Boom! You hear that, suckas? That’s the sound of me. In Belgium, that is. I’m huge there.
Sorry for the redundancy, but I AM BIG in Belgium. You wouldn’t believe it. But it’s true. I’m a national celebrity among the Flemings and the Walloons, who can’t really agree with one another on anything, really, except me. (They’re always calling one another mean names, like “Flamings,” “Balloonies,” and so forth.)
At first I couldn’t lay a finger on it—what so attracted the hearts and minds of Belgish people everywhere, but particularly in Belgium, to me? I’m a nobody in my native United States. Yet here I am, a virtual demigod in Belgium and surrounding countries such as Luxembourg! (Note to self: Don’t brag about being big in Luxembourg. Too easy!) Amazing!
They want to make me the king in the Kingdom of Belgium, you know. Right now some guy named Philippe has the job. From what I gather, dude farts a lot (too many “frites”) and is extremely unqualified to run Belgium. Maybe I should be king.
Back to why I’m big in Belgium, though.
Guy de Clercq. The famous Belgish water skier. Apparently I look just like the dude. So much so that I could play him in a movie (and will, if renowned Belgish film director Stijn Coninx has his way). Anyway, this Guy could jump on water skis really far and really well. So much so that he won the World Championship in water ski jumping in 1949 (and 1950). He was dynastic to the sport. You get the idea.
Since his strange disappearance a long time ago (aliens), Guy de Clercq lovers have been walking around with big waffle-sized holes in their chests. Belgish people who were lucky enough to have been at the 1949 World Championship that beatific afternoon in France—(and lived to tell about it—whole other story)—to watch Guy de Clercq jump ever-so beautifully and really quite far—recall the likeness of a gazelle with smooth, flat, elongated wooden hooves, or that of an extreme-sports Jesus. These elders have passed de Clercq’s legendary story down through generations. Children worship him to this day and dress as him for Halloween, which parents don’t object to in the least because it’s an easy costume (shorts, shirt) and plus because he was such a “Guy for all seasons.”
You might be thinking: These people are crazy, like Germans-for-David-Hasselhoff-crazy. True, we’re talking major hero-worship here, but in a healthy, non-obsessive, dare I say “Belgish” way. The people of Belgium know what up when it comes to their celebrities. For example, even though they all know who I am—“the Guy Guy” or “Future King of Belgium”, they call me—they don’t trip out and ask me for autographs or anything, just like they didn’t freak out on Guy de Clercq. Maybe I’ll get a smile on the street, a free bottle of bubbly at dinner or something. No biggie.
Pop quiz, hot shot! Name someone else Belgish! No, not Dennis Hopper, but good guess. Anyway, I’m sure most of you who could come up with anybody came up with renowned karate actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, another hero in Belgium and abroad.
I had the opportunity of meeting Mr. Damme some years ago at the Santa Monica Pier (that’s in California). Even though I was only 15, my strange metamorphosis into Guy de Clercq-reincarnate had already begun to take shape (which will be important here in a second).
I approached Jean-Claude Van and asked, “Would you mind posing for a picture with me and my buds?”
His response: “Latah, Guy, Latah.” (I do believe he had just broken up with his girlfriend, and hence was distraught, and probably drunk. But still, he had my Guy-ness pegged immediately and) he’s a Belgish celebrity in his own right. Need I say more?
Do Belgish people love Guy de Clercq because he was so huge? Or was Guy de Clercq so huge because Belgish people love him? It matters not.
Belgish people LOVE Guy de Clercq (even though he disappeared a long time ago (aliens)).
I resemble Guy de Clercq to the toe nail.
Ergo, Belgish people love me.