Tom Hanks Called Me…Maybe?

There’s lots of press out there around a documentary called Killing Lincoln, airing next month on the National Geographic Channel. It reminded me of a phone call I got from Tom Hanks a few months ago. Conversation went like this…

(Ring R…ing)

Mike: Hello?

Tom: Hey Mike, how’s it going?

Mike: Fine. Who’s this?

Tom: It’s Tom!

Mike: Tom?

Tom: Tom Hanks.

Mike: Get out of here.

Tom: No, really. It’s me.

Mike: (pause) This doesn’t sound like Tom Hanks.

Tom: Well, it is.

Mike: Say “life is like a box of chocolates.”

Tom: Life is like a box of chocolates.

Mike: No, say it like Forrest Gump.

Tom: (Sigh) “Momma always said, life is like a box of chocolates.”

Mike: Son of a gun. Tom Hanks. So…what can I do for you, Tom?

Tom: Well Mike, I need a favor.

Mike: A favor? From me?

Tom: Yeah. You know I’m crazy about Lincoln, right?

Mike: Abraham Lincoln?

Tom: Yeah, him.

Mike: Actually, no. I didn’t know that.

Tom: Well, I am. He’s my all-time favorite president. Ever.

Mike: That’s nice. I like him too.

Tom: Yeah well, I love him, Mike. And I’m not ashamed to say it. I love, love, love Abraham Lincoln.

Mike: OK.

Tom: Did you know that we’re related?

Mike: You and Lincoln?

Tom: That’s right. On my mother’s side.

Mike: I didn’t know that.

Tom: Well, it’s true. You can look it up.

Mike: You should check out Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Lincoln. It’s pretty good.

Tom: Oh my God, I LOVE that book!

Mike: In fact, National Geographic is making a documentary out of it and I’ve been asked to narrate it. How cool is that?

Tom: Yeah…um…actually Mike…that’s why I’m calling you.

Mike: You want me to get you a copy of the DVD?

Tom: No. I’m calling because I have to narrate Killing Lincoln.

Mike: (pause) You have to narrate it?

Tom: Yes. I simply have to. You see, I really love Lincoln. And us being related and all…

Mike: Look, Tom, this is a little awkward. I’ve already agreed to narrate Killing Lincoln. They asked me months ago and I said yes. There was a press release and everything. It would be weird for me to just, you know…drop out.

Tom: Don’t worry, Mike. Nobody will notice.

Mike: You don’t think so?

Tom: No way. Remember Cloud Atlas?

Mike: Good point.

Tom: Besides, you narrate Deadliest Catch, right?

Mike: Yeah.

Tom: That’s a pretty sweet gig.

Mike: Yes, I’m lucky to have it.

Tom: You also narrate all those cool documentaries for Discovery?

Mike: Yes.

Tom: And you’re the voice of Ford too, right?

Mike: Yeah, but I don’t understand what that has to do…

Tom: Look, Mike, to be honest … I could use the work.

Mike: Really?

Tom: Yeah. Plus, I love Bill O’Reilly.

Mike: You do?

Tom: You bet. He’s the only guy I can rely on for news and information with no spin.

Mike: Didn’t he call you a “Pinhead?”

Tom: That was a long time ago. Today I’ve come to realize that Bill O’Reilly is the only newsman I can really trust. There’s just something about the way he reads the news … like he’s talking only to me.

Mike: I see.

Tom: And now, well … I just want to help Bill and Fox News bring Killing Lincoln to the big screen.

Mike: This isn’t the big screen, Tom. It’s not even HBO. Do you even do TV anymore?

Tom: Only if it’s about Lincoln. Or World War II. Or space. I love space. I would really love to do a movie about Lincoln on the moon. Do you think people would enjoy that?

Mike: Well, a bunch of people just watched a movie about Lincoln hunting vampires. So I guess anything is possible.

Tom: Oh my God, I loved that movie. (pause) Did you narrate that too?

Mike: Look Tom, if Killing Lincoln really means that much to you, I’m happy to step aside.

Tom: Thanks, Mike. This means the world to me.

Mike: Don’t mention it. The guys at Nat Geo are very nice, and I hear they’re doing a film version of Killing Kennedy sometime next year. Maybe they’ll let me narrate that one?

Tom: Actually Mike, John Kennedy was my second cousin. Did you know that?

Mike: You’re kidding.

Tom: Nope. It’s true. I love Kennedy. He’s my second favorite President.

Mike: That’s great, Tom.

Tom: Now, about Deadliest Catch ….

In hindsight, I may have dreamed up the whole conversation, but I’m pretty sure it happened exactly as I’ve described. What do you think?

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