This list is about the people who put the same kind of time, dedication and money into absolutely pointless acts of worthlessness.
You've all seen those guys, the ones who look like a cross between a human and a medieval weapon. Their faces are completely covered with rings, studs and spikes, setting off every store alarm in the mall and causing nearby children to run away in fear.
Those guys have nothing on Kam Ma. Back in 2006, Ma figured he just wasn't famous or metallic enough for his tastes, and decided to kill two birds with one stone. He located a tattoo artist, Charlie Wilson and, on March 4, 2006, the pair set out to break the world record for most piercings in 24 hours. They succeeded, at a staggering 1,055 piercings in just under eight hours.
Ma, apparently not wanting to waste time on ridiculous things like preventing pain, took every one of the piercings without anesthetic, making himself as figuratively metal as he is now literally metal. When the smoke had cleared, Ma found himself with 600 new rings all along his legs and arms. For those of you keeping score, that's significantly fewer rings than there were holes put in him. Apparently, in addition to the decorating job, Wilson decided to put another 455 holes in Ma's body just for the hell of it.
Not surprisingly, this record has not yet been successfully challenged by anybody, as all the viable candidates are probably locked up in padded cells somewhere. Ma achieved and maintained his goal of being a world-record holder, as well as the auxiliary goals of looking like an incomplete cyborg and never being able to wear a jacket again.
If you've ever sunk way too much time into completing a video game, or grinding for a particular item in World of Warcraft, you can at least feel better about yourself (or worse, depending on your level of addiction) for not being this guy. Billy Mitchell, known for being the "King of Kong," is also the first person to ever get the highest possible score in Pac-Man, at 3,333,360 points, handily beating our score of "fuck these fucking ghosts, I quit."
"Work is more fun than this."
Mitchell set the record on July 3, 1999, after coming out of a 14-year retirement so he could focus on things like college and girls. In order to get this perfect score, he had to eat every pellet, fruit and blue ghost on the screen for every level. All two-hundred fifty-six of them.
Mitchell described the task as "tremendously monotonous," which sounds about right to us, since after you complete level 20, you're playing the exact same level over 200 times in a row. Four hours into his attempt, which is about three hours after we would have broken down crying and screaming for mercy, he "realized I still had 100 boards to go," at which point his soul probably curled up and died, Pac-Man-style.
It may have even made that sound.
So why did Mitchell come out of retirement and spend hundreds of torturous, monotonous hours chasing this obscure milestone? Was there a monetary reward, or perhaps the promise of fame outside of the realm of video game nerds? No, it was for America. A group of Canadians started going for the perfect score in 1998, and the apparently all-American Mitchell would have none of it. He quickly took to the arcade in order to "put [the Canadians] in their place." A place where they... don't spend as much time playing Pac-Man? Go visit them there, Billy.
This man is Rafael Antonio Lozano, Jr., although he prefers to go by his new name "Winter." We prefer to call him "Clinically Insane," because for the past 12 years, C.I. Winter has been absorbed in a quest of epic and stupid proportions: to have a coffee from every single Starbucks on Earth.
Good luck, brother.
Seriously, do you realize how many Starbucks there are? Have you even been to all of the ones in your city?
Well according to his his website, Winter has visited 8,540 stores in the U.S. and Canada with only 23 to go, while he's had drinks at 1,406 stores in other countries. He's traveled all over the world, and as of last year he had spent over $100,000 on his quest. Oh, and he refers to it as "Starbucking," which is one of those cases where it seems wholly unnecessary to invent a verb to describe an activity no one else is doing but you.
He says his quest is being made more difficult by the fact that, due to the global recession, Starbucks has started closing many of their stores. He now considers himself to be in a "race against time," because apparently visiting 12,000 coffee shops around the world just isn't enough for this go-getter.
Marva Drew was a good mother, and anyone who said anything to the contrary could just go to hell. So when her young son came home from school and said that his teacher told the class that it was impossible to count to a million, she took action. After all, it was 1968. First you get kids thinking they can't count ridiculously high for no reason, then you have kids getting ridiculously high for no reason, then you have the collapse of Western Society.
Well, Marva Drew wasn't going to stand for it. She was going to show the world that you COULD count from one to one million. But Guinness World Records usually likes some sort of proof, and "I promise I thought them all in my head" wasn't going to fly with those eggheads. So, like anyone else in the 1960s on a mission, Marva sat down at her typewriter and began typing. She typed for the next SIX YEARS. The result was almost 2,500 pages full of numbers.
And because there wasn't anything important happening in the 1970s--nothing like a Presidential impeachment or war or gas shortages or anything urgent like that--newspapers actually started following her progress. Drew completed her book and was almost a world record holder. She just missed the itty bitty detail of having a witness to her six years of riveting typing.
Though if somebody had sat down to watch every minute of that, we're thinking they should probably get the recognition instead.