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Student strives to beat Guinness World Record

Spike Cook, sophomore mass media major, is not your average punk with piercings.
Cook can be seen on campus dressed in head-to-toe black, black boots, leather jacket, a hoodie, chains, and shades. Both of his ears are pierced as well as his tongue, nose, and lip.
“I look unapproachable,” Cook says, “but if somebody talks to me I’ll talk right back to them.”
Cook is so into piercings that he plans to use them to set a world record later this year. The record he plans to break is for most piercings in one session. According to Guinness World Records, the current record of 1,015 was set by Charlie Wilson and Kam Ma of the United Kingdom in 2006.
Cook has contacted Guinness World Records, filled out the necessary paperwork, and decided on a date. He plans to set his record on April 20 at Hollywood’s Twisted Needle, located at 618 S. Patterson Street in Valdosta. Now, he says, he is just waiting for a confirmation e-mail with any other necessary requirements.
As for the number of piercings that he will attempt, “I’m going to try for 2,010, though chances are I will not physically be able to get to that point,” Cook says.
Two thousand piercings will result in 4,000 holes. By that point, he says, the human immune system “will be going haywire.”
Cook has the entire procedure planned out. Necessities include a completely sterile room and a team of Emergency Medical Technicians standing by.
“I will not be able to leave the sterile room and I’m going to be hooked to an IV,” he says.
Cook already has to make major lifestyle changes in preparation for this event.
“I have already started preparing my body,” Cook says. “I’m taking large amounts of iron and vitamins to get my immune system up. I have to quit smoking.”
And when it comes time for the event, Cook says that he is “going to be on no medication whatsoever. No numbing agents, no anesthetic, no painkillers, none of that. That’s why I’m going to have to be monitored carefully to make sure that I don’t go into shock, hence the IV and the EMTs.”
Cook is trying to go into this procedure sensibly. He says that he is “not at all trying to play down the risks.”
“I’m not going into this cocky,” Cook explains. “I am nervous and apprehensive about setting this record because there are medical implications. I really do understand the risks. I don’t honestly know if I can make it to 2,000; that’s why I’m taking this with a very healthy caution.”
Originally from Germany, Cook has lived in Georgia for four years now. Before moving to the United States, Cook attended an American high school in Germany to prepare for the transition. He attended and graduated from high school in Columbus and is in his second year at VSU.
Cook spends his time off-campus working as a piercer at Hollywood’s Twisted Needle.
“I’ve always had a thing for piercings and tattoos,” Cook says. “It’s something that my parents don’t agree with, but they understand that it’s something I’ve had a thing for since I was little.”
Cook started working with piercings around 2006 while he was still in Germany.
“I just hung around the shop and did menial labor. Eventually they started teaching me stuff,” he says.
To date, Cook has done at least 300 piercings of VSU students alone. Cook says that most of the piercings that he has done for other people, he has himself. Upon finishing his most recent series of piercings, he will have 52 on his body.
Cook has a slightly different motivation behind his piercings than others do.
“Most people get them for the way they look or to show other people. Thirty-eight of mine are not visible [under my typical clothing]. It’s more of a personal thing,” he says.
Cook does not want to draw attention by setting this record. “Do I think everyone needs to know? No. It’s not a media attention thing. The people I want most to know about it are people that are into the scene, such as other piercers,” he says.
Cook adds that he has always “been one to test the limits. My parents can attest to that. [They] are very normal people. My dad is an officer in the [U.S.] Army; my mother teaches English as a Second Language. From seventh grade until I left the house there was always a fight about something about the way I looked.”
He wants people to know that, despite his appearance, they don’t have to be afraid of him.
“I know I look sketchy,” he says, “but it’s worth it when someone who originally wrote me off changes their mind. I’m an optimist. When someone does change their mind about you, it’s worth it.”

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