How The "Fastest Tongue In The World" Keeps Romance Alive

Al Gliniecki, the World Cherry Stem-tying champion, knows a thing or two about romance.

Al Gliniecki and Jeanette Cooper aren't afraid of the mushy stuff. The two met and fell in love during Gliniecki's heydey as the "Fastest Tongue in the World," a title he claimed after smashing the Guinness World Record for knotting cherry stems with his tongue. (He's since claimed a total of seven records, and is the current Guinness record-holder for tying 14 stems in one minute.)

Now, seven years later, Gliniecki and Cooper travel the world, feed their geese, and fend off the occasional obscene phone call for "the guy with the tongue"—all while making time to take advantage of Gliniecki's talent. "When people ask how I practice [cherry stem tying], Jeanette tells she's my personal trainer," Gliniecki says, cackling. They're a cheeky pair, cracking naughty jokes and pouring margaritas from their home base in Gulf Breeze, Florida. But they also know a thing or two about keeping the spark alive. This Valentine's Day, we asked them for their top romance tips.


Establish everyday rituals

Al Gliniecki: "We have a poker game just the two of us. After our last one, she won 20 bucks from me—I think she cheated, but I can't catch her. We also do lots of little things. Like, when we go to the store we'll guess how much the groceries will cost, and the winner'll get a foot rub."

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Jeanette Cooper: "We have two things we always do together. In the mornings, we have our morning coffee together and feed the animals—our geese, our turtles—and then every evening we have our sunset together. Al built a little loft next to the house, and we've got a beautiful unobscured view."

Always look for the best in each other

A.G.: "You've gotta wake up and have a smile on your face, which is easy because we have a lot of things we like to do together. We like to hike, we like animals, we like to laugh. We have this big map with pictures of all the places we've been together, and I make a point to look at it almost every day. The compassion she has, and her outlook on life, really inspire me."

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J.C.: "His love of animals is the biggest thing that attracted me to him at first. When we first started dating, he'd take the leftovers—even the rolls and french fries—and go find a stray animal to feed, or put it in a parking lot to feed the birds and cats."

Eat your feelings

A.G.: "When I think of a romantic meal, I think of a nice ribeye on the grill, some nice jumbo shrimp, definitely some crab legs. I also just cooked her breakfast in bed the other day. With dinner, maybe do a nice bottle of wine—she likes red, although I'm a beer drinker. Really, it's anything when we're together."

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J.C.: "For romance, I'd say some cherries jubilee—really, anything with a cherry on top. We're still working on this, but he'll put a cherry into my mouth, and he'll try to tie the cherry stem while we're kissing." (Quick note from the writer: Leave this sultry little move to the professionals, folks. As I've seen, cherry stem-tying can quickly turn into a very spitty, very unsexy maneuver.)

Hug it out

J.C.: "At least once a day, if not more, one or both of us will stop wherever we are—it could be in the house, it could be in the middle of the store—and it's Hug Time. We'll hug for about a minute."

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A.G.: "If she gets mad at me, or I get mad at her, we'll always do Hug Time—unless I'm driving or something. People say, "Don't you guys hug enough?," but it can't be a little wimpy thing. Has to be a nice squeeze."

A little teasing goes a long way

A.G.: "[When we met], I was single and I saw her at a bar with four or five girls having a great old time. She really exudes sex appeal and warmth and funniness, and that's what I'm all about—but she blew me off a few different times. So I go home and mess around on Match.com, and I see her profile. I'm like, there's that little shit right there. So I send her an email and ask if she'd like to go have a drink."

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J.C.: "I'm polite, so I always respond to people, but I was honest with him. I said, 'I was looking through your pictures with all your cherry stems and all these celebrities, and you seem a little arrogant to me. I don't think it would work.'"

A.G.: "As I read this, I'm sitting there drinking a beer at the computer. I've always got to have the last word, so I responded in kind. I'm like, 'I looked at your profile, too—and I'm not really into high-maintenance women.' I figured that'd be the last time I heard from this young lady. I don't know what it was, but next thing you know, we're meeting for our first date."

J.C.: "He didn't give up, and here we are."

A.G.: "Life is short. One day it's gonna be your last day, so if you see somebody you're attracted to, if you want to change jobs, go for it. Just make sure you go about it with a sense of humor, or you'll lose your mind."

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