Some people just don't know when to give up. That was certainly true of Freddie Simpson of Swansea in South Wales. Between 1962 and his sad demise in 1988, Freddie made over four hundred attempts at various world records, and every one was a washout. He first came to the world's attention when, at just fourteen years of age, he tried to pole vault up Mount Kilimanjaro. The attempt left him with egg on his face and numerous shards of granite wedged in his forehead. It also left him hungry for more. His next stunt was to try and sail across the Atlantic on a pig. Now, the pig is a tough and sturdy beast, and any zoologist worth their salt will tell you that they're as watertight as they come. But the pig is not used to the harsh, blustery conditions of the North Atlantic and, not surprisingly, this one started to get a little bit stroppy when they were halfway across. In fact, it got so upset that it hitched a lift on a passing liner and left Freddie stranded in the middle of the ocean until he was picked up by Air Sea Rescue several hours later.
And was Freddie downhearted? Of course he was, but he wasn't deterred. Ask anyone who knew him and they would happily tell you that Freddie Simpson was many things - a dropout, a dreamer, a mentalist and a fool - but he was no quitter. No sir, Freddie Simpson persevered, determined that one day he would get himself into the record books. Over the years he tried circumnavigating the globe by post, falling from a plane at the speed of light, stapling his head to a baboon, and trying to get served in a curry house inside three hours on a Friday night. All to no avail. But what finally did for him was when he attempted to drink the Mersey through a curly straw. He was doing quite well to start with, and had already guzzled three and a half gallons, when suddenly a piece of driftwood became wedged in his windpipe and he choked to death. It was a sad end to a somewhat less than glittering career, though Freddie would no doubt be pleased to know he is remembered fondly, and is still considered an inspiration for non-achievers the world over.
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