PUNTA ARENAS, Chile — Like all great endeavors, this one came with a T-shirt.
It's gray, and prominently features an illustration of a penguin, eyes X'ed out, lying flat on its back. A giant thermometer sticks out of its beak, the mercury rising and bursting forth like a gusher at an oil derrick. Above that, written in block letters, is the official slogan: "World's Worst Tour."
A list of dates is on the back. The first two are "March 23, Santiago, Chile," and "March 25, King George Island, Antarctica." Because of situations beyond everyone's control, this T-shirt is now pretty much a collector's item.
On Thursday, Fall Out Boy were forced to scrap their attempt at setting a world record when bad weather made flying to Antarctica impossible. Not only did this make the T-shirts inaccurate, it also meant the band had to scramble to get home, with varying degrees of success.
Frontman Patrick Stump and bassist Pete Wentz made it out on Thursday, while guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley couldn't get flights, meaning they — and various members of FOB's crew — had to spend one more night in Punta Arenas.
Trohman was MIA for the majority of the day, staying in his hotel room and trying to avoid the throngs of kids that continued to surround the hotel. Hurley and road manager Henry Bordeaux somehow got by the crowds — or, more specifically, went through them — making it to a supermarket to stock up on supplies (lots of potato chips and cereal for the drummer, lots of booze for the crew).
And then they retired to Bordeaux's room, where they got down to the business of plotting another — much more ambitious — plan to get into the "Guinness Book of World Records."
"We're going to make this happen. And we're going to do it first," Hurley said, shoveling Cheerios into his mouth. "We got so close, and I'm not the kind of person who'd bail on this. I like the adventure of doing something crazy, and this new plan is super crazy. Remember when you hear about it. ... It started here."
Hurley and Bordeaux wouldn't allow us to print specifics, but here's what we can say: If the new plan comes to fruition, it will involve Fall Out Boy playing all seven continents in a much shorter time span, perhaps with a few other bands along for the ride. It would involve airplanes and possibly a boat or two. And it would be taking place later this year.
"We're going to do this again, and it's going to be much bigger," Hurley said. "But it's definitely going to happen. The thing about this trip was that there was always a chance it might not happen — [we said we were] 'attempting to set a world record' — but we're not going to attempt anything the next time. We're just gonna do it."
And in the background, Bordeaux laughed. He had spent part of the day handing out "World's Worst Tour" T-shirts to hotel staff, and was now busy packing the surplus away in a massive cardboard box. You got the feeling that with a little doctoring (permanent markers work best), they'll get around to using those shirts yet.