I had a troubled night’s sleep for two reasons. The first reason was that despite my protestations, Judy wouldn’t stop playing her trombone in the bed. I suppose it’s an example of what happens when a thoughtful husband encourages his wife to live out her dreams and become an active member of the local brass band society. The other reason I couldn’t sleep was that my mind couldn’t stop thinking about Chuck Norris and his well gnarled plums.
Those of us who work on the Richard&Judy Show have always prided ourselves on using only the freshest and most original ingredients for each night’s show. We never lift things from other programmes and, to us, the format of our show is totally unique. I feel the same way about my blog. I don’t read other blogs because, to be quite honest about it, I don’t want to feel influenced by anything other people write or discuss. I’m a law unto myself and that’s how I intend to keep it.
It’s not, however, a principle I keep to when it comes to other people. After watching the clip of Andy Kaufman last night, I watched some clips in which Chuck Norris drawled on like a old gnarled plum about Christ and Republicanism. It immediately put me in mind of Stephen Fry, who I knew to be in America searching for interesting people for his new show. I didn’t hesitate in passing on the suggestion and, though I didn’t get through to him, I did leave a message on his answerphone, suggesting that he search out Chuck Norris and ask him a few questions.
Something about this whole sequence of events must have stayed lodged upstairs because I found that I couldn’t sleep. Chuck Norris was stuck in my head. At four o’clock yesterday morning, long after Judy had turned in and the memory of the Moonlight Sonata played on brass had faded, I got up to go to the bathroom. I was gazing, as you do, ahead of me at Bill Oddie’s framed picture on the bathroom wall when in the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of the toothbrush rack.
‘Teeth!’ I shouted, as the mistiness cleared from my mind. I immediately rushed from the room heading to the den. ‘Teeth!’
Unfortunately, Judy had also got up and when I ran across the landing with little Richard still head down to the breeze, so to speak, she could do very little but scream.
‘Teeth!’ I explained as I made a rush for the steps. ‘Teeth!’
I had the PC on in no time and had soon punched up the video of Chuck Norris thumping the Bible. Actually, he didn't so much as thump it as look vaguely off camera as though he'd been kicked in the head a few too many times. But when I re-watched his campaign video on behalf of Mike Huckabee it was really quite obvious that my bathroom suspicions had been right and that Chuck Norris does indeed wear dentures.
‘Chuck Norris wears dentures!’ I said to Judy as she appeared at the door of my den.
‘Is that what this is about?’
‘You’re not impressed?’
‘That he wears dentures or that you’ve figured it out at five o’clock in the morning?’
I thought for a moment. ‘Both?’
At Judy’s insistence, I went back to bed and had a restful six hours before I was up just before lunch. But if Judy thought I could leave the business of Chuck Norris’ dentures behind me, she was very much mistaken. I had to tell somebody and I knew just the right person.
‘Fry on his iPhone,’ said Fry, presumably on his iPhone.
‘Stephen. It’s Richard.’
‘Ah, do wonders never cease? Had I the wit, and I believe that I do, I would praise you in succulent terms normally reserved for one’s mother or a winsome child with a toffee apple.’
‘Listen, cut the crap. Did you know that Chuck Norris wears dentures?’
‘Indeed I did not but might I say how delighted I am to learn this fact. You know, I am sure, that I am due to meet the man on this very PM.’
‘Of course I knew,’ I lied, totally surprised by how little time it takes Fry to follow up on the lead to a scoop. ‘I’m ringing because I want you to check it out for me. I watched one of his TV ads and at first I thought he’d only been kicked in the head one too many times.’
‘Ah,’ said Fry. ‘What we in the TV trade call the Titchmarsh Syndrome.’
‘Do we? Oh, of course we do. But listen. It struck me in the middle of the night that he’s not been kicked in the head one too many times. It’s just that he wears big dentures.’
‘Big dentures? How fitting.’
‘Or not fitting, as I suspect is the case. Which is why I’ve rang you. I want you to look into this and report back. I know you’re not blogging on your trip because it’s going into a book but I thought just this once you might write me a report of your encounter.’
‘Stephen Fry meets Chuck Norris? It would make quite good little essay. Or perhaps something longer!’
‘No, the essay will do. And if you let me post it on my blog, I’ll slip you a few quid. You know. Tie you over until you’re next book is published.’
‘Ah, the terrible wait until Monday next. It is such a very long time. I’ll do it.’
So there you have the news. I’m hoping to have Stephen Fry’s interview with Chuck Norris exclusively on this blog. If that doesn’t bring in the hits, I don’t know what will. I suppose it will have to be plan B and Raj’s suggestion that I start featuring Reader’s Wives. Only I wouldn’t know what Bill Oddie would say. If, indeed, he would say anything.