Dude, I Almost Got DraftedCommentary • ISSUE 31•16 • Apr 30, 1997 By Jim Anchower – The Cruise Hola amigos. Workin' hard or hardly workin'? If you know me, you know my answer to that question. And if you don't know me, then hang on, 'cause you're in for a wild ride. I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but my time has been occupied with the usual: fast cars, fast women and fine whiskey. Yes, life has been pretty good to Jim Anchower lately: I got a new job, I got no shortage of ice-cold Miller Genuine Draft and, most importantly, I finally got my car up and running. You may think that all this is too good to be true. Well, it is and isn't, my friends. See, before I settled into my comfortable new station, I had more than my share of problems, as you could well imagine. I spent most days moping around my house, waiting for good luck to come my way. Feelin' low, I'd spend hours watching Yolanda and all those other daytime talk shows. I figured seeing all these people who were worse off than I was would take my mind off my troubles. But the real trouble started this one afternoon a couple weeks back, when I started feeling hungry. I had finished off my last emergency pizza the night before, and I had nothing left in the fridge except a few slices of American cheese. Before long, I didn't even have that. I needed some food, and how! I still had some birthday money left over, thanks to my grandma, so I figured I should go out and forage for food at the County Line Mall, where John's Place For Eats was located. Now, John's Place isn't the finest establishment in the world, but they have plenty of cheap eats, plus a video poker game that rumor has it pays out if you're in good with John. Well, I'd been there enough times that I thought John would remember me, and I could go play a few hands of poker and get my food for nothing. Plus, if my memory served me correctly, the day's special was three hot dogs, a medium drink, and fries for two and a half bucks. How could I go wrong? So I put on my pants and made the haul to John's, which isn't that far, but it was kind of cold out, so it seemed like a long-ass haul. By the time I got there, I was really hungry because I'd been walking and shivering the whole way. But what did I find when I pushed on the door? A sign that said they went out of business! Talk about the best laid plans falling to pieces! At that point, I seriously needed to get myself to someplace that was out of the wind and cold and had something to snack on. Unfortunately, there was nothing within a mile and a half of John's Place. Desperate, I ducked into the first door that looked like it wouldn't kick me out. Now, I should have realized where I was the moment I saw all the posters with smiling people wearing camouflage and holding bazookas and shit, but I wasn't paying any attention because something much more interesting caught my eye: a heaping plate of donuts that were just begging to be eaten. I looked around and the room seemed to be empty, so I snagged a nice honey-glazed chocolate number. Then I saw they had coffee, too, with plenty of cups and no honor dish like at just about every job I ever had. Well, donuts without coffee is like Black Oak without Arkansas, and the place was still empty. Without a second thought, I poured a cup and added plenty of sugar and cream. Well, I figured if one donut was good, then two would be even better (which is, by the way, Jim Anchower's eighth rule of life), so I grabbed a custard-filled one. Just as I was about to take a bite, I heard this person behind me go, "How are you doing today, son?" Man, I almost crapped my drawers! I was caught red-handed, hombres. I couldn't just make a break for it or nothing, cause Sergeant Slaughter probably would've chased me down and yanked the donuts I'd just eaten out of my stomach and showed 'em to me before he killed me. I looked out the window and saw a sign that said "Army Recruitment Office," only it was backwards 'cause I was inside looking out and not the other way around. Now, you should remember that I have a lightning-quick brain that enables me to quickly assess any situation and make the most out of it. I saw I had two choices: The first was to pretend I was in the wrong place and pay for the donuts and coffee. There was no way I was doing that, though, since I figured that, as an American taxpayer, those were my constitutional eats. The other was to join the army. Talk about a rock and a hard place! Fortunately, there was one other option. I slowly turned and said, "Yes, sir, I came by to get some pamphlets and other information on my potential career opportunities in the armed services." That's right, I decided to pretend I was interested in signing up. That way, he gets a potential recruit, I get my free donuts, and no one is hurt. He smiled all big and friendly and put his arm around my shoulder and started talking about how great the army was and how it would make a man out of me and all this crap, but I wasn't having any of it. I just kept eating donuts and coffee the whole time and going, "Uh-huh." Problem was, after a while, I started getting tired of listening to him yammer, and I had to take a leak. As I started to back out of there, all the while he was shoving all these pamphlets, stickers and pens into my hand, saying that he wanted my number. Of course, I wasn't dumb enough to give him my number, so I gave him Ron's name and number instead. (That'll show that dickweed for not paying me back that 10 bucks.) When I was finally out of there, I was extremely relieved. I mean, I almost became Private Anchower for just a couple of lousy donuts! I would have thought about it more, but I had to piss in a major way. Now, maybe you need a job, or you want to impress the ladies, or you've just got a couple of years you wanna kill. But unless that's the case, do me a favor and don't go talking to any army recruiters. I made that mistake, and I almost ended up getting drafted! Man, Jim Anchower is simply too much of a rebel to get caught in that kind of rut. I mean, I love the U.S. of A. and all, but no way am I gonna join up. Three months of Boy Scouts when I was eight cured me of that scene once and for all, and you can put that in your pipe and smoke it, amigo.