I’ve been saving this one for a while. Let me just say that Chuck Norris is my hero. My beard is an active homage to his greatness, and I have an encyclopedia of Chuck Norris jokes stored away in my noggin. If anybody is amply prepared to spread the word of Chuck, it’s me. As you will see, I go out of my way to do so.
While spending time as an exchange student of sorts in Slovakia, I was asked many times to do newspaper interviews. Now as to why the national Slovakian newspapers had interest in little old me, I had two theories. The first being that I was the first American to study in the region of Orava and thus a figure of great intrigue, and the second being that the irresistible allure of my beard had transcended print. For the sake of my ego, let’s say it was the latter.
The first interview I did was for the national gazette, which had gotten a hold of my host sister somehow to arrange the meeting. She was more than happy to be my translator, which surprised me until the next day when I saw how popular she had become overnight, since in Europe everybody still reads the newspaper.
The questions were all rather standard, and I answered each question as Americanly as possible. Favorite food? Hamburgers. Favorite class subject? Physical education. Favorite sport? Baseball. It wasn’t until we got to favorite television show that the reporter showed any interest in my answers. Of course I said “Walker, Texas Ranger.”
“You too like Chuck?” It was the first English I had heard the reporter attempt. I was almost too surprised to answer coherently.
“Chuck is the best,” I replied, not knowing that those words would be emblazoned as the headline of the article.
The reporter then starts talking excitedly about having new Slovak dubs for “Walker, Texas Ranger,” and about how it was a shame that no network had picked the series up yet for airing. I then told my host sister to tell the reporter that I thought it should be on every weekday at 3 p.m., since that was when her stupid soap opera was on. My host sister decided to tell the reporter 4 p.m., because she saw right through my plan. The reporter agreed fervently and started scribbling on his pad before turning back to me for further inquisition.
An endless amount of questions later, the reporter was satisfied and set off back toward the capital. I had no idea that the article was going to be published in the morning paper, so that was a mild a surprise when I got to school and everybody was looking at me over the tops of their copies of the gazette. The real surprise came at 4 p.m. that afternoon, right after my host sister’s soap opera finally ended. That’s right, one of the Slovakian national television channels picked up the show the very next day.
“Walker, Texas Ranger’s” theme song came on and I almost lost my shit all over the living room. My host sister then promptly left the room to avoid the manliness that was about to rain down from the flat screen. It then became my daily routine to take my time coming home from school, so I missed the damn soap opera and arrived on time for Chuck’s power hour.
That is the story of how I influenced the television programming of an entire nation and brought Chuck to the masses. And because I can’t leave you without at least one Chuck Norris joke: Chuck Norris likes his meat so rare that he only eats unicorns.
Have a good week!