Before he even got to that point, the young Ventura had already been a soldier, a frogman, and a biker. At 18, right out of high school, he joined up with the Navy and did part of the training to become a SEAL, trekking through the desert frying acorns for food, getting locked in a box and waterboarded, and hunting the occasional Rastafarian alien warrior. He ended up becoming part of the Underwater Demolition Team and was stationed in the waters of southeast Asia during the Vietnam War (although he didn't see combat, possibly because combat was too scared to come his way).
"I actually had plenty of time to bleed."
After leaving the Navy, Ventura joined the Mongols, a club of motorcycle enthusiasts that he insists isn't a criminal gang, although the Department of Justice tends to disagree. He rose through the ranks of the organization until, in 1978, he injured his knee and decided to go into a quieter line of work -- getting shot for other people.
He spent the next few years working in security, guarding acts that came to tour his hometown in Minneapolis, which included Bob Seger, Rush, the Grateful Dead ... and, more than once, the Rolling Stones. Which, to no one's surprise, tended to be somewhat more interesting than guarding Seger. One time, Ventura was in the dressing room with the band's Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood when their manager came in and said "The POLICE are here!" Richards and Wood started flushing all their drugs down the toilet (or, in Richards' case, down his throat, which amounts to the same thing), when the door opened and in walked ...
... Sting and Stewart Copeland from the Police. Presumably at this point they said "Hey guys, got any drugs?"
After he got tired of being a bodyguard, Ventura followed the now typical "screen strongman to movie star to state governor" career path. Right after his inauguration in 1999, he had a reunion with the Stones, who were back performing in Minneapolis. Ventura congratulated Richards on still being alive, and Richards said to him, "So you used to bodyguard us ... and now you're the governor? Fuckin' great!" Ventura's first proclamation as governor was to unilaterally declare February 15 Rolling Stones Day. Because, well, who was going to stop him?
Rolling Stones Day was later suspended after 700 people overdosed on the first one.
Evan V. Symon is a moderator in the Cracked Workshop. When he isn't busy getting intimidated by nightclub bouncers, he can be found on Facebook, and be sure to bookshelf and vote for his new book, The End of the Line. Menezes is a writer and layout editor here at Cracked. Follow him on Twitter.
Related Reading: Celebrities have a way of surprising us. Sometimes in a bad way, like learning John Lennon was an abusive asshole who hit women. Sometimes in a good way, like learning Jimmy Stewart took a break from acting to bomb the Nazis. Most of the time we just give them more hate than they really deserve.