Eddie T. and His Foot
Back then, if you were not in school, if you were not disabled, or if you were not from a rich family, the Army would send you a letter. It was a letter saying that you had been chosen to serve the homeland. You were ordered to have a physical examination at a military post. If you passed the exam you would get free room and board for the next few years.
Well this kid from down the street gets one of those letters. I am going to call him Eddie T. That is not his real name. I don't want him or anybody else complaining that I did not tell this story right. I also don't want to give any interviews to any investigators. All the other names in this story are fake names. They are not even close so don't try to guess who the people are. But I can tell you that this story is almost all true.
So Eddie T. gets this letter. He hates the war. He is telling everybody that he is not gonna go. No way. Hell is gonna freeze over first. The Army can kiss his ass. He is just going to stay home and hang out with his friends.
As the day approaches, that he is to report for his physical exam, Eddie T. is getting more agitated and nervous. He is acting crazy. Drinking too much. Driving too fast. Getting in fights. Everyday he is engaged in more and more anti-societal activities. A lot of non-normantive behaviour. He is becoming a danger to himself and the neighborhood. The guys tell him to settle down. To chill out. He is getting a lot of advice. His priest tells him to pray. Some doctor offers to write a letter to the army saying that he is nuts and has some kind of rare disease. His uncle Cheese tells him to to stop being a baby and just go to the Army. So, Eddie T. is freaking out.
On the Saturday before he has to go, they have this party for him. It was out in the country. In an abandonded farmhouse. People and pigs use to live there. Now nobody does. Great place for a party. Lots of beer, some smoke and a few girls. A couple of beers into the party Eddie T. asks Rat for his gun. Rat is also a fake name but is an accurate discription of this guy. Rat always carried a little 22 automatic. Eddie T. says that he just wants to do a little plinking. You know....shoot some empty beer cans. Rat hands him the 22. Eddie T. points the 22 at his right foot. Then he proceeds to shoot himself in his own damn foot. Eddie T. screams. The girls scream. The guys are yelling at Eddie T. Calling him all manner of fowl names. Eddie T. says he just flunked his Army physical. He is not going to have to go into the Army. A couple of the guys dump him off at the hospital. He tells the doc that it was an accident. They x-ray his foot. The doc tells Eddie T. that he is lucky. Eddie T. says that he knows that. No says the doc. The 22 bullet did not break any bones. His foot will be fine. Eddie T. pukes right there on the docs brown wingtip shoes.
Eddie T. goes to the Army physical. They tell him not to worry about the foot. They will take him anyway.
Eddie T. ends up at a base near the border. He never does have to go to the war. They let him out early because of some mental problem. He won't talk about it. He just smiles. Eddie T. comes home to the old neighborhood and works for his uncle Cheese.
That was a long time ago.