- Frank Cerabino Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
You might want to consider being the U.S. ambassador in a foreign country.
It’s going to cost you a bundle, and you’ll have to devote a chunk of your life to watching movie musicals.
But there may be a path for you.
I’m judging this by Patrick Park, the Palm Beach philanthropist who joined President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and professed his love for the “The Sound of Music,” a Broadway musical turned movie musical set in Austria.
Park said he watched the musical dozens of times and has memorized all the lyrics to the songs in the show.
Trump nominated him to be the U.S. Ambassador to Austria.
Makes sense. I’m guessing most of Trump’s base of knowledge comes from what he sees on TV, and so a dues-paying Mar-a-Lago member with an encyclopedic knowledge of “The Sound of Music” checked all the boxes for Austria.
I could see Trump during the interview.
“I thought the treatment of Rolf was very unfair. Sad!” Trump would say. “There were some very fine people on both sides.”
Park turned down the ambassadorship opportunity, citing family and business reasons.
But now we have a template to go by:
1. Pay for a membership in Trump’s private club
2. Develop expertise in a fictional movie set in a country that has an ambassador vacancy.
There are lots of opportunities out there.
Even though Trump has been in office for more than a year, there are dozens of ambassador vacancies in our foreign embassies.
When Trump took office, he fired all the political appointees of former President Obama, which was about a third of all the ambassadorships. And Trump’s administration has been slow in filling them.
There are still 33 vacancies, according to the American Foreign Service Association.
So get busy. Start saving money and watching movies.
For example, being the next U.S. Ambassador to Sweden would be a cushy job. And it’s one of the vacancies.
The Swedes aren’t known for their movie musicals. But the Swedish pop group, ABBA, is the inspiration for the romantic comedy, “Mamma Mia!”, which is built around the group’s music.
So the pathway to become the next U.S. ambassador to Sweden is simple.
First step: Plunk down the $200,000 initiation fee, plus $14,000 annual dues, to join Mar-a-Lago and thereby get private-audience access to the president that the public doesn’t have.
Next step: While at the club, find a reason to walk up to Trump and plant the seed.
Maybe he’ll be waiting for his well-done cheeseburger to come off the outdoor grill. And that’s when you casually walk up while singing, “You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen.”
That’ll get his attention. Then you start gushing about how you’ve watched “Mamma Mia!” so many times because you can’t get enough of those ABBA songs.
Then say something in Swedish.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to know the language. Trump doesn’t speak Swedish.
So there’s no need to take some cram course in Swedish when you can go to YouTube to watch old snippets from the Muppets show featuring the Swedish chef character.
Just do your best Muppet Swedish chef impression, something like: “Deshkurvlydurshyoitdidyshkoonkil.”
The hook is set. Then turn and walk away, while singing softly under your breath.
“Mamma mia, here I go again. My, my. How can I resist you?”
Stockholm, here you come.
This method can be used for other vacant ambassadorships, which include Australia, Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, and Turkey to name a few.
I realize that some of these countries might not have an identifiable movie musical that corresponds to them. So you might have to improvise.
For example, if you’re interested in Australia, you might channel your best Crocodile Dundee lines while occasionally breaking out in song to that Men at Work lyric: “Do you come from the land down under?”
And for Hungary, just start singing something that has to do with food, like the song “Be Our Guest” from the show “Beauty and the Beast.” Hungry. Hungary. Close enough.
You can do this. This is a merit-based opportunity for anybody with enough money and musical preparation.