Out on a Whim

updated 03/06/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/06/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

In the hit 1983 movie The Big Chill, actor Jeff Goldblum, playing a PEOPLE reporter, got cheap laughs by claiming that he had been assigned to write a story about a blind baton twirler from Texas. For the record, we never have done a story on a blind baton twirler. But we have done stories about a lint sculptor, a 52-foot spoon, the Bug Broker to the Stars, papal lawn sprinklers, English Channel-swimming twins, Dutch pole sitters, the inventor of potato ice cream, the World's Largest Ball of Twine, competitive dwarf throwing, and, of course...

Flexible flier Kedric Wolfe, above, whose rubber joints won him a job touting spacious airline seats (3/3/86); and Colorado hunting guide Ed McWilliams, whose giant decoys cooked, in effect, many a goose (3/5/79).

Harding (with pal Diane Christiansen, above), creator of the Living Grass Suit (4/29/85).

British butler tutor Ivor Spencer, who, while teaching proper posture, let champagne go to his students' heads (4/18/83); and hay fever sufferer Richard Hinchliffe, inventor of the pollen-proof helmet (5/23/83).

Doorknob King John Mandrup, dressed to celebrate the manufacture of his company's billionth doorknob (1/21/85); Vlasta Krsek, International Queen of Polka (1/6/86); and actor Dick Wilson, who, as TV's Mr. Whipple, has been fending off would-be Charmin squeezers for more than 20 years (11/12/84).

The Leonardo of artificial eyes, O. Robert Levy, who has made fake orbs for Sammy Davis Jr. and E.T. (7/15/85); and Floridians Andrew and Andrea Safko, owners of what is probably the only four-leaf-clover farm in the United States (3/18/85).

Taxidermist Andrew Dachisen, who freeze-dries departed pets for their owners' eternal enjoyment (9/2/85); and spray-painted artist Stephen Taylor Woodrow, who bolted himself and three friends to an English gallery wall for art's sake (7/7/86).

Electric artisan Eric Staller, who decked his VW in 1,659 points of light (10/19/87).

And finally: Don Featherstone, unsung designer of the classic pink lawn flamingo (5/19/86); and odd-sports enthusiast Ashrita Furman, who somersaulted the entire 12-mile route of Paul Revere's ride (5/19/86).

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