Sunday, 25 September 2011

We're going to need a bigger...

Ever since I was a young lad I've been obsessed by the trivial and unimportant, this has led to my acknowledged status as a masterful conversational partner. However, because I'm so meta it hurts sometimes, I'm also obsessed with other peoples obsessions with the trivial and unimportant. This takes us to the fabled city of Alexandria... Indiana where local eccentric and nineties sitcom neighbour Michael Carmichael has spent the last 34 years of his life creating the worlds largest ball of paint. That baseball in his hand is what started the entire affair. One day he decided to paint a baseball, let's not over-analyse that urge. Anyway over the years this "project" has grown and grown. Anyone can turn up and add a layer of paint. You can check out the website here. Now I feel it's important to note three things about that link. Firstly that website was clearly designed at least 6 years ago, seriously the other guys in the unusually large objects game are laughing at you. Secondly the paintball is a road-side attraction. Thirdly Mike is married... like really, when did he bring up the giant paintball in garage?
Anyway, I love shit like this it is one day my dream to drive across America and visit as many of the world's largest item's as I can. Why America because it's always America, Egypt had it's pyramids, the Greeks had the Parthenon and America has roadside crap. So without further ado here is my top 5 ridiculously large roadside attractions.
The Worlds Largest Ball of Twine
This one is awesome yet bizarre, you see if you should wish to see the worlds largest ball of twine you'd think that options would be limited. Oh you simple-minded fool. Don't worry I'm here to be your guide to the world of massive balls. For those of you who like your obsession combined with mind-numbing despair there is the world's largest sisal twine ball created by a single person. Located in Darwin, Missouri and the work of Francis A Johnson back in 1950 it is 12 foot in diameter and took 4 hours a day for 23 years to create. That's a really long time to not ask the question of "Why the fuck am I doing this?". Check out the website here. Now for me this is really the complete giant twine-ball experience. It has it's own museum, giant twine-ball starter kits and the world's largest pair of hand-carved multiple pliers thrown in at no extra charge. Although if you are going to visit I recommend holding off until the second Saturday of August as that's the towns Twine-Ball day. It's not the biggest over-all though for that you need the world's largest ball of twine built by a community. 
That's right Darwin, Missouri you may have had a crazy whack-job back in the 50's but Cawker City, Kansas is all crazy all the time. back in the 50's, which was apparently the golden age of giant balls of twine, Frank Stoeber started a twine ball that now has a 40 foot circumference... In other words you can repeat the word "Why?" over 50 times in the time it takes to circumnavigate. You know what it just occurred to me that both of these twine balls may be incredibly elaborate ways to hide a body. Again this has annual day... but in this one you can actually add more twine yourself, and help bury Stoeber's dark secrets even further.
Now I know that established twine-heads will rip me to shreds if I don't at least mention Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin which has the honour of being the worlds heaviest twine-ball and was made by a man who calls himself JFK thus rendering it the only thing on this list that will have even the slightest connection to someone of value. I've not mentioned the ranson, Missouri twine-ball controversy, and I'll stay away from the way I believe Ripley's Believe It or Not has cheapened the name of the giant twine-ball business.
The World's Largest Rubber-Band Ball
Because nothing says street like a massive ball

That ball is the work off Joel Waul of Lauderhill Florida and I think we can all agree is the coolest thing in Florida... you know except everything in Orlando. I'd love to tell you that Joel has kept it real and stayed street, but no he sold it to Ripley's... buster.

The World's Largest Motorbike

What's the point of owning a motorbike? You may argue that it's the manoeuvrability that such a vehicle offers, you could say it's the feel of the wind in your hair... or you can be honest and say you just want to look cool. The advantages of tank ownership are less open for debate and consist entirely of the smug satisfaction of watching those around you soil themselves in terror. I know what you're thinking, "Eddie is there some vehicle that combines the impracticalities of both these vehicles?" Well look no further. 

The work of "Wild Bill" Gelbke, this monster hails from Chicago, Illinois and of course Gelbke's shattered psyche. Harder to see this one than the others on this list as it actually works and therefore spends most of it's life on tour... that said it's hard to freaking miss. Gelbke is also the holder of the world record for the smallest penis. All joking aside though come the zomb-o-calypse I call dibs on any device that can crush a tank. Althouh I have a real issue with Gelbke's choice of name "Roadog"... It should obviously be call "Thundercock".

The World's Largest Rocking Chair

The Route 66 Rocker is located in Fanning, Missouri... Missouri is also known as the show-me state, I'm guessing that's short for show-me what you've been doing with your time? Speaking as someone who's never been to Missouri and isn't an American I'm really curious as to what the priorities of this State are, seriously this is the first interesting thing I've ever learnt about Missouri. Hold on I'm going to Google Missouri Trivia... right first successful parachute jump, invention of Ice Tea aaannnddd, nope nothing else. Well yeah well done on the big chair front. Well big rocking chair anyway the biggest chair in the world is in Italy. 

I have to point out that nothing I've read about this supplies anything approaching a reason for it's construction. There is only one possible answer to the question of "why?" and it's that Fanning must be locked in some kind of feud with the town of Lipton, Texas. You see Lipton, Texas is home to the Lone-Star Rocker... currently the world's second biggest rocking chair. Come on Missouri what the fuck, do you think Lipton hasn't got enough on it's plate. If you Google Lipton, Texas the town doesn't even make the first page and now it doesn't even come up when you type in world's largest rocking chair. The keen-eyed will have noticed that the sign on the front of the Lonestar Rocker reads "World's Largest Cedar Rocker" that's marketing genius right there although I'm willing to bet I know what Fanning, Missouri started work on the minute that sign was hung. FUCK MISSOURI!
The World's Largest Collection of World's Smallest Versions of World's Largest Things

They should have sent a poet for I have no words

This is an actual thing. Hailing from Lucas, Kansas and the work of Erika Nelson who is the only person on this list I think is an actual genius. This entire concept is mad genius from beginning to end and it shames my obsession with the world's largest objects... Seriously look at this stuff yes that really is a tiny version of the Darwin Twine-Ball. The level of obsession here is frightening it's one thing to make a large ball of something but to actually do just the research here, let alone the construction is astounding.

Erika Nelson I salute you.

"You should never give up on your dreams... but what if they're stupid dreams?" - Stephen Colbert

Eddie <you wouldn't believe how much porn I found researching this>

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