I'm sure my blood pressure has risen countless times over the past year watching the federal government overspend. I'm tired of seeing out-of-control government overreaching into every area of our lives. And I especially hurt for Americans, many of whom are jobless, homeless and with little hope for the future or real help from the government.
I need a break from watching the political drama and recklessness in Washington. Know what I mean?
That is the reason I finally agreed to write my new book, "The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book," in which I share my favorite 101 "facts" and 101 humorous and inspirational related stories. (It is being released Nov. 1 by Tyndale House Publishers, though it's now available for pre-order on Amazon.com for less than $9. Proceeds from the book will go to help http://www.KickStartKids.org.)
For those who somehow have not heard of the Chuck Norris facts, they are mythical expressions of my life and abilities, a collection of sayings, quips and quotes, created by young and old alike, that have elevated my character and personhood to almost legendary, Paul Bunyan-like status.
I've heard it said that there are literally hundreds of thousands of Chuck Norris facts that circle the globe. They proliferate on the Internet, are found in speeches and books, and are written on bathroom walls from schools in America to battlefields in the Middle East.
Over the next five weeks, I'm going to give a sneak peek inside "The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book" in my weekly column, starting with entry No. 1 below. Each entry in the book is divided into four sections: one of my favorite official facts, a related short story ("Let's be honest"), a classic or contemporary corresponding quote ("They said it") and one of my principles for life ("Chuck's Code"), which are represented by the five "F's," or core values: freedom, faith, family, fitness and fight. (The only thing missing in these column examples will be the content display, such as font variance, and the comical caricature portrait of me that accompanies each of the 101 facts in the book -- for example, an image of me wrestling a grizzly bear!)
Without further adieu, here's the first entry in the book:
No. 1 -- "Chuck Norris was bitten by a cobra, and after five days of excruciating pain ... the cobra died."
Let's be honest ...
I was filming an episode of "Walker, Texas Ranger" out in the woods. The scene was with me and a Native American actor-friend, and we were competing to see who could catch the largest rattlesnake with his bare hands.
The snake wranglers had two very large rattlesnakes, supposedly de-venomed. My friend didn't want to be filmed trying to grab the rattlesnake with his hand. So he said, "De-venomed or not, I'm not about to try it." I replied, "Why don't you just walk in from the woods holding the snake in your hand? I'm going to win anyway, because I'm grabbing the largest snake." The larger of the two rattlers was slithering on the ground, so I sneaked up from behind and grabbed it by the back of the neck, picking it up and counting the number of rattles it had.
The take went very well, but the director wanted a second take. So the snake wrangler took the snake from me and put it back on the ground. I sneaked up to grab him a second time, but just as my hand grabbed his neck, he turned and bit me on the hand! As blood started gushing out, the director panicked and took off running!
I asked the snake wrangler if he thought I should go to the hospital to see if the snake had injected venom into me. He said, "That wouldn't be a bad idea." I told the crew that we had only one take, because I had to go to the hospital and the director was missing in action! (Then I asked, "Would someone please go find him?") There was a happy ending to it all: The single take was good, I had no venom in me, and they found the director.
Later, I played back the snakebite scene on film and slowed it down frame by frame. Twenty-four frames equal one second, and the snakebite covered three frames. In other words, that snake bit me in one-eighth of a second. Talk about fast!
They said it ...
"I hate snakes." -- Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford's character) in the classic "Raiders of the Lost Ark"
Chuck's Code (Fight):
If your opponent is fast, you must be faster or smarter.
Who will enjoy the fact book? I believe young, old, students, military personnel, patriots and anyone who just needs a little relief and inspiration. Whether as a Christmas gift or, as my chaplain calls it, "the ultimate bathroom reading," I believe everyone will enjoy the read -- and maybe even learn a few new things about me, America or even themselves.
In these tough times, I think we all could use a good laugh. And regarding personal maladies, I bet it even can relieve your political indigestion! (I believe patriots particularly will like my "Freedom" entry in next week's column.)