Parasitus: (Latin translation for freeloader, sponger, and guest)

What do Shirley Reasoner, Bob & Theresa Halliday, Duane West, Billy Wilkinson, and Bob Thurbon all have in common other than being members of greatest High School graduating class of all time?

They seldom, if ever, come in contact with each other. Their educational, military, geographical, political, religious and professional histories, opinions and circumstances lack any discernible similarities. If all five parties were put into a social setting together, say a large cocktail party or church gathering, they would probably leave the event without ever realizing that some of those other old farts used to hang out “on the hill”.

This is definitely not the case. Unbeknownst to them, these classmates and their spouses share a very intimate, unforgettable, and probably somewhat unsavory life experience. This happening was not from years ago and there will be no hint of its ever occurring found in the scribblings in our 1958 Year Book. No … the shared experience these Wildcats have is that each of them has been imposed upon by the Master Parasitus.

Once entry into your home is achieved, either by subterfuge or pleading poverty, Jim Powell makes himself right “at home”. He will, invariably, seek out your favorite easy chair and, as he reclines to relax, kick off his low-budget shoes and flex his bare feet. He always arrives around 5:00 PM just in time to be offered free libations and assurances that a good restaurant is nearby. After he begins to quench his thirst, he proceeds to pontificate. This man can really talk. He can talk and talk and talk and talk some more. Any comments or topics presented by Jim’s host or hostess most often are limited by–what’s the old saying? … can’t get one in edgewise.

Jim Powell has a memory that transcends the ages–everything you wished you could forget, he remembers and drags out of the woodwork. He laughingly tells your husband, in graphic detail, why a boyfriend, he never knew you dated, was nick-named “Stud” … then, still addressing the man of the house but winking at you, asks him if he ever got “rid of that itchy, penicillin resistant, reoccurring rash?” It doesn’t take you long to start telling Jim how early you and your spouse retire for the evening and that the best restaurants “fill up fast this time of year.”–anything to get him to put his shoes back on, change the topics of conversation, and out of the house. Maybe public surroundings will temper his recollections …

Naturally, after entertaining and feeding him, it would be rather rude not to offer Jim a place to lay his head for the night. Realizing that this would be a significant imposition on a person he hasn’t seen in, perhaps, years … he surely wouldn’t accept the invitation.

Wrong again!

I want to thank Shirley, Bob & Theresa, Duane, Billy, Bob Thurbon and any of my other classmates, including Connie Berry & Truman that I have targeted for my home invasion tactics over the past few years. I want to especially express my appreciation to those individuals in each household that have been exposed to, and had to contend with, the only truly memorable and symbolic last impression Jim Powell has ever left behind when he departs, sometimes before dawn, the next morning.

bed pic

What do you think? … You think he just forgot? … You think he even knows how?

Maybe he’ll send flowers or at least a “Thank You” card … Nah–never happen.

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