Oh boy. It’s that time of year again, time for the new Guinness World Records.

First, as I never aim to have a record in this book, let me go on the record to say that Sir Hugh Beaver, besides having a fantastic name, has done more to help modern society – he was a managing director of the Guinness Brewery in Ireland, producing that sweaty Irish nectar of the gods – and harm the lives of each and every one of us.

Why? Because he is responsible for more wasted time than can be counted in any record.

In 1954, he commissioned twins Norris and Ross McWhirter to compile the first small book of records, a small codification of the peculiar that then spiraled to become the multinational fact-finding quest of oddities that it is today. That’s actually a record I’d like to see someone try to calculate: the collected amount of time spent by the world population attempting to win a Guinness title. I’d start the speculation at a bazillion hours.

Let’s look at some of the new entrants this year. Joel Waul of Florida (constructed? built? bound? wrapped? avoided mowing the lawn to make?) the largest rubber band ball, weighing 9,032 pounds. Anthony Victor of India has (won? ewww…) the (honor?) of the longest hair from an ear with his gray and white tendrils that loop out of his ears and measure 7.12 inches.

In the if-this-is-your-job-to-measure-just-kill-yourself-now category, Steven Taylor of the United Kingdom has the longest tongue in the world at almost four inches (yeah, but how does he kiss?); countryman Ken Edwards of Derbyshire ate 36 cockroaches in one minute in 2001 (yeah, but how many could you do in 10 minutes?), and yet another UKer, Paul Hunn, recorded the loudest burp on record at 107.1 decibels in 2008.

In the congratulations-you’re-almost-a-serial-killer category, Michele Santelia of Italy typed 67 books, including The Odyssey, Macbeth and the Dead Sea Scrolls (in their original languages) backwards – 3.5 million words – in 2008; Russ Prager (beat? performed? survived?) the longest drumming marathon by logging 120 straight hours from March 9-14 of this year; Saimir Strati of Albania (arranged? picked?) the largest toothpick mosaic measuring 86 square feet and using 1.5 million toothpicks.

But the absolute cream of the crop, for me at least, has to be Lee Redmond of Salt Lake City, who, at 68 years young, has spent the past 30 years of her life growing out her fingernails. In total sum, they measure 28 feet long, with the longest single nail growing out of her left index finger to a length of three feet.

Let’s be clear about this. Ms. Redmond, I mean you no disrespect. But you are completely crazy. Thirty years? What else was going on in your life so that you could live, could function, with a three-foot nail?

Howard Hughes might have walked around in tissue boxes and horded all of his urine, but at least he could pick things up. At least he could grasp one of those bottles of urine and say, “my, how good it feels to hold this, my warmed bottle of my own pee.”

According to CNN (Do they have a reporter assigned to the oddities beat?), a car accident this year broke her nails, leaving “her hands much freer,” Stuart Claxton, a spokesman for Guinness, was quoted saying.

“If something like that had to happen, it had to happen,” Claxton said. “Someone somewhere had decided enough is enough.”

Enough is enough. I’d like to think Ms. Redmond carried on a very productive life for her family, friends, country and world, and I’d love to know she did it in spite of, or perhaps even because of, three-foot-long nails.

But on the off chance, the minute possibility, that her pursuit of this record, and the pursuits of so many people across the globe, distracted or derailed from, say, more worthy pursuits, I’d ask that we all concentrate on perhaps a few records that might matter a bit more.

The fastest-found cure for cancer?

The least amount of coal burned by an industrialized country in a year?

The most books read in a month?

It’s no largest rubber band ball, but then, what is?