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Home > Culture and Society

WAWIBF... Dedication

4 February 2007

Every now and then a story pops up in the quirkies about a person who is so keen to be recognised for something - *anything* - that they will hit upon an activity no one else wants to do (for the simple reason that it’s insane and utterly futile) and they’ll practise it, and they’ll master it, and by God, they’ll become
the best.

For example, a quick glance at the homepage of Guinness World Records tosses up the following claims to fame: most cockroaches eaten in one minute, heaviest weight lifted by tongue and longest full-body burn (without oxygen). Not only is dedication what you need to achieve this. Presumably you also need desperation borne of a terrifying sense of worthlessness. Really, what kind of self-esteem problems must you have to have to set yourself on fire or eat cockroaches for attention?

Step forward Cai Dongsheng, who this week in Chongqing, China, astonished his neighbours by bending and snapping four six-centimetre nails with his teeth. ‘What the fuck is he doing that for?’ they cried in astonishment. Well, unlike the purists of old, for whom an entry in the Guinness Book of Freaks and Inanity was enough, Dongsheng is doing it to get on TV. A programme called ‘Challenge’. Challenged, more like.

Dongsheng loves ‘Challenge’ and when he saw someone snapping a thin nail with his teeth on the show, he thought, ‘I could do that’. Unfortunately, his family were not supportive. ‘Don’t bite your nails,’ they chastised. ‘You mad old fruit.’ But Dongsheng was not to be discouraged. Like some horrible cocktail of Uri Geller and Steve O, he wanted his 15 minutes so bad that he trained himself in private. Now he’s sent a tape of his nail-biting feat to the TV producers.

His next ambition is to bite a reinforced steel bar in half.

Cai Dongsheng is 41.



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