Thursday, October 27, 2016

'R' is for 'Reunion'

Yes, I realize this is a repost.  And not the type of repost you've come to loathe love.  This time of year, you expect me to blow off writing original posts in favor of leftover holiday treats, so no surprises there (I'm lazy that way.  Who the hell do you think I am?  Pat Hatt????).

But this weekend, I'll finally be going to my high school's 40th reunion.  I'm looking forward to it and, to be honest, I'm a little nervous.  Hopefully, I won't cause too many people to hurl when they see what's happened to me since the last time we saw each other, decades ago.

On the other hand, more than a few folks probably won't even remember me.  In that case, I'm prepared to bus tables or help the staff clean up.

I have experience, after all.

In any case, ready or not, here I go.  Wish me luck.  Especially that I don't get pantsed.

Oh, by the way, there'll be a Halloween repost on Monday.

You're welcome.


Found out, via Facebook (how else does anyone find out anything
Plus, Facebook has neat 
Bill Murray memes.
anymore?) that my high school class will be holding its 40 (yeah, huh?) year reunion at the end of October.  

    Thank goodness I have over six months to prepare.  Gotta start working on my six-pack abs, you know.

Since the reunion is before the election,
this will give us the opportunity to
discuss political science
 with Trump supporters.
NOTE:  For those who may have difficulty with math concepts or are products of Philadelphia public schools, a 40 year reunion means I am part of the Class of 1976.  You're welcome.  And I said I wanted large fries with my order.
"Six-pak abs!"
    Since this may be the last time we can all get together while still being able to move under our own power, I think I'll be going.  Even though it's a three and a half hour car ride away.  And I need to take frequent pee breaks.  And I'm afraid to drive in the dark.

    Remember, I graduated forty years ago.  Which makes me...come on, you can do the math.

    This will be only the second one I've attended.  Our first, a five year reunion, happened in 1981 (Because Math).  

    While fun, it wasn't as much fun as I had hoped.  After only a few years, there was still a "high school" feel to it.  Meaning, I didn't think it was necessary for the jocks to pants me and stuff me in a tree.

If you're interested in that whole story,
you can find it in my books.
I've changed her name, but she'd know.
If she read them.  Which she wouldn't.  So...
Not the shag carpet one, though.
Although, it does have a toilet in it.
If you're into that kind of thing.
    Plus, since I had just gotten married only a few months prior, I thought Mrs. Penwasser #1 would have a great time at a picnic with total strangers.  That she ended up being my ex-wife may or may not be related.

    What's more, the "Girl Who Broke My Heart" was also there.  Even though I (okay, I admit it) flaunted my new wife in front of my old girlfriend, it was still kind of awkward.  Especially when I punched her boyfriend.*

    A lot has happened since that time.  Mrs. Penwasser #1 came to her senses.  I got out of the Navy.  I met Mrs. Penwasser #2.  She apparently lost her mind when she consented to be Mrs. Penwasser #2.   I went back into the Navy when my dream of being a wealthy Italian Food Transportation Representative (at Dominos) didn't bear fruit.  I raised two wonderful children (who, remarkably, are attractive and well-adjusted).  I retired from the Navy.
And now clean sixteen toilets a night, five nights a week.
Yep, I'm an American success story living the dream.
Wonder if that pizza gig is still available?

    In all that time, though, I wondered about my former classmates.  Sure, I was able to grab snippets of information about them here or there.  But, for the most part, I lost touch with them.  Or they lost touch with me.  Smart folks, that Class of '76.

This is probably the Al Penwasser they remember.
    Happily, I've reestablished contact with a few of them via Facebook ( else?).  In this way, I hope to become more of a "known" individual again which is a bit challenging given that it's been 40 years (hopefully, you got that part in the beginning) since I've seen them. 


    After looking at their profile pictures, I see that they're all looking great.  In fact, I know of only one who looks quite a bit worse for wear.
Meaning I'd better hit the gym and
get some of that Grecian formula stuff.
Captain of the football team has seen better days, though**

    I don't know whether the "Girl Who Broke My Heart" will be in
"He's still on that 'abs' thing."
attendance.  If she is, fine.  She may or not bring her husband (the boyfriend she left me for...meaning I came in second place.  Yay me).  If so, I'll flaunt my six-pak abs to make him jealous.  

    You may be surprised that I've taken to adding snarky little comments whenever my former classmates post something.  On the other hand, what am I saying?  You can't possibly be surprised.  In this way, I hope they think, "Hey, remember that nerdy Penwasser guy?  He sounds so hip and with it.  And what a scream!  He'll be the life of the party!"

    Meaning:  I bet I get stuffed in a tree.

EPILOGUE:  When I mentioned I was going to the reunion for the Class of '76, one of my Facebook friends (once again, where else?) made what I thought was an outstanding comment: "That's fantastic!  Now you'll be able to see each other in color!"
    Young punk.  I am so gonna head to his house and kick his ass.
    After my nap.  

*Yeah, this is completely false.  He wasn't even there.  Plus, he was bigger than me.
**JUST KIDDING, JUST KIDDING!  I don't even remember who it was.  But, I guarantee he's bigger than me.


