My Strange Friend

By Alan B. Combs

As several people know, I have many strange friends. In fact, you may be among that group, but only you and I know for sure. I do have to tell you about one of these characters, a person who is very hard to evaluate.

When I first went to his house to visit, I found he had a large room dedicated to an accumulation of wax statues, a wax museum, if you will. (See? I told you you weren’t necessarily high among the list of weird ones.) I could recognize many, but not all, of the people represented.

The goatee and clothes from the 16th century — that statue could only be the great dramatist Shakespeare.

President Clinton in one of his less frequent, more dignified poses was there.

Billy Bob Thornton was there — I could tell who it was because I saw one of his movies, recently.

That silver-tongued orator of the late 1800s, William Jennings Bryan was there, trying to save the country from the financial ruin brought about by going off the gold standard, or perhaps trying to clear the monkeys out of our family tree, I couldn’t tell which.

There was William Tell, shooting the apple off his son’s head.

Willy Brown, one-time Mayor of Baghdad-By-The-Bay could be recognized giving a “Give ’em hell” speech.

There were so many others, Billy the Kid, William O’Brien, the 19th century parliamentarian, famous author O. Henry, President McKinley, the captain of the Enterprise doing a commercial, Will Smith in his “Men in Black” persona, and Wm. Faulkner, prize-winning author of “The Sound and the Fury”, just to name a few.

I asked him what the theme of this wondrous motley was, but my friend seemed very reluctant to say. I told you he was strange, didn’t I? I went home scratching my head, adding to the ruin that time has created on those few hairs left on top.

In the middle of the night, in a great moment of anticlimax, it finally came to me. My reticent friend was nothing but a Bill collector.

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