katamari_soundtrack2

If you know the theme to Katamari Damacy, play it in your head now.

The American Dream has taken some really tough hits in recent times, but thankfully one small shard remains unmarred by financial strain or joblessness: our God-given destiny to gather more of a particular item up into a ball than anyone else.

Our spheres of influence take many forms, but all can provide hope, inspiration and roadside attractions near which Stuckey’s can continue to erect franchises. And recently, like a one-two wrecking ball smash against the edifice of bleakness and despair, we have a massive pair to show off to the world. …Or a pair of massive… There are two balls, people; no way around it. Just get the giggles out of your system and we can move on.

Our first stop is Concord, New Hampshire, new home of the world’s largest meatball at 222.5 pounds. Nonni’s Italian Eatery, owned by Matthew Mitnitski, is responsible for the organic meteorite, with Mitnitski saying he “wanted to bring the meatball back to the East Coast.” As a member of the East Coast, I can tell you boy, did we ever lose a lot of sleep over this one.

It may not sound too difficult creating a 222.5-pound wad of meat, but it’s a consuming process:

1.The meatball must be made in one day and be completely edible, meaning the ratio of ingredients must remain perfect to keep it from crumbling apart.
2.The meatball must at all times be protected from attacking Pastafarian cultists who believe you are creating the eye of a competing demigod (you’re welcome for your next novel idea, Dan Brown).

Upon breaking the record, the meatball was donated to the Friendly Kitchen in Concord, a move that should delight the area’s less fortunate until around the 7th consecutive night they have spaghetti.

Rolling south, Joel Waul of Lauderhill, Florida has recently had his world record ball of rubber bands crane-lifted away by Ripley’s Believe it or Not, who paid an undisclosed sum for the rights to the 6-foot tall, 9,032-pound elastic destroyer of worlds. If you swore you had some rubber bands in your junk drawer but just can’t find them, odds are they migrated to Lauderhill to join, Borg-like, with their brethren.

There comes a point when constructing a titanic ball of elastic bands switches from dangerously crazy to crazily dangerous. That’s apparently somewhere around the 400-pound mark when the ball rolled over Waul’s hand, spraining it. It later crushed his big toe. Suffice to say, most life insurance probably doesn’t cover death at the curves of your self-built rubber boulder.

At all the time and risk involved, why did Waul decide to do it in the first place? He had seen the former world-record ball on an episode of Ripley’s Believe it or Not! and thought “Hey, I can beat that!” At least basic cable is challenging someone.

So what of you? Will you be the next average Joe to roll up a giant glob of prosperity with a tag reading “To My Fellow Americans”? Will people come from far and wide to experience the physical incarnation of time and effort in spherical form, and enjoy a pecan log as they do so?

Better get shaping. China’s already started work on its pandaball.

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