It's M-A-R-X, just in case the Guinness World Record dudes ask for the correct spelling. M-A-R-X, as in John and Jackson, (unofficial) record-holders (with 2,692 other potential history-makers).
For the record, my nose was chocolate-free when history was made, unlike that of my wing man, though we both enjoyed our walk into the record books Tuesday at Augustana College's Ericson Field.
On a sun-kissed evening, 2,694 orderly and patient folks made history (it will take a few weeks for Guinness to recognize the record), setting the standard for eating ice cream at the same time by breaking the previous mark of 2,500 set in De Valladolid, Spain, in 2009. Not only did the folks in Spain have their record kicked to the curb by spirited bunch of Midwesterners on Tuesday, I'm betting they didn't get Whitey's Ice Cream like we did.
"We get Whitey's, and we get to eat at Hy-Vee," said Peorians Dana and Polly Wagner, who made the 90-minute drive with daughter, Kaylee, a freshman-to-be at Augustana.
The record-setting night was part of Augustana College's 150th anniversary celebration. The ice cream used Tuesday was "Viking Pride," a heavenly blend of peanut butter ice cream with fudge swirls and Oreo chunks brought to life by Whitey's, whose owners Jeff and Jon Tunberg are Augustana grads.
"It was a welcomed traffic jam," Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley said of the line of people that snaked out of Ericson Field and up Rock Island's Seventh Avenue on Tuesday. The mayor, a witness for the event's procedural accuracy and number of participants, did score low marks for eating his Whitey's before those of us in the record-breaking trenches were allowed to eat. But it was Whitey's, so we'll give His Honor a pass.
About the record
Strange would be accurate in describing how the mark was set. We — and there were tons of giggles — had to lick, for 60 seconds, the container of ice ice cream of the person next to us. This while being part of a 100-person human chain.
It looked odd, but no one cared. History was being made, and Whitey's was the consolation prize for 60 seconds of slurping out of cup held in another person's hand.
The good news was not one brain freeze was reported, and those gathered played nice for the minute it took to break the record. Actually, those who were part of history, made nice for the 70 minutes it took to organize on the fake grass at Ericson and then complete the task. From children in strollers to seniors, everyone seemed to enjoy the chance to be part of history.
"You're part of a world's record," said Alleman High School senior Nick Janoski. "And there's Whitey's involved."
When it was done, the chocolate-nosed six-year-old who shares my last name, turned and said to Rock Island Police officer Jason Foy.
"Dude, that rocked."
I thought: "Yeah, what chocolate-nose said." Columnist John Marx can be reached at (309) 757-8388 or email@example.com.
Guinness' guidelines for longest ice cream licking chain
— Each participant should have one ice cream in his/her right hand.
— Each person in the human chain should be near enough to the people on either side to be able to lick his/her neighbor's ice cream.
— At a prearranged time and/or signal, all persons in the line should lick their neighbor's ice cream. This activity should be maintained for at least one (1) minute.
— Once a person has taken his/her place in the line/chain, he/she may not move to be counted elsewhere in the line.
— The line/chain must be single file — if there are places where this is not the case only a central line will be counted.
— There must be one "supervisor" watching every 50 people participating in the event.
Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses. 1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000. 1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city. 1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association. 1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College. 1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.