austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

The mystery started unfolding; exciting adventure befell

There's a fair chance that you haven't thought of it before, but somewhere in the world is a person who has been feeling dizzy for a longer time than anyone else in the world has. Even if you have thought of it before, you probably went on to thinking about other things. But there's always been a longest-dizzy person in the world and what with rising world populations it looks pretty likely that there'll continue to be one for the indefinite future. The definite future is less sure, which makes the names sound paradoxical, as if they were trying to confuse someone. They are, and by a happy coincidence the person they're attempting to confuse was the longest-dizzy person in the world. It's not actually coincidence, but the result of long-term planning for what seems to be a pretty minor purpose, which implies the existence of a deeper agenda behind whoever's doing it. It's probably best not to think of the whole thing.

If you do persist, though, medical authorities can report the longest-dizzy person in the world was, until recently, a 46-year-old Madagascan known, out of concern for the privacy of his actual name of Mister Z, as Mister D. Mister D attributed his extended stretch of dizziness -- over ten years long, and in some stretches half a mile wide, allowing high-volume transport of goods down river at reasonable speeds -- to careful lifestyle choices, including the eating of at least three oranges every day (four on Sundays, with a tangerine Wednesday afternoons), a nap of at least 90 minutes after lunch, and not taking the routine problems of life too seriously. ``And then one day that I think was in December of 2002, but actually was in October, I woke up and looked around and found that nobody in the world had been dizzy longer than I had. I did a good bit of looking before I found that, you know: I even had to move the breakfront out of the dining room to check.'' Ever since, he and his family have tried to celebrate the setting of his record with an annual dinner, but they always forget until two or three days after the anniversary, and promise to make up for it next year.

This year, though, unless they make it next year, will be different: a week ago Mister D realized in the middle of breakfast that he was not the least bit dizzy. ``It just slipped away in the night. Through breakfast I knew something was off, but figured it the milk. Then when I stood up I wasn't the least disoriented. I was so not disoriented that I had to lay down on the couch all day without moving.'' The dizziness record had slipped away in the night. He and his family were heartbroken, but take consolation in that he's now walked through the hallway dozens of time without falling into the wall. This development particularly delighted the wall.

The International Marathon Dizziness Association, a nonprofit group -- but they'd be glad to change that, for a fee -- has not yet formally announced who the current record-holding marathon dizzy person is, but expectations are that it will be a 28-year-old woman from Tunisia, if one can be found. Mister D's streak, while a record among recent long-length dizziness spells, fell short of the world's record by over 12 minutes. If undocumented or near-mythical dizziness records are allowed there is a report of one dizzy spell in southern India lasting an impressive 366 years, by virtue of the spell going back and taking a few extra loops around the same poor afflicted person. This raised suspicions that the dizziness was itself dizzy, a problem which could be solved only by the renormalization mathematical technique.

Trivia: The ambulance which carried Sultan Mehmed Vahededdin to the HMS Malaya to carry him into exile in 1922 was delayed due to a flat tire, which had to be changed in a dark side-street in the pouring rain. Source: The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire, Alan Palmer.

Currently Reading: Fred Allen's Letters, Fred Allen, Edited by Joe McCarthy. Because there's nothing for when you feel like you just wrote an amazingly unfunny piece like reading the letters of someone vastly funnier than you could ever be.


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