Thursday, March 11, 2010

Time Waits for No One (Except Chuck Norris)

It came to my attention that Chuck Norris turned 70 yesterday.

I was a little surprised at his age... I honestly had him pegged for a man in his 50s. He doesn't look, nor act like somebody who is older than my father. To make my point, my father who just turned 65 last week never made a workout video, never single handedly took on the Viet Cong to save forgotten prisoners of war, nor has he ever donned the uniform of a Texas Ranger. Not once was my dad ever referred to as Lone Wolf, and I have no recollection of him ever inventing his own form of martial arts... In fact compared to Chuck Norris, my father has led a pretty average life. But tell me... compared to Chuck Norris, who hasn't?

Chuck Norris is the American word for tough mother fucker. He trained alongside Bruce Lee, which should have been a clue to me regarding his age, but somehow I missed it. While competeing in martial arts competitions throughout the '60s he dominated his opponents with such verocity that he almost single handedly ended the peace movement (Only to re-build it again later... Read on). There was several times for instance in 1968 that Chuck Norris wiped out an entire block of hippies with one giant sweeping round-house kick. If the U.S. Army had been smart they would have hired him to track down and punish the draft dodgers that so proudly eluded their national service. He became known as a super human destroying machine, and most likely his existence was the prime reason the United States didn't enter any substantial wars in the 1970s and the '80s. Nobody fucked with us during that time period and the reason is quite obvious... Chuck Norris was in the prime of his life.

But back to my point. I find it difficult to believe that Chuck Norris has turned 70. It just seems so old... And if you look at this photo taken yesterday morning, he doesn't look a day over 25. If there was ever a man who found the fountain of youth it is this guy... It's as if his martial arts training has shown him the path to living forever. I find it amusing that he shaved his beard on his 70th birthday... Perhaps another fuck-you to the hippie movenment? Maybe. Or possibly because of his extensive knowledge of the martial arts, his body is actually growing younger. Like the curious case Benjamin Button.

But again, back to the point of this blog post.

Today I read where Merlin Olsen died. Now... Much like I was surprised to find out that Chuck Norris had turned 70, I was even more taken aback at the age of Merlin Olsen at his death. He was 69.

I would have bet my right arm that this guy was at least in his 90's. He seemed old when I was a kid when I used to see his bearded face on episodes of Little House on the Prairie. And even then it seemed that he had been retired from pro football for a few decades... Nobody I knew had his football card, which for a Hall of Famer was pretty rare unless the person played so long ago that the card became virtually unattainable. We knew who Dick Butkus was, and Bronco Nagurski... Night Train Lane, and even Frank Gifford. It only seemed right that a Hall of Fame pro football player would have been on our radar unless he played so long ago that he became barely mentioned. He was nothing to us but John Ingalls's best friend on that television show... His pro football career a mere after thought.

I found a picture of Merlin Olsen when he was 19 years old. Look how old he looks compared to the photo of  Norris on the day he turned 70. I think it is safe to say that life was kind to one man, while totally taking a shit on another. Merlin Olsen might have been a great NFL football player, but he also probably played varsity football when his peers were still in the pee-wee leagues. This kind of training and experience no doubt helped him as he formed his Hall of Fame career.

So yeah... I guess it's plain to see that while two different men can live a life dedicated to good living it doesn't matter much unless father time is on your side. While I am wondering if I read Merlin Olsen's age wrong... Was it 96, and not 69?... I am equally amazed at how old Chuck Norris actually is. Two American icons, basically the same age... And one is a grandfather and one is a young man.

Even the concept of time respects the powress of Chuck Norris.



Anonymous said...

Loved this entry! Say, did you hear that one of the "Corey"s died this week? OD'd on dope, I heard. Oddly enough, it wasn't the Corey that looked 60 yro.

-Matt H.