events and records to date, and much like Ripley and Guinness, challenge our readership to greater knowledge.

Buster MacGuire is copy editor and columnist for the Greenville Advocate.

He may be reached by calling 334.382.3111