PUNTA ARENAS, Chile — Early Tuesday morning (March 25), Fall Out Boy got the bad news: Nasty weather conditions had canceled all flights in and out of Antarctica, meaning that their attempt to set a world record would have to wait for at least another day.
“Bad weather in Antarctica, go figure,” FOB frontman Patrick Stump deadpanned over coffee and eggs. “We were sort of aware that this might happen, but, to be honest, we’re just hoping some other band doesn’t slip in by boat or something and set the world record right under our noses.”
He was only half-joking. Because while Tuesday’s cancellation doesn’t mean that FOB’s world-record dreams are DOA, it does put a definite crimp in things. As the sun rose over Punta Arenas, the band’s management was scrambling to change flights (FOB were scheduled to head back to the U.S. Wednesday evening), in the hopes of fitting an Antarctic flight in early Wednesday morning, weather permitting.
Most of the band and crew were actually made aware of the possibility of Tuesday’s cancellation Monday night, when tour manager Henry Bordeaux — who had just met with the team that would be flying FOB to Antartica — mentioned bad weather was in the forecast.
He made the announcement during a meal the band had jokingly dubbed “The Last Supper,” and it was greeted with sighs and a few rolled eyes — primarily because the everyone was already gassed from 48 hours of traveling and playing a show in Santiago, but also because it meant that they’d be forced to spend another day as prisoners in their hotel rooms.
That may seem overly dramatic, but it’s the truth. Ever since FOB arrived in town, the front doors of the Hotel Finis Terrae have been under siege, surrounded by an ever-growing, squealing gaggle of Fall Out Boy fans. For more than a day, there’s been a constant screaming mass of students in gray school uniforms camped outside, which means that setting foot on the street is nearly impossible for the band.
So the guys have holed themselves up in their rooms, watching Chilean television, staring out the window at the kids below and wondering when they’ll make it to Antarctica, and what it’ll be like when they get there.
“I’m basically expecting that it’ll be like Hoth, that ice planet on ’Star Wars,’ only I bet there won’t be any Tauntauns there,” Wentz laughed, flicking between channels. “But I also heard that you can, like, get a photo taken with your arm around a penguin, like frat-boy style, which would be hilarious.”
And even when they do venture outside their rooms, they’re mobbed by fans who managed to slip through security and are wandering the halls of the hotel, like ghosts in Pac Man. All of which has made their Chilean trip a bit of a downer so far.
But it hasn’t been all bad. At Monday’s “Last Supper,” the band cracked jokes, made inappropriate objects out of linen napkins and took full advantage of the fact they were eating dinner with the editor in chief of the “Guinness Book of World Records,” Craig Glenday, whom they had flown in to witness their Antarctic show. Very quickly, the meal dissolved into a series of “top this” moments designed to set world records.
“Rob and Big set, like, seven records in one 22-minute show, so we can probably do twice that many during this dinner,” Wentz shouted. “I mean, if those guys can do it, so can we.”
As if on cue, FOB’s manager, Bob McLynn, decided that he was going to break the world record for eating three cream crackers. Hurley and Wentz decided they were going to try it, too. The time to beat was 29 seconds, and as Glenday counted them down, the entire restaurant paused to watch.
What followed was three-minutes of stomach-churning, cracker-shredding carnage. No one even came close to breaking the record. Wentz nearly choked, Hurley chowed down, and McLynn raised his hands to proclaim his “second-best in the world” status.
“Congratulations,” Wentz snickered. “You’re almost a loser.”
Regardless of whether they make it to Antarctica or not, it’s clear that FOB are still going to make the most of the situation. Even if that means they flew all the way to Chile to set a new cracker-eating record.
Will Fall Out Boy make the trip to Antarctica? Check back at the MTV Newsroom blog for updates!