Sitting in the C-Shop on a quiet Sunday morning, fourth-year in the College Mel Grubbe takes a break from her Japanese homework to touch up her make-up. Pulling out a green compact and Maybelline mascara, Grubbe applies the mascara to her bottom lashes. Then she sticks out her tongue and touches her newly blackened eyelash with it.
That's righther eyelash. Or rather, one extremely long eyelash that stretches down below her nose.
Grubbe doesn't initially seem like the type of girl who would stick her tongue out in public, and under normal circumstances she might not be. But Grubbe's eyelash isn't exactly normal.
"My guess is that it's just some random point mutation that I happen to have this one eyelash, because it's only one eyelash," she said. "It's done this before back in middle school and now it's growing again. But in between there was no eyelash."
Last December the eyelash started to grow again. Now Grubbe is on a quest to enter the annals of the Guinness Book of World Records as the person with the world's longest eyelash.
As far as Grubbe knows, this is an unclaimed title. A search of "longest eyelash" in the Guinness Book of World Records' database returned zero hits.
If Grubbe is successful, she will join the ranks of the world's "highest sky-diving dog," the "largest toast mosaic," and the "tallest totem pole."
Many of the Guinness Records go to the weird and the wondrous. Consider the case of Alfred West, a British man who claims "the greatest achievement in hair splitting" having split a human hair 17 times into 18 parts on eight different occasions.
Unlike West, whose achievement was the result of years of work, Grubbe has had to put relatively little effort into growing her eyelash.
"I put Miracle Gro on it every night," she quipped. "Really I don't do anything special."
In order to become a Guinness record holder one must first contact the Guinness company. Guinness will then research the proposal to see if anyone else has made an attempt and decide whether or not the idea is viable. Applicants must prove their claims by consulting two experts and providing independent media verification and a video of the "event." Since there are not many experts in the field of eyelashes, Grubbe plans on having two doctors from the Student Care Center at the University verify the length of her lash. In fact, the only thing left for Grubbe to do is to get video documentation of her claim.
While there is no time limit to attain the record, there is always the possibility that her eyelash will fall out before she can set the record. Grubbe, however, remains unconcerned and says she will "just wait for it to grow back."
Grubbe said that she decided to go for the record on a whim and that the record is not something she actively pursues.
"People go to all sorts of strange lengths to get into [the record book] and I don't really have to," Grubbe said. "All I have to do is send in an application. How easy is that?"