Thursday, July 21, 2005

Nobody knows the troubles I've seen...

If someone wanted to avoid military service, they'd have done well to be born when I was. I was in HS as people were being flown off roofs in Saigon in helicopters as the Democrats implemented their go-to-hell-Vietnam policy. Draft registration was gone, and by the time it was reinstated I was exempt.

So I was never in danger of going to Vietnam against my will. I'm sure I would have if it had come up if only because every other man in the family had served in WWII, Korea or Vietnam, as had most of the older men I knew. I'd rather face the Viet Cong or anyone else than that crew.

But I wasn't looking forward to it. I had heard plenty:miserable weather, pungee stakes, booby traps, Jeremiah Denton blinking out Morse Code for "torture", and the heroism of the late James Stockdale.

No, none of that happened to me. I had better things to do, like going to bachelor parties at strip joints.

Never been to one? OK, pal, I'll play along.... Anyway, a bunch of guys would get the poor sucker and take him to someplace like Big Al's, talk to the MCs, money would change hands, and next thing you know a well-lubricated bachelor (or birthday boy) was onstage in a roomful of rude drunk horndogs.

Women in scanty clothing would rub up against him. DJs would ask how many of the crowd had slept with his wife to be, and everybody would hold up their hands and flip him off. The girls might strip him to the waist, use his tie for a loincloth, smack his bottom, make him crawl on the stage on all fours, pull their lingerie over his head and suchlike. And by the time the victim got home he had probably passed out or even soiled himself.

Little did I suspect that I was getting a foretaste of the horrors at Gitmo. What a moral failure I must be - not once did it occur to me to bring up the Geneva Convention.

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