Maybe it began when the beard trimmer adjuster accidentally got bumped to a setting shorter than usual and I didn't notice it until I was finished. Or maybe it was the broad-brimmed hat I was wearing in the heat of the Bahamian sun, when a passer-by did a wide-eyed double-take, put her hand to her mouth, and said: "Oh no, it's you!" I asked, "Who?" She said, "Chuck Norris!"
Unfortunately I wasn't quick-witted enough to modestly admit that I was just on vacation, because she was utterly convinced. I said I hadn't been told that before but I thanked her just the same.
Maybe the sunglasses made the difference – I don't seem to have that steely-eyed glare.
That afternoon in the Crow's Nest lounge, my ears pricked up when I overheard our waitress at the next table: "His name is Jack." The waitress had been particularly gregarious and had asked our names when she served us. Curious, I asked what this was about, and found that the woman had asked if I was an actor! When I told her that I was often mistaken for Chuck Norris, she agreed that must have been who she had in mind.
The next morning I joined the group that would be mountain biking through the Dominican rain forest. One of them looked at me closely and asked if I was in the cabin next to him. I said maybe, I was in 1817. Not even close; he was in 7054. When I mentioned the previous cases of mistaken identity, several said they saw the resemblance, but Chuck Norris was shorter! I began to think that maybe I'd better be more vigilant in case some martial artist wanted to prove himself.
On our return, we had to show guards our boarding card before we could enter the dock area. As I was walking towards the ship, one asked something that sounded like: "Are you an artist?" Startled – what now? what artist might I possibly resemble? – I turned back and asked what he'd said. It turned out to be "architect." I told him "No, engineer, but why did you ask?" He pointed to the mechanical pencil in my pocket.