Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Answer to Any Trivia Question Worth Knowing is "Chuck Norris"

I went to Trader Joe's, as is my wont when I am in need of some substandard cereal and Slovak beer, and a remarkable thing happened: a little Chuck Norris moment.

I took my purchases to the register, and got carded for my exciting Slovak beer purchase. The clerk looked at my driver's license, and immediately got a far off look in his eye. I thought maybe he was impressed at my youthful appearance, or perhaps the organ donor sticker made him covetous of my spleen or liver, which, it must be said, are also quite suprisingly youthful. But no!

My driver's license still has my old address from southern California, you see. This prompted the following inspirational Chuck Norris moment:

"I have a trivia question for you." the clerk said, somewhat conspiratorially.

"Um," I said.

"What...martial artist...lives in your town?"

I wracked my brain. Sure, I knew my southern California abode was a hotbed of Tae Kwan Do, Jujitsu, Judo, really all forms of martial arts. But who could it be? Jet Li, who lives down by the Circle K? Jackie Chan? The shy and private Jeff Speakman perhaps?

"I have no idea."

"Star of Fists of Fury?"


"Played a Texas lawman on TV?"

"Ah! Chuck Norris!"

"Yes, yes," said the clerk, with a tone usually reserved or speaking to the very dim. "I've just finished his autobiography, you know."

I began to worry. The transaction was over, and this guy was sill talking to me.

"He's had quite a life, Mr. Norris."

"Oh. Yes?"

"Yes. One day they should make a movie of his life. It hasn't all been good, but Mr. Norris is the first to say that in his book."

I wanted to tell him that I would be the one. I would take it upon myself, make it my life's work, to film the almost Messiah-like story of Mr. Norris's life, how he rose from the ranks of a disturbingly hairy Bruce Lee foe to star in a syndicated television program loved by the elderly this country over.

Instead, with a tear in my eye, I collected my Slovak beer and eight-pound bag of frozen prawns and wandered out of the store, my life forever changed.


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