LONDON - Guinness World Records has challenged a four-year-old boy's claim that he is the youngest person ever to take his mother's car and drive it to a video store in the middle of the night. "Our preliminary investigation suggests that this lad may actually be six years old," said Geoffrey Livingston, section chief of Guinness' claims department. "If so, that would disqualify him for the record, which is currently held by a five-year-old girl in Birmingham, England."
The alleged four-year-old, Timothy Gordon, drove his mother's car-a Shrek Green 2003 PT Cruiser-to Blockbuster video a quarter of a mile from their apartment in Sand Lake, Michigan. Although he couldn't reach the accelerator, Gordon put the car in gear and inched his way to Blockbuster about 1:30 a.m. After finding the store closed, he gave two men loitering in front of it ten dollars to get him a six pack. He waited nearly half an hour for the men to return, then got back into his car and started home. That's when he attracted the attention of Sgt. Jay Osga of the Sand Lake police, who was "running license plate checks" in a Krispy Kreme parking lot.
"I seen this kid was talking on his cell phone while he was driving, so I decided to pull him over," said Osga. "We're real strict about that here in Sand Lake."
Ignoring Osga's flashing lights and two warning shots fired into the air, Gordon turned into the parking lot of the apartment complex where he lives. He struck a parked car, then threw the PT Cruiser into reverse and rammed the police vehicle. He was apprehended without a struggle and read the Hooked-on-Phonics version of his rights.
Gordon and his mother, Vanessa Little, were then taken to the Sand Lake police station, where Gordon was charged with failure to signal a turn and being up past his bedtime. He was released on his own recognizance.
Early the next morning Gordon e-mailed his world record claim to the Guinness office. "We were immediately suspicious because Master Gordon used our fast track claim service, which costs £250.00 ($1,000 U.S.)," said Livingston.
During the course of the claims investigation, Guinness learned that Gordon had been charged last year with indecent exposure and making terroristic threats at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Detroit, where he had been employed briefly as a mascot. Charges were dropped when Gordon agreed to perform twenty hours of community service.
"Worse yet," said Livingston, "we have been told that master Gordon had been red-shirted by his day care center two years ago because of his exceptional ability at dodge ball.
"We also believe someone tampered with his birth certificate. According to the programme for his dodge ball team, Master Gordon is 46 inches tall and weighs 47 pounds. The typical four-year-old is only 42 inches tall and weighs 36.5 pounds. Either there's a spanner in the works, record wise, or this lad may be a better candidate for our youngest-dodge-ball-player-on-steroids award."
Gordon's mother told Motor Trend magazine that the measurements in the dodge ball program are inaccurate. "Teams always do that to intimidate their opponents and to get the attention of elementary school recruiters," she said.
In related news, according to a White House memo leaked to The Smoking Gun Web site, President Bush intends to seek the Guinness shortest-war-in-history record-45 minutes, currently held by Great Britain versus Zanzibar-when the United States attacks the Rock of Gibraltar this summer.