It's a Wonderful Tony
MU2 Tony Townsend
MUC Frank Mullen
Time: An evening in late December, 1986.
Place: MU2 Townsend's living room, Married Enlisted Quarters, Yokosuka Naval Base.
A group of Seventh Fleet Band members and wives are seated. MU2 Townsend stands before the television.
MU2 Townsend: Okay, everybody, quiet down, the movie's about to start.
MUC Mullen: While we're settling down, let's all thank the Townsends for their Christmas hospitality tonight.
Various Attendees: Yay! Bravo! Thanks!, etc.
MUC Mullen: The Townsends gave us a great meal and, now, the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service has scheduled the perfect after-dinner treat.
MU2 Townsend: I know that most of you have never seen "It's a Wonderful Life" before, so let me just say this: the first half may seem a little strange, but stick with it, it'll all make sense.
He turns up the TV volume.
TV:MUC Mullen: (quietly) Thanks for doing this, Tony; Christmas without "It's a Wonderful Life" wouldn't really be Christmas.
Gower's Voice: I owe everything to George Bailey.
Mary's Voice: I love him dear Lord; watch over him tonight.
Janie's Voice: Please, God, something's the matter with Daddy.
MU2 Townsend: I hear you, chief.
An hour and a half later. The MUs and spouses are enthralled
George: I suppose it would have been better if I'd never been born at all.
Clarence the Angel: What'd you say?MU2 Townsend: Pay attention, everyone, this part's important.
TV:MUC Mullen: Yeah, this is where it gets good.
George: I said I wish I'd never been born.
TV:MUC Mullen: What the...
Announcer's voice: ...and with that free throw, the Trailblazers take the lead. The Warriors will have to--that's a foul! But no call, the ref missed it. Floyd passes to Carroll...
MU2 Townsend: Holy--
TV:Various Attendees: Huh?...What's going on?
Announcer's voice: Carroll passed to Ballard, Ballard shoots...it's good! Tie game with 12 seconds left!
MU2 Townsend: Armed Forces Radio and Television Service is screwing up my party, that's what's going on.
Various Attendees: Bummer!....Booo!...This sucks!, etc..
MU2 Townsend: Damn A-FARTS. Honey, where's the phone book.
MU2 Townsend's wife hands him a phone book. He flips through it.
MU2 Townsend: (mumbling) Armed Forces Radio and Television Service, Armed Forces--Aha: 216-7400.
He picks up the telephone and dials.
MU2 Townsend: (into telephone) Answer, you rotten, stinking... Hello? Yes, this is Admiral Hardworthy. from Commander, Fleet Liaison Protocol Control Asia. What the hell is going on? I've got a screening room full of flag officers and foreign dignitaries. Two minutes ago, we were watching a classic post-war movie in preparation for a discussion on the plight of small entrepreneurs faced with the powerful forces of unrestrained industrialism. Now we're staring at a damn basketball game. Fix it.... I don't care... Fix! This! Now!
He slams the phone down.
Various Attendees: Oooohh!...Wow!....Holy shit!, etc.
MUC Mullen: Hey, everybody, look at the television--it's a Christmas miracle!
Clarence the Angel: You've got your wish, George; you've never been born. You don't exist. You haven't a care in the world.