Today after work, I stood at the corner of the street trying to wave down a taxi when across the street, my friend cooking random skewers of meat wearing the 25 gold chains, mesh shorts, and house shoes waved me over. I walked across the street and he again gave me greetings and commands in Portuguese (after 6 weeks he still does not realize I have no idea what he is talking about). I figured out that the guy that just bought some food and a drink is a taxi driver and motions for him to get his car. The small white Fiat races around the corner and I had my ride home. The best part, the taxi driver looked just like the main character in the television show "Chuck". Tall, lanky, guy with wavy black hair wearing blank dress pants, a white short sleeve button up, and black sunglasses. It was like I was in the backseat of a Nerd Herd car ready to go on the next mission. And I had my inspiration for my entertaining taxi ride. (If you don't know what I am referring to see picture below and keep reading!).
I try not to watch too much television back home, however sometimes shows just pull me in. I'm not afraid to admit I still enjoy watching MTV's "The Real World", Grey's Anatomy, The Office, and Friday Night Lights (I've missed you Coach Taylor). Of course there are cable television hits including Weeds and anything on HBO, but lets focus on network television shows. Since the last episodes of "Prison Break" and "24" I have lacked a bit of that action thriller, but I found a suitable substitution in NBC's "Chuck". I know that no one could ever be a Jack Bauer (Keifer Sutherland) or Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller), but I now have Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi).
If you have never watched the show, the plot line is that a young Stanford graduate computer nerd who traditionally underachieves becomes a national hero. He obtains a computer like superpower that gets downloaded into his brain called "the Intersect". The Intersect has every type of sky skill and fighting style stored inside the computer which is now inside his brain. It seem far fetched I know but it could really happen someday with the advances in technology. Also stored inside the Intersect are files on the world's most notorious criminals and illegal weapons. To start each episode, Chuck randomly comes across some of these people and "Flashes". A Flash is when the Intersect recognizes what Chuck sees and makes the connection to it and it starts an adventure to be lived over the course of the 30 minute episode. I know I may have bored you but let me take the time to say It is a great show, and besides, just like James Bond, every spy needs a gorgeous girl.Agent Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) is that girl for Chuck.
Now that you know the background, its time to get back to my taxi ride. The ride started out normal as usual, me trying to be very specific in the route I wanted to take back to my hotel located at the corner of Augusta and Alemeda Itu. In thick heavy traffic we slowly crept along giving me an opportunity to take in the sights including a man carrying a guitar with a camouflage case, a street performer juggling knives, and many people trying to chase down their buses. Heading up Santo Amaro we came into a clearing and all of a sudden my Chuck look a like downshifted his engine and took off like he was racing a ten cent car in the quarter mile in The Fast and the Furious. We continued speeding along and when I looked at the the speedometer, it was showing 100. We were not going 100 miles per hour but rather kilometers per hour, which is still over 60 miles per hour in a city street. The guy pushed his sun glasses down on his face and we were making great time. I ensured my seat belt was secure and envisioned it was Chuck driving me away from the evil villains that are a part of "The Ring". We were caught by a red light and we slowed to a quick stop. Four motorcycles surrounded the car and I thought we were going to be in for a fight with the evil spies. For some reason only one of them looked at me and he knew that I was valuable right away. The light turned green and we were off again. Chuck was protecting his precious cargo as we raced down the road listening to Queen, Bush, and Rage Against the Machine. We were side by side with a black Kia Sol when we were stopped at the next light. The windows were very dark tinted so I could not tell if there were hampsters driving inside like their commercials, but I assume there were and they were also trying to capture us. Just as I heard a Brazilian on the radio say "God Bless Ozzy Osborne" we took off again. We headed up the ramp to Jau and left the spies and the evil hamsters in the dust.
After a few more quick brushes with evildoers, a policeman on a motorcycle pulled along side of us. I knew I was now safe thanks to Chuck. As we turned onto Alemeda Itu the song "We are the Champions" started playing on Kiss FM causing me to get a good laugh and a good way to end this blog.