(May 26) -- Suppose you just pulled a 1,200-pound plane 16 feet with your eyes and somebody said, "That's nothing!"
That's the weighty situation facing a Chinese strongman named Dong Changsheng, who recently wowed the audience at the Changchun Internationals Exhibition Center in the Jilin province by pulling a light plane across a room with just his eyelids.
According to the Rex USA photo agency, Dong, a martial arts enthusiast for more than 30 years, fastened two metal hooks into his lower eyelids with ropes attached to the amphibian plane.
The feat seems quite impressive to the naked eye, but it's child's play to Jim Rose of the Jim Rose Circus, which features a cast of performers known for various unique feats, such as stapling a dollar bill to a forehead or lifting heavy objects with the male genitalia.
Well, when you've done that, pulling a plane with your eyelids isn't that impressive, is it? Not to Rose.
"I've got a guy who pulls a semitruck with his eyes," Rose said. "His name is Kabul the Iraqi strongman. Oh, and as far as Dong goes, it's not the eyelids that are doing the lifting, it's the bone underneath."
Dong credits his own prowess to careful breathing exercises, but Rose says that's an excuse straight from the carny handbook.
"Sure. Every strong guy takes a few deep breaths before a lift, but the key isn't the eyeballs -- it's the neck," Rose said.
Rose is so convinced that Dong is merely pulling a shell game that he's offering a challenge to the man he calls a "Chinese twig."
"I'd like to have my guy, Kabul, and this guy see who can pull the space shuttle," Rose said.
According to Rose, Kabul is only 5 feet, 3 inches tall. "He's shockingly short for someone with his Herculean strength," Rose said, adding, "He has muscles in places that I don't even have places in."
Rose admits that getting clearance to use a space shuttle for what amounts to an eyelid-pulling pissing contest is very slim, but he's very serious about challenging Dong -- even on his own turf.
"If going to China is the only way to resolve who has the world's strongest eyeball, we will climb the Great Wall," he said with gusto. "In fact, just to get the nationalist fervor going, I will throw out the first salvo. I've heard the Great Wall is just a good wall. Now, if they come back saying that the Grand Canyon is just a good canyon, you know it's on."