Czechs break world record in longest kiss

Czechs love crazy competitions. Don't ask me why, because I have never heard of any sensible explanation. Maybe they just like the challenge involved. They are prepared to stuff themselves sick with dumplings, speed-drink gallons of beer or walk backwards for miles just to get into the Czech book of records. February 14th was Valentine's Day - and of course the challenge presented was obvious - who could resist the temptation to break the existing world record in kissing?

Now you might think that this is one competition it would be a pleasure to take part in. But like many other things this too confirms the saying that there can be too much of a good thing. More than a dozen couples started kissing on Wednesday February 14th and kissed and kissed as if their lives depended on it. Apart from the fact that they were young and in love they were motivated by a 150 thousand crown award. After a while everyone got tired of watching the kissing marathon - but they went on kissing through the night and next day, under the sharp scrutiny of cameras. The rules for this kiss are horrendous - the partners are not allowed to sit or fall asleep, they must keep moving and their lips must remain in constant contact. They can only drink through a straw and must keep on kissing even while going to the toilet. The couples got around that problem by wearing nappies. As I said, not a kiss anyone would envy. Twenty-four hours later the men needed a shave - but the girls simply had to put up with the scratching. Gradually couples started dropping out - some of them literally.

But Martina and Petr just went on kissing. They kissed for an unbelievable forty-two and a half hours setting a new world record. The existing one - set in Holland - was eight hours shorter. The victorious couple started kissing on Wednesday and finished on Friday and they looked much the worse for wear. The lower half of Martina's face was raw and blistered and Petr looked more than a little dazed - but they faced the TV cameras with a smile. They'd won their 15 minutes of fame, set a world record and could pocket 150,000 crowns. However it may be a while before they'll want to kiss again.