Tom, T Hanks For All The Great Flicks
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Tom, T Hanks For All the Great Flicks

Witty attempt at wordplay out of the way early, I have to ask: Is it just me or is Tom Hanks everywhere? Seems to be. Over this holiday season I could not surf channels without seeing one of his old movies playing or a promotion for another. You would think one would tire of Mr. Ubiquitous around just about every corner. With two movies out this year and what seems like countless major blockbusters to his credit, five Oscar nominations, two of them wins, perhaps the better question is: Is he just getting better?

Unqualified to answer unequivocally, I thought, after watching, (you guessed it) a Tom Hanks holiday movie, I would embrace him in one fell swoop to round out the year. So attempting a logical plot and a slightly insane approach, I am going to pay homage to most of his major films, and a good number of his minor ones, in a narrative of sheer, gratuitous whimsy. I am not looking for a Pulitzer here, so have fun and take off your editor's hat.

I awoke to a Big snowstorm outside which sounded Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Despite my commitment to run my Green Mile every day, I Castaway any hopes of running in this weather. After all, if you listen to the Angels & Demons on your shoulders equally, not all choices lead to the Road to Perdition. Besides, I was happy to take a break from my running partner that was so competitive, always taunting, Catch Me If You Can.

I made my way through my house, the rooms in various stages of renovation. We moved to The Burbs last year with the intention of renovating an old home to increase its value. It has turned out to be a total Money Pit. Stepping over paint cans and boxes of tile, I finally found the phone to call my uncle, Captain Phillips, to see if our annual camping trip to Forest Gump was still a go this summer. He was not home so I had to figure out what to do next.

I decided it was a good time to deal with some our financial matters since the renovation was running over budget. I called Ryan, our financial advisor, to discuss some asset allocation. Since the economic climate had been volatile, we needed to take a more conservative approach. “Stan, I have a great IPO opportunity – sure it’s risky but the potential for upside....”. I stopped him short. “Ryan, the reno is way over what we thought, and we are not in a position to put any capital at risk”, I explained. “Stan, I’m telling you, by summer you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t take this opportunity!” The truth was that my wife would be kicking me if I exposed our money to any risky ventures. “We have to keep that capital safe. Thanks for the offer, but we have to keep what we are Saving Private, Ryan”. He understood our needs and agreed to touch base again in the spring.

Moving through the living room to get to the kitchen, was an obstacle course. My son’s things were everywhere. It was a Toy Story gone awry. The remnants of an unfinished school science project were strewn across the dining table. My son, Joseph was struggling with this one about chemistry using baking soda and vinegar, and had decided to take a break until he could get it just right. After helping him as much as we could, we dubbed the project “Joe Versus the Volcano”.

Stuck inside until the storm passed, I thought I would get the mail. It must have come by Polar Express today in this mess. I donned my winter coat and crunched my way to the mailbox. Sure enough the numerically-challenged postman had delivered my neighbor’s mail to our box again. We are not sure why – the house numbers are not depicted in Da Vinci Code. I trudged over to my neighbor, Larry’s house. Larry Crowne and his family were in a League of Their Own; he, a prestigious lawyer at Turner & Hooch, his wife a nurse in the cardiac ward. Their sons were both overly handsome. The Ladykillers were outwardly well-dressed and seemed materialistic and selfish, but were actually regular Volunteers at the Bonfire of the Vanities mission on the east side of the city. I shielded my face from the elements and rang the doorbell. Larry opened the door and greeted me with his beaming smile, which would probably have been visible from Apollo 13.

“Mornin’, Stan! Step inside, quickly, before you blow away.” I gladly stepped over the threshold after shaking the snow off of my coat. “You Got Mail delivered to our house again. That postie needs contacts. Where’s the missus?” Larry took the mail and ushered me into the kitchen for a freshly brewed cup of coffee. “She is still on her shift at the hospital. Busy night at the cardiac unit. They were Saving Mr. Banks this morning”. My jaw dropped in disbelief.

Will Banks was the very embodiment of health and vitality. Always the life of the party, he made a Splash at his brother’s Bachelor Party where he always had the wittiest Punchline for just about any conversation. After a few too many, he was known as the Man With One Red Shoe after running through the hotel rose garden. We reminisced about the great times we had shared with Will Banks and he promised he would let me know how he was fairing once his wife returned home. I thanked him for the coffee and made my way back to my renovation from hell.

The storm, much to my relief, seemed to have calmed during my visit. I had to pick up my wife from the airport later and the road to The Terminal would have been a disaster if it continued to storm. I still had time to sneak in a nap. I was exhausted after my wife called me in the middle of the night with insomnia. Sleepless in Seattle, she regaled me with the details of her two city business trip which started in Philadelphia earlier that week. The sky was changing and it was difficult to predict what the conditions would be in a few hours. Always interested in meteorology, I wish I had something like a Cloud Atlas to interpret the skies, but I would have to settle for the Weather Network to determine how much time to allow for my drive.

I burrowed into the duvet; now cool from my long absence. Quite alert from the coffee, I thought about how much I missed my wife. I was a lucky man. When we first met, it seemed like we had Nothing in Common, but after spending some time together, it was clear we were going to love each other for a long time. I always love picking her up at the airport. I knew an affectionate greeting at the airport would be followed by a flirty request to do That Thing You Do, followed by a wink. With a smile that can only come from thinking about the one you love, I drifted into a peaceful slumber. The snow dwindled to a sprinkle.


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