Sunday, July 20, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 21:
draft lottry

back in chaptur 3 i larnt that tis better to be lucky than good, n in 1970 virgil n i larnt other thangs it mint. on a counta that wuz when they cum out with the draft lottry. ye mite member it or mayhap ye only herd bout it. way twurked wuz they drew a number fer each day of the year. i dont ritely member when twuz done, but i member comparin mine with virgil, witch turnt out he had 12 n i had 313.

n ye mite could thank i had the good luck n he the bad, n maybe thats how twuz.

up till our generayshun, all the men in our fambly served in the milltary. our daddy wuz in the marines, uncle buster wuz in the navy, n uncle jeff joind the merchant marines, witch he n daddy cum closest to gittin kilt. n near all the men on mamas side wuz marines. i never made no plans to go, but i always figgered i mite. everbidy new that gi bill wuz wurth a'gittin ifn ye could.

i realized whut a ded end i wuz in at shoneys big boy restrunt when darlene started carryin on bout how we dint even have no helth inshurants, witch we dint git that till darlene got on at the plant. n i gut to thankin bout how could i join the milltary n not find myself in a jungle in veet nam, n i cum up with the noshun that i could join the navy.

corse, thay wuz nine mile of bad rode to git thur furst on a counta we wuz still a'studyin with them jeehovuhs witness folks, n they figgered ifn ye joined the worl ye wuz a servin the rong master, n ye cant serve to masters, n ifn ye wuz servin the rong one, then ye wuz a'givin up on inhertin the earth or bein one of the hundert n forty-for thousund that gits to go to heven. nut thang wuz, thay wuz a number of points that i dint agree on with thar splaynashun of everthang, lack fer instants, whenever god kilt the egyptshuns when thay wuz in the red sea bed n admittin he wuz god n i also couldnt never git why he had the isrullites hamstring the horses.

but darlenes the one who got us out. turnt out she wuz tard of goin, witch we had to doot in the afternoon befor wurk twicet a week over to ken ziebolds. n darlene dint respeck ken ziebolds intelleck. witch he wuz the witness that wuz trine to train us up on thar way of reedin the bibl. more'n that, she wonted me go join the navy on a counta the gi bill n how i wood be able to pay fer collidge sumday, n even tho i figger thay wernt no point n thankin bout me in collidge, but why fite about sumthin that'll probly never happen?

so one afternoon, she asts ken ziebold why twuz that the fore gospels dint all report the same wurds on the sine above jesus haid whenever he wuz up on the cross. n she showed whar all for is a bit differnt. she and furthermore'd him a time or two. for ifn twuz a translayshun problem, she ased, how come hadnt the watchtower bibl n track society foun the miss take? n ifn the men who wrote the scriptcherul acounts, ifn matthew n mark n john n luke couldnt agree on what wuz writ above jesus haid, why should we thank they wuz inspired? woodnt god git the story strate?

as ye kin see, she could argu accordin to daddy's definishun of argumint n ken never had a chants. nex thang ye no, he wuz fussin n fitin, n that made darlene laff n twuz a bit cruel i guess. fack is, i wunder bout whuther she wuz rite to be so cold to this verr day. time she wuz dun, we wuz out of the kingdum hall fer good.

but i add mitt i larnt a lot frum em jeehovuhs witnesses n i red the bibl cleer thru sevrul times on a counta of em. n to this day i add mire how they practiss whut they bleev n go door to door n all, n dint seem sumthin the presbyteryuns ever dun much. i no i never did.

innywho, oncet they wuznt on us ever week, i went down to afees, witch that means armed forces examin n entrants stayshun, over to knoxvul n i met a nuther guy name of buddy, thisn buddy wells n he wuz the recrooter fer the navy. he he give me a applicayshun form that had about five hundert questchuns n i ansered as many of em as i new n give it to him. he lookt over n ast me a cuple of em i misst n we wurked em out n then he gut me to take a test, witch twuz logickul questchuns n a lil math n sum definishuns, that kinda thang, so i dun the best i could.

he tallied up the score n seem lack he wuz egsited about it n tole me i dun had a hi nuff score that i could go into the nukyalar subs program. n that wuz fer six years in sted of jes four n the way he splaint it, seem lack the best way to go, so i ast whar did i sine up, n he tole me i had to speek with sargint aims.

thay wuz a line fer sargint aims, n twuz fer the folks that put questchunabull thangs on thar applicayshun questchunair. they tuck me aside on a counta i add mitted i dun had asthma whenever i wuz lil tho it aint bothered me much since i wuz leven year old. thay wuz three of us who had dun add mitted they had asthma, n sargint aims tole us all whut we had to do. turnt out the otherns wuz draftid n i wuz a joinin. whut i needed wuz three letters proovin asthma werent a problem no more. but fer the ones that wuz draftid, they had to git three letters proovin twuz a problem.

now this wuz a cunundrum fer me on a counta i jes new of one docter that had ever docterd me, witch that wuz docter leon brown. he had been in the navy his ownself so he rote two pages bout how they should let me in n he sed that oughta doot since he wuz my lifelong docter n he wisht me well.

turnt out i dint git in n the ones that wuz draftid did. made buddy wells so mad he callt up to yell what had i dun? i tole him twernt my fault, id dun whut i wuz tole. n whut wuz that, he wonted to no. n i sed twuz to tell the truth, n that made him even madder. i gut a card in the mailbox that splaint i wuz '4f' n twuz a humillyatin disapointmint.

but my daddy tuck it well, speshully now that i woodnt be joinin the navy sted of the marines, mayhap twuz on a counta the way marines wuz a'dyin real reglar in veet nam.

n virgil got draftid lack ye probly dun figgert. n he dint wont to go, n he tride to fite it fer a while, but myra jane cum up pregnunt so he give in. they tuck him into the army n sent him to ft belvoir n then to germuny n corse he wuz a mechanic n good n ifn he dint always talk back he wooda cum out with sum rank, but then he woodnt be virgil.

but i dint git in n that made everythang differnt. asthma dint bother me till i wuz near forty years old.

so mayhap everbidy's luck wooda been better ifn virgil had got the hi number n i had got the low'n.

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