Flood. Stink. It’s time to rethink.

That’s right. My latest world record attempt – a giant sculpture – has been affected by a rather unpleasant flood. I’ve been collecting scrap paper in an urban area of Borneo island on and off for the past few months. I’ve amassed a heap about 3 metres high, comprised of egg boxes, school book pages, tissues, newspaper, cardboard and paper packaging. In the meantime, I’ve been slowly getting the items I need ready, including a custom-made drill bit with small rough-sawn blades welded onto it.

The allocated storage room, at street level, was a safe place for the paper which I’d torn up laboriously for hours at a time. The room’s been kept locked to prevent the many large rats from nesting in the plentiful cosy material. But what I didn’t anticipate was a deluge without warning.

This morning, I was shocked to find the carpet floating in sludge-coated water spreading from door to wall. Heavy tropical rains during the night had washed sheets of water over all the local roads and the plentiful blocked drains. The resultant mix of rainwater, mud, carbon soot, discarded food, plastic bags, cigarette butts, food wrappers, raw sewage and commercial waste has made its way across the entire neighbourhood – including up the driveway here and into my project room.

Awesome! So my sculpture world record attempt is not looking good right now, but I’m confident I can dry the half a cubic metre of soiled scrap papers. I just hope it doesn’t begin to stink too much. Tomorrow, if the flood has subsided somewhat, I’ll be making my priority finding bricks and beams to make a platform to place the paper on.

Here’s to world record-breaking, despite what challenges may arise.

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