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Published: Sunday, 8/29/2004

Glued to the tube

What parent can resist bragging about the accomplishments of his offspring to anyone with the patience to listen? So imagine the abundant pride the parents of two Michigan teenagers must have experienced over the apparent world record-setting achievements of their enterprising sons. Chris Dean, 16, and Mike Dudek, 17, had a dream: to be the best there ever was at, um, watching television.

The Grand Rapids teens set a goal to beat the current Guinness World Records mark for marathon TV viewing and may well have done it by logging 52 straight hours in front of the tube. The old record- for those interested- was 50 hours and seven minutes,

The young achievers placed their must-see television set in an obliging International House of Pancakes restaurant - open 24 hours - and stayed glued to the TV for more than two days. "We've got a record under our belt," exulted one of the soon-to-be high school seniors.

Gordon and Brenda Dean happily documented the event to show how the teenagers followed Guinness rules to remain awake with eyes always on the television screen except for brief bathroom breaks.

Confirmation of the record set by the youths could take a while as Guinness reviews the documentation.

But Mr. Dean is already crowing about his boy's unusual triumph. "He has to be good at something," said Dad. "This is just as well. He set a goal and reached it."

Yes, some people have greatness thrust upon them.

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