I had never seen my friend 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 … he doesn’t like Tom Hanks!”
Doesn’t like Tom Hanks?
This was a shock. Tom Hanks is America’s most likeable celebrity. He’s charming, funny, and elf-effacing. The nicest guy in Hollywood, and a welcome presence on screens both large and small.
“How did this come about, Farbman?”
“Last Saturday night, I was watching ‘Cast Away’ for the 20th time and Bruce came into the den.
“‘Bruce,’ I said, ‘they’re just about to introduce Wilson the Soccer Ball. Come sit down and we’ll watch together.’”
“’I’d rather not, Dad,’ he told me. ‘I don’t like Tom Hanks.’”
“‘What are you saying, Bruce?’ I shouted!”
‘I’ve never liked Tom Hanks,’ he said.”
Farbman told me when his son said this to him he broke down sobbing.
“Try to understand, Farbman,” I said. “He has no choice in the matter. He was born not liking Tom Hanks.”
“How could this happen to me? I who have seen ‘Forrest Gump’ more times than Sally Field has popped Bonivas!”
“Farbman, this isn’t about you! People’s attitudes are changing. It’s no longer unacceptable to be a Tom Hanks disliker.”
“What should I do?”
“Just tell Bruce you love him and support him no matter what.”
“You’re right, Perry. I’m glad we had this little chat. I feel much better.”
Just then I got a phone call from my son Brandon, who wanted to know if I’d like to watch a movie that night.
“How about something with Tom Hanks?” I asked.
“Great, Dad! Who doesn’t like Tom Hanks?”
“Why don’t we watch ‘Sully’?”
“I’d rather not, Dad.”
“I don’t like Sully Sullenberger.”