My father was generous beyond a fault. He considered it his duty/prerogative/calling to take care of his family and friends with the bounty that God had provided him… even when it wasn’t bounteous.
Any time we would go out to eat, he would make it his business to pay for the meal. Even before ordering he’d inform the waiter to bring him the bill, “because I’m the Papa.”
Sometimes at restaurants with friends his “zeal to pay” would become embarrassing because of the extent to which he would go to pay for everyone’s meal. Hiding the meal ticket, grabbing it from someone, rushing to the register before anyone else were commonplace.
One such episode happened in my early adulthood. I was gainfully employed and wanted to treat my family to a meal at a local eatery. So, I made my invitations with the proviso that I would pay for the meal and emphasizing that desire to my father.
We had a nice meal and I specifically told the waitress to bring the bill to me. Toward the end of the meal I kept my eye out for the bill, determined to grab it before my father… but it never came!
To my chagrin Dad had not gone to the bathroom. He had paid the bill! He offered that I could add to the tip.
I was too frustrated for words! Throwing my hands in the air I exclaimed, “Dad! Why do you always have to be so… so… bagnapodius?!”
Stan’s head swiveled around toward me, one eyebrow raised, with a silly grin and asked, “What did you just say? Bagnapodious?” We all laughed.
The new word became a part of the McClellan lexicon. Bagnapodious means that you insist on paying beyond reasonable behavior… like Billy McClellan! It also means that you care for your family and friends like Billy McClellan!