On Saturday, July 25 I took part in the Guinness World Record for the maximum amount of people squeezed into a Mini Cooper... Silly? Perhaps, but I gave it a go anyway. Let's call it my attempt to conquer claustrophobia.
It was so cold in Sylvia Park in the morning (for some reason I thought the event would be held inside), and I and 22 other girls plus a cheer leader guy intended to be crammed in the car were freezing out butts off standing barefoot on the concrete in tiny t-shirts and leggings. It may seem like a paradox, but it felt like the icy cold concrete was burning my feet, it was so cold! Those girls who opted to stand on the red carpet next to the Mini, quickly discovered it was damp and therefore even colder on their feet. That wasn't the worst part though.
Anyway, after Mark Ellis gave his brief speech about this World record event, he also mentioned that the previous record was held by a Spanish team. Ironically, I was wearing a cute pink t-shirt with "BARCELONA" written across the front in sparkly letters. My sister-in-law brought me this tee from Spain :). I didn't want to take it off mainly because of the cold and put my All Star cheerleaders black tee over the Spanish one.
We gathered by the Mini and started getting in one by one. The guy cheer leader got in first and Mark instructed him to keep his hands where he (Mark) could see them :). We had a really nice coach, Brush, who came up with the best order for us to clamber into the car, so he chose a reasonably good spot for me since I was one of the smallest girls: between the roof of the car and the second row of girls on the back seat.
Lying (or sort of hanging) there, I thought about how claustrophobic I've been all my life and that I didn't like being stuffed in the car like that at all. My head and neck were turned at a really funny angle and it was hard to breathe... I thought that hopefully when they shut the door noone would close it on my head or my elbow which was also in a rather awkward position. One of the Film crew guys pointed his camera straight at me, but I didn't care, I felt kind of panicky and probably looked like I was playing dead. I started rolling off wherever I was hanging, but a new girl dived in the car and I was pushed back in place. It reminded me of buses in Russia in rush-hour, although in Russia in addition to being squashed on the bus you're also assaulted with BO, opportunistic groping (especially in summer) and garlic or onion breath (especially in winter, when garlic and onions are commonly used as an affordable medicine against colds and flu). Luckily, there was neither BO, groping (the guy seemed kinda camp plus his hands were pinned to the seat), nor garlic breath and honestly, it would've killed me, and not only me, I'm sure :)!
However, I felt I couldn't stand it anymore. I wanted to get out immediately, but then I thought about people on the back seat at the very bottom, they were the ones who were suffering the most with all that dead weight piled on top of them, I don't think my chest would handle that much! So I stayed inside...The guys from the Film crew were poking their cameras in the windows, it was kind of annoying, but they were doing their job while most of us were hyperventilating and generally not feeling that great and wondering why the hell we agreed to do something so daft in the first place. I knew one thing for sure - I would not be taking part in the second or third attempt if this one were to fail.
Luckily, we did it on our first attempt! The doors were shut (I tucked my head and the elbow in as much as I could) , and 24 of us listened as the audience counted to 10 and then started clapping and cheering. The doors on both sides opened and girls (and guy) started literally flying out of the car, gasping for breath. Everyone I spoke to, said they wouldn't do it again, it was too scary being squashed even for a short while. Ever crawled in a narrow tunnel where you can't move freely? I have and didn't enjoy it.
I think most credit should be given to the people (especially the bottom row) on the back seat of the car, they had to put up with so much! They had others feet and other body parts in their faces, they were the most squashed and poked and close to being suffocated...
In four weeks this will be on air. Joanne, a lovely casting director from EyeWorks, will notify us of the time and the channel and I'll post a link to the video later.
Needless to say I caught a cold from the freezing concrete... But I'll get over it :)!