Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Boy Who Didn't Like Tom Hanks


I had never seen Farbman so upset. He was so disturbed he didn't even touch his second desert at lunch.

"It's my son Bruce," he said. "In all my days, I never thought something like this could ever happen!"

"What is it, Farbman?" I asked with alarm. "Is it drugs, is he in legal trouble, has he chosen Pepsi over Coke?"

"If only it were one of those things," Farbman wailed.  "No, my son Bruce told me ... he told me ...  that he ... he doesn't like ... Tom Hanks!"

Doesn’t like Tom Hanks?!! 

I admit I was taken aback. Why, Tom Hanks is America's most likeable celebrity! He's charming, funny, self-effacing, the nicest guy in Hollywood, and a welcome presence on screens large and small.  Most of us just can't help but like him.

“How did this all come about, Farbman?”  

“It was last Saturday night. I was watching Forrest Gump for the 14th time and Bruce came into the den and I said ‘Bruce, why don’t you sit down and we’ll watch it together, we’re almost up to the scene where Forrest shows Lyndon Johnson his ass.’”

“And he said, ‘No, I’d rather not, Dad.  I’ve been meaning to tell you for some time now.  I … I don’t like Tom Hanks!”

“So he came out of the Tom Hanks closet, did he?”

“Yes. Then it all poured out of him! He’s never liked Tom Hanks but felt he had no choice but to pretend he did to get along in the world. For him Saving Private Ryan plays like Turner and Hooch!”

“I see,” I replied.  “And Catch Me if You Can…”

“Just like Larry Crowne!”

I felt Farbman’s pain.

“How could this happen to me?” moaned Farbman. “I who have seen Cast Away more times that Sally Field has popped Bonivas!  Why, my most prized possession is a selfie with Wilson the Soccer Ball!”

“Farbman,” I said, “I have to be honest.  It isn’t about you."


"It’s about Bruce.  And Tom Hanks.”

“What do you mean?”

“Look, Farbman, you’ve got to face it.  Bruce was brave enough to come out as a Tom Hanks disliker. That took guts.”

“Yes, but how on earth can anyone not like Tom Hanks?  He gave a cabdriver tickets to his Broadway show & met him after the show, he’s a prince!”

“Farbman, Bruce has no choice in the matter.  He was born not liking Tom Hanks.”

“I know that’s what they say.”

“It’s true. Remember how gay people weren't accepted just a few years ago? Look how that’s changed. As radical as it seems, I'll bet we'll feel the same way about people who don't like Tom Hanks 20 or 25 years from now."

"Do you really think so?"

"I know so, Farbman. Just tell him you love him no matter what."

"You're right, Perry, I will.  I do feel a little better now."

Just then I took a phone call from my son Brandon. He was in town and he wanted to know if I wanted to watch a movie with him that night.

"How about something with Tom Hanks?" I asked. 

"That would be great, Dad!  I always like Tom Hanks' movies, he's America's most likeable celebrity."

"I agree!  Let's see Sully, I haven't seen that yet."

"No, I’d rather not, Dad.  I’ve meaning to tell you for some time now. I … I don’t like Sully Sullenberger!"


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