To: All Rick’s Friends
From: Rick
Date: Next Saturday
Re: Rick’s attempt to break world record for holding breath underwater

One week from today, Rick Stoeckel intends to set about breaking the world record for underwater breath-holding. Rick has dreamed of achieving this ever since he saw magician and endurance artist David Blaine do it on The Oprah Winfrey Show a few weeks back.

To accomplish this death-defying stunt, Rick will need to hold his breath underwater for over 17 minutes and 4 seconds. A lot of people, including Rick’s stupid brother Carl, say he can’t possibly succeed at this task. Rick is certain David Blaine faced naysayers as well, but he ignored those stupid people and came out of that water victorious.

David Blaine had some obvious advantages over Rick in his quest to break the record. For example, David Blaine pumped 23 minutes’ worth of pure oxygen into his blood before he attempted his world-record-breaking breath hold. Rick does not own a pure-oxygen tank. When Rick looked into renting one, he found they cost over $300. Therefore, Rick will just be breathing the regular, free kind of oxygen before his record-breaking attempt.

Rick also looked into renting a large water tank that would allow him to immerse his whole body underwater. His Internet crashed in the early stages of research. When Rick asked his wife about the possibility of getting one, she raised the volume on her TV show and didn’t give him an answer. Rick bets it costs a lot of money, anyway. Messages left with the Spinas, the next-door neighbors who have a pool in their backyard, went unreturned. Rick has decided his world-record-breaking attempt will be done in the washbasin in his basement right next to his washing machine.

David Blaine also had the benefit of having Oprah Winfrey cheering him on. Rick does not know Oprah Winfrey. E-mails were not sent to Harpo Studios, because Rick’s Internet is still out. Rick’s wife has already stated that she will be grocery shopping at the time Rick seeks to break the record. Rick offered to change the time so his wife could attend, but Rick’s wife stated that no matter what time the event occurs she will have something else to do.

One weapon Rick will possess that Blaine did have in his arsenal is a studio audience to witness his success. Only, Rick’s audience will be made up of his friends! They will provide the boost Rick needs to get into The Guinness Book of World Records. He is requesting that Jen bring her video camera to record the event so he can send a copy to Guinness and also to his stupid brother Carl. Rick also asks that, after the record is broken, Jen hand-deliver a copy of the tape to his brother Carl’s house and witness his brother watching the tape and report back on how stupid his brother’s face looks when he sees Rick accomplish what he said Rick would never be able to do. Rick also asks Jen to please jot down any statements Carl might utter under his breath, such as “I was wrong—Rick is incredible,” or “He’s better than me. I can finally admit that now.”

Rick will need at least a couple of guys to hold his head under the water in the washbasin. David Blaine tried to come up for air just before he broke the record. His assistants kept him down, though, and with their aid he surpassed the record. Rick hopes to do the same. Lenny and Brian, Rick will ask you guys to hold his head down. Even if it looks like he’s really struggling, just keep him down there. Rick suggests that you both wear padded gear to prevent injuries when, in his struggle to breathe, he tries to scratch and pinch you. Please also be wary of his legs, which will most likely be flailing about.

Rick assumes you’ll have to hold his head down pretty long. His previous attempts have culminated in a best time of 1 minute and 6 seconds. Expect Rick’s struggling to begin shortly after the one-minute mark. Rick believes that, with a few more days of practice and the adrenaline rush of the big day, he’ll be able to pick up that extra 16 minutes and break the record. Rick Stoeckel will go down in history as the official world-record holder and the best brother in the Stoeckel family—way better than his stupid-faced brother Carl.