Heavy smokers may sympathize with Barry Chappell, who chewed through piece after piece of Nicorette gum while on a long flight in 2006.
Chappell rolled his first piece of nicotine-infused comfort into a little ball. As the plane made its way from Los Angeles, Calif., to France, he added another layer, then another layer, and another.
By the time he arrived at his destination, Chappell joked that he had the makings of the world's largest gumball.
Six years and 95,200 pieces of gum later, it turns out his ball really is in a league of its own, as Ripley's Believe It Or Not! prepares to hand him the record for the World's Largest Chewed Gumball. He's also received the record for world's largest ball of medicated gum.
"What started out as kind of a joke between my daughter and me has turned into a really fun project over the last few years," said Chappell, who really does have something to show for his painstaking efforts to quit smoking.
The outlandish sculpture weighs roughly 79 kilograms and measures about 157 centimeters in circumference. A warning to anyone hoping to beat the record: There's more to it than meets the eye.
Chappell said challengers would need five things to outchew him: a "complete and utter" addiction to nicotine, around $30,000 US to spend on Nicorette Gum over a six-year period, a sauna, a spray water bottle and a hairdryer.
The confident record holder even shared his method step-by-step:
1. Warm up the smaller chewed pieces of gum in a sauna.
2. Liberally spray with water to keep it malleable.
3. Pick up the goop and play with it.
4. Take the semi-melted gum and carry it to the kitchen.
5. Just like Play-Doh ... start blending with the rest of the mass.
6. Keep it warm and pliable with a hairdryer.
7. Enjoy the fruits of your labours?