  1. Strangely enough, I'm in the process of arranging a 40-year post-university reunion in Australia next year ('cos that's where a couple of the key individuals now live - and one of them owns a hotel in Sydney so he can provide free lodgings!)

    1. ANY excuse to go to Australia sounds good to me. Can you imagine if he owned a place in Camden, New Jersey?

  2. yes -Class of 1976 for North Penn High. Not sure if our class will get its act together enough to have a reunion. I've never gone. I do see the friends I want to see when I visit PA. I better start doing crunches if I plan on going. 40 years??? Yikes

    1. Was North Penn a huge, college campus looking bit of business in 1976 like it is now?

  3. I've just realised how much you look like Bill Gates. I knew Al Penwasser wasn't your real name. This year marks ten years since I finished school. I'm actually a little surprise no one attempted to host a reunion. Or I just never heard about it I suppose. I guess with everyone being connected on social media there's not much of a point in reunions anymore. I already know my classmates got fat, became strippers, and did nude modelling.

    Those are all things that have happened to my former school chums.

    1. Did any of them become FAT strippers?
      Yeah, Bill never returns my calls.

  4. You'll be the belle of the ball....with or without six-pack abs.
    No more class reunions for my class of 48. Not hard to
    figure out why. LOL

    1. I'm wondering when we'll be able to hold OUR reunion in a telephone booth.

  5. That would mean your nearing 60, I can do math, yippeeee. Well at least after 40 years the tree should have grown a bit, meaning it will be more roomy for you.

  6. Really made me laugh! Don't know about school reunions - all the people I liked I'm still in touch with. Not sure I want to meet the others again!

    1. Since I joined the Navy and moved away from home, I am curious to see how everyone fared. I'll just stay away from trees.

  7. You are braver than me. When my 20 year reunion came up (via Facebook, naturally), I thought of all the other things I'd rather do that day. Like walk barefoot over broken glass. Even though the reunion was going to be held, like 5 miles from my house. (Not even in the town where I went to high school, so how's that for coincidence.)

    I didn't go. I didn't like them then. I have no desire to see them now.

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

    & Unicorn Bell ("Rewind")

    1. I'm intrigued. One of my biggest regrets is that I only spent my senior year there (Mom moved us 45 minutes away from the town where I grew up). It would have been nice, I think, to have spent my entire high school years at the same place.
      On the other hand, that girl may also be going so...

  8. LOL .... This is hilarious. On a HS reunion story, the girl in charge of all of that attempted to put that together for us some years back (class of 200 here). Well unfortunately, the most of us were anticipating a bar at our reunion, some remarks were made about meeting at a bar instead and well the girl in charge was upset. She made some not so kind remarks and quickly gave up her seat. I think the lot of them met in a field somewhere and had those drinks.. I didn't make it, as usual. Don't know if this saddens me or not. I'm not going to worry about it now. Buuut in regards to your much better story of HS reunions... I really hope you still have that fabulous shirt you're wearing in that picture!! You should wear that!!!

    1. 200? That's fantastic! You look great for being 1,816 years old! ;-)

    2. hahahah... yea, i aged like wine i guess. Wonder why I feel like aged cheese though. Oh you know what I meant! 200, 2000 .. Other than loin cloths, was there really a different? lol

    3. Depends what was under the loin cloth.

  9. I went to one hs reunion and it was not fun. Yes, it was in a beer tent, but everyone was still the same and I felt like I was still in school, which was horrible. Most of my former classmates have been deleted off my Facebook. They didn't seem to realize how very cool I turned out to be. Last reunion was my 25th and they had it at the alumni banquet, which cost like $20 and I couldn't eat the food so beyond nothing in common and not being able to eat, I cuddled with my kitty.
    I hope you have fun. My mother's class has reunions every year because they are all getting old enough that they don't know who will be around 5 years later.

  10. My fiftieth high school reunion is coming. I haven't made one yet.

  11. My 10th year one is this year. As far as I know, nobody has planned a reunion yet. I think Facebook has made these reunions rather pointless to my generation.

    My wife's 10th year one was last year and got cancelled due to low attendance. Her high school president tried doing it at some kind of country club. The ticket prices were awful. Events like that have to be free or very low admission.

  12. Oh look at you wanting to go to your reunion. I have no desire but I can say I went to my prom with 2 girls, one became a future nun and the arsonist. Not kidding!

  13. Our 10 year high school reunion was a few years back, and we delightfully stayed home. See, with Facebook, we already know how anyone worth knowing about is still doing.

    Also, I don't know how you can get six-pack abs, but I do know that at Costco they're running a huge sale on a 24-pack of abs.

  14. Our 20 year get together had the most disreputable, er, richards of the class calling to see if you were coming. The call I got confirmed I made the right decision, and they never grew up.

  15. I think we've mellowed somewhat.

  16. My 20-year reunion was a blast. For a class that really had not much to do with one another, we had a 75% turnout. Apparently not many people showed up for the 30th. Should be interesting to see if we have a 40th.

    1. I've been told that 100 people are showing up. Wow. Apparently, She Who Broke My Heart will not be in attendance.

  17. I have never been to one of my high school reunions...probably never will be. Those years were torture LOL

    1. It was a lot of fun.
      And I didn't get pantsed.