Don't Try This At Home

I Feel a Draft

By Bob on March 21, 2016 4:48 AM

Yesterday I was cleaning out some files and ran across my old DRAFT CARD. Nothing establishes Baby Boomer street cred like one of those relics. 

Since I'm in no danger of being featured on Hoarders (Charlotte may be a candidate) I'm always finding stuff I wasn't looking for when I'm throwing out stuff I don't need.

I present the DRAFT CARD as EXHIBIT A. This thing was worn and fragile from being stored in my wallet longer than my first condom driver's license. I mean, c'mon, I know it wasn't the Dead Sea Scrolls, but it's a significant relic.

Exhibit ADraft Card - 600.jpg

It was 1974 at the tail-end of the Vietnam War. I'd just turned 18 and had to register for the draft. I put it off as long as I could without serving time in Federal prison. When I couldn't delay it any longer, I registered at the Somervell County Court House in Glen Rose, Texas. 

Young men with long hair faced an uncertain futureHippie Protest-564.jpg

 In the box that said "sex" I hadn't written, Yes, please.

They had the Draft Board guy set up all by himself in a huge empty courtroom (think, To Kill a Mockingbird). When I opened the creaky doors to this high-ceilinged cavern I felt like I was paying a visit to the GREAT and POWERFUL OZ. Boomers, it was. Just. That. Creepy. 

I had a bitchin' ride and some great Radio Shack headphones

10-First Car-560.jpgI had every reason to be afraid. I checked all the boxes for an 18-year-old potential draftee:

Long Hair - CHECK

Lots o' Attitude - CHECK

Scared Shitless - CHECK and DOUBLE CHECK 

The draft guy was a slightly older version of this guy and about as squirrely

Squirel Man - 600.jpgThe Draft Registrar was about 65 - skinny and tall with an unkempt mane of snow white hair. He looked at my completed form. 

Looked at me

Looked back at draft form. 

"Young man, I have a question for you." 

I thought he was going to ask if I was packed, because there was a helicopter outside that had a seat with my name on it. Next stop, Saigon. 

I knew all about the war thanks to our state-of-the-art home entertainment system

Vintage TV - 500.jpg"Err, yes sir?"

"This draft form correct?"

I scanned my memory trying to think of anything I'd left out or fabricated. No, I hadn't checked the "conscientious objector" box. No, I didn't list my religious preference as "Quaker" (but considered it). In the box that said "sex" I hadn't written, "Yes, please". I wasn't my usual smartass self. This was serious

"Yes sir." 

"Step forward." 

I took two steps closer to the white-haired registrar. 

The early '70's were confusing timesBlackboard Lesson - 598.jpg


One more step. 

The guy smelled like vegetable soup and pencil shavings. 

"Lemme see your eyes." 

I wasn't stoned. But, it might've been a good idea. 

"Your eyes BLUE or BROWN?" 

"Blue, sir." 


"Yes sir" 

He pulled out the biggest rubber stamp I've ever seen and slammed it down on my form with a THOMP! 

"Next!" he bellowed to an empty courtroom. 

They couldn't draft me, could they? I was going to collage college

Going to Collage-438.jpgI couldn't have gotten out of that courthouse any faster if it had been on FIRE. I drove home trying to think all the ways I could extend my student deferment until I was, oh, say 60. 

Panic? You bet your ass. 

In 8 days I received a DRAFT CARD certifying me as 1A and putting my Draft Number at "22" (that means they would draft guys from 21 other birthdays before they took my birthday - not too comforting when you consider I was ahead of 343 other guys in the same line). 

I got lucky. Richard Nixon was elected on a platform promising "Peace with Honor" in Vietnam. The war ended and my draft days were over. 

I'm through cleaning out files for a while. You never know what you're gonna find. Oh, and one more thing. 

Those people on Hoarders are looking saner by the minute.


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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

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By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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