Banta was bragging to his boss one day,” You know, I know everyone there is to know. Just name someone, anyone, and I know them.
” Tired of his boasting, his boss called his bluff, “. OK, Banta how about Tom Cruise?” . “Sure, yes, Tom and I are old friends, and I can prove it.” So Banta and his boss fly out to Hollywood and knock on Tom Cruise’s door, and sure enough, Tom Cruise, shouts, “Banta! Great to see you! You and your friend come right in and join me for lunch!”
Although impressed, Banta’s boss is still skeptical. After they leave Cruise’s house, he tells Banta that he thinks Banta knowing Cruise was just lucky.
“No, no, just name anyone else,” Banta says.
“President Bush,” his boss quickly retorts. “Yes,” Banta says, “I know him, let’s fly out to Washington.” At the White House, Bush spots Banta on the tour and motions him and his boss over, saying, “Banta, what a surprise, I was just on my way to a meeting, but you and your friend come on in and have a cup of coffee first.” Well, the boss is very shaken by now, but still not totally convinced.
After they leave the White House, he expresses his doubts to Banta, who again implores him to name anyone else. “The Pope,” his boss replies. “Sure!” says Banta. “My folks are from Poland, and I have known the Pope a long time.” So they fly to Rome.
Banta and his boss are assembled with the masses in Vatican Square when Banta says, “This will never work. I cannot catch the Pope’s eye among all these people. Tell you what, I know all the guards so let me just go upstairs and I will come out on the balcony with the Pope.” And he disappears into the crowd headed toward the Vatican.
Sure enough, half an hour later Banta emerges with the Pope on the balcony. But by the time Banta returns, he finds that his boss has had a heart attack and is surrounded by paramedics. Working his way to his boss’s side, Banta asks him, “What happened?” His boss looks up and says,” I was doing fine until you and the Pope came out on the balcony and the man next to me said, “Who is that on the balcony with Banta?”
(contributed by : Megha Bamba on 24.02.2011)