This summer I had 20 American dreams to crack and 60 days before my visa expired. I’d come from the UK to make a million, make a record, break a record, be prom queen… aged 28. I wanted to see if, despite its woes, America is still the land where dreams come true.
Alone in a city of strangers, I discovered that in the USA you can approach random people at baseball games, bus stops and restaurants, with a fanciful wishlist written in red felt-tip, and they’ll be happy to help.
In 60 days I went from being a clueless Brit to prom queen (on the first float at SF’s Gay Pride). Tim Ferriss helped me make a million, I came second in an attempt to break the record for milk crate climbing and I did a Yiddish remake of Dirty Dancing. Thanks to the kindness of politicians, drag queens and pizza throwers – all 20 of my dreams came true.
I learned that if you’re not afraid to ask… and you ask everyone… it might just happen.
I’ve always wanted to break a record, ever since 1993 when I went to see a live recording of Record Breakers at the BBC.
On Wednesday I went to a warehouse in Oakland to see how many milk crates I could climb. The record is 26, that’s 26 flimsy plastic boxes stacked one on top of the other with someone standing at the top.
If you’re wondering how the The ancient art of milk crate stacking works, here’s the breakdown. You slot your feet into the mini-handles on either side of the crate. Then someone passes you another crate, you stack that one on top and put your big-oversized feet into the next rung of handles and so on… until you fall.
This whole wishlist adventure has given people the impression that I have a very high embarrassment threshold. And they’re right. I will do or say anything… as long as my kids approve.
Those hair-splitters among you might point out that I don’t have kids. That I’m about as far away from having kids as when I was a kid. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve got all the makings of an embarrassing mother. When my children are older they’ll be able to appreciate my unique sense of style. But in the early stages they’ll have to deal with carrying the ginger gene. Can I really add “mummy was a lube-wrestler” to the mix?