BE CAREFUL HOW YOU ANSWER THE PHONE!
"Now see here, Mr. Murcia, you don't have to believe The President of the United States wants to talk to your wife, but I hope you don't think I'm going to tell him to do THAT up a flat rope!"
If a schmuck is calling,
he may be the real deal!
By ANDY MURCIA
The other day I answered my office phone and heard a male voice ask for Ann Jillian, my wife, the Hollywood star whose career I manage. I asked who was calling and he said his name was Frank Smuck.
Now I rarely get prank calls. Anns fans are mostly down to earth, sensible people. So, when this guy says his name is "Frank Smuck" I told him to stop joking, as I was too busy for it.
But he insisted that was his name and that he was a friend of someone who knew Ann Jillian. He mentioned the name of another actress who had once worked with Ann. I still wasnt biting. I mean, anyone can know the names of some actors Ann worked with. After the guy kept insisting this was his name, I got naughty and advised him to change it. He said he would not and that he was very proud that his name was Frank C. Smuck. I didnt bite and ask him what the C stood for. Instead I said something stupid, like, "Well, I'm Abe Lincoln!" and hung up on him.
About a week later I received a package from--you guessed it--Frank Smuck. Well, he actually spells his name Frank C. Schmuck. Turns out the guy is for real. In fact hes quite a guy to say the least. Hes a highly decorated Persian Gulf War veteran and former Air Force Academy cadet. It would take a lot of space to tell you all of this man's accomplishments, but here's just one: After narrowly missing being hit by a scud missile attack that killed 27 fellow U.S. service personnel, he airlifted wounded from the battlefield to safety, and for these accomplishments earned the Air Forces Air Medal.
After his active career, he moved to Air Force Reserves in 1993. He also began a career as a professional airline pilot. He trained pilots to fly the Boeing 737 and is currently employed by Southwest Airlines, flying passengers around the United States.
Frank C. Schmuck founded Voices Take Flight, a not for profit organization that promotes service before self and awareness of neurological diseases. He created the Schow-Donnelly Award bestowed annually to a civilian and military veteran for national service before self He also co-founded the Schmuck Fest Celebrity Comedy Roasts for priceless service to community.
Hes President Elect of the Kiwanis club of Tempe Nuevo, a Southwest Airlines Adopt-A-Pilot mentor to school children and member of the American Legion. He is fluent in French and speaks German. Get this: He spends his free time supporting numerous humanitarian causes, including aid to autistic children, Lou Gehrigs disease and assisting with Gulf War related illnesses. Hes received numerous awards for his own service before self deeds. He is Arizonas youngest inductee into the Veterans Hall of Fame. He is married to his beautiful Andrea and sings in his church choir and plays trumpet and hand bells in the church orchestra.
So, here I am reading all the contents of Frank C. Schmucks package. The more I read, the redder my face is getting. I mean I have egg all over my kisser! The reason Frank was calling was that he wanted to see if Ann Jillian would be willing to be the Parade Grand Marshall and keynote speaker at the Veterans Day Luncheon held at the Biltmore Resort Hotel in Phoenix on November 10, 2005. This is our countrys fourth largest Veterans Day Parade. Hugh Downs was the Marshall last year.
Frank was aware of Anns volunteer work for the Disabled Veterans, the hospital visiting program, the USO shows, etc. The theme this year will be the 60th Anniversary of the Second World War. He didnt know that Anns father was Capt. Joseph Nauseda a highly decorated pilot in the Lithuanian Air Force and a graduate of their Air force Academy. So, like a good manager, I go to Ann and tell her what I had done.
She immediately calls ME a schmuck! And at once I know I have to make this right somehow. I both a phoned and emailed my apologies to Frank C. Schmuck and promised Ann would be there for his worthy events.
Ann Jillian will be keynote speaker at the Veterans Day Luncheon held at the Biltmore Resort Hotel in Phoenix on November 10, 2005. The following day, she'll serve as Parade Grand Marshall.
Frank called me back and, at last, we had a nice chat. He accepted my apology, then went on to tell me a funny story about his own name: It seems Southwest Airlines was opening the New York to Miami run and the two pilots chosen to fly New Yorkers to the land of sunshine and shark attacks were Frank C. Schmuck and his co-pilot, Emil Putz.
Cant you just hear those New Yorkers in the back of the plane saying, Wwe have a schmuck and a putz in the cockpit, so why are we on this plane?
While Frank did not appreciate my attack on his family surname, he has a great sense of humor and a forgiving nature. I guess these attributes are standard equipment for all the good guys in the military of whom we're all so very proud.
And, yes, I had to promise Ann I would take every callers surname seriously from now on. But, please, dont any of you call me claiming to be Donald Duck!
©2005 by Andy Murcia. The caricature of Andy Murcia is ©2003 by Jim Hummel. The cartoon is from IMSI's Master Clips Collection, 1895 Francisco Blvd. East, San Rafael, CA, 94901-5506, USA. This column first posted July 4, 2005.
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