My devotion to researching the military process parallels that of Lindsay Lohan towards her college education. However, I am looking in to it. I entered the San Francisco recruiting office to inquire for information: opportunities, benefits, and the like.
I peeked one foot inside the Navy recruiting office with the hesitation I feel towards any sort of mathematical equation.
"Hey, welcome! Let me know if you have any questions!" a wandering-eyed Asian projected in my direction as if through a megaphone.
"Oh, I was just wondering if I could talk to someone about potentially joining..." I hesitantly replied as I stepped my other foot inside and the door shut behind me like a judge slamming his gavel on the podium in verdict.
The four Navy recruiters present propped towards me, eyes duplicating my own when observing a plateful of food shortly to be devoured. They asked a series of questions concerning my drug habits, dependants, tattoos, and my height/weight stats. They presented no questions apropos of alcohol.
It was my turn to interrogate. "What kinds of opportunities do you have for a college grad who doesn't want to sit in a cubicle any more?" I asked.
Their eyes illuminated like they were viewing the pope.
"Oh, you're going to have to take an online practice test first," they told me.
The online practice test was on the lone computer in a closet. Twenty-five minutes later I yawned and exited the closet's isolation, waving towards the computer and trying to regain consciousness. Tests, car rides, meetings, classes, essays, conversations... all tenderly trip me in to a coma. Senior year in high school I won Most Likely to Fall Asleep in Class. The following year, my brother continued the family claim to the title with the dignity of a diplomat. The year my little sister graduated, they discontinued the category. We like to believe she would have won.
Regardless of my semi-conscious self and my math skills as proficient as a sheep's, I scored a ninety-four of one hundred.
"Have you considered becoming a nuclear physicist?" was the first question from those sunny recruiter's eyes.
"What? Me?" I asked, rotating in my seat, trying to locate the impending nuclear physicist with what I considered a job as desireable as eating baboon liver. Upon ascertaining he was speaking to me, I informed him of my inept abilities.
"I don't do math. I don't know how to do simple multiplication and division. I barely know how to add."
"But your score was so high! With a score like that, you could do anything you wanted in the Navy! Our nuclear physicist program is incredible..."
After my continued assurance that I don't do math or science, Recruiter addressed other options, like cryptology. I familiarized him with my foreign language incompetence.
"What do you want to do in the Navy?" he asked me.
"Something that doesn't deal with any sort of math, science, or foreign languages. I don't know how to do those," I replied and enlightened him that I didn't want to sit in a desk and wanted something physical.
"Well, if you were a male, I'd suggest Navy SEALS," Recruiter said. "But as you're not... I think my best suggestion would be nuclear physicist."
Growing up, my household boasted cleaning ladies. At one time there was a cleaning man. We harassed him like we would harass our own parents. For example, our kindergarden/preschool selves to him: "Are you a woman? You must be a cleaning lady. Only cleaning ladies clean houses." This probably upset him as much as when we were in Thailand last year and a five-year-old tow-headed girl and her little brother asked my female friend, "Are you a boy?" Her response, "No. Are you a boy?" to which the little girl replied, "You look like a boy." My friend told her, "You look like a boy," walked to me and inquired if she did resemble a male. Regardless of her knee-length camouflage pants, wife beater, hair pulled back, and no make-up, I assured her she looked like a female. The little girl later sent her brother to ask my friend if she was a boy. She answered, "No, I'm not a boy! Are you a girl?" He accused her of looking like a boy, she accused him of looking like a girl. My friend and I appraised each other, and I could detect duplicate desires to bitch-slap the tiny adorable blonde boy. And girl. Like the cleaning man left his sanitation position with my family, we left the Thai store, my friend making a face at the young ones as we exited.
As a result of cleaning ladies, my sole knowledge of maintaining a household with a Mr. Clean aroma was making my bed, running the dishwasher/ washing machine, cleaning dishes, and flushing the toilet. Until I entered college. Four years expired before I cleaned a toilet. But I scrubbed floors with the intensity of Michael Phelps. Growing up, the cleaning ladies got blamed for throwing away my stuffed animals, misplacing my $14 ring, and hiding my favorite sweatshirt. Years passed before I accepted that those were my fault. However, in high school I was bewildered to return from school to find my toothbrush brush-down in my hairbrush's bristles multiple times. Week 2 I hid them separately in bathroom drawers only to discover the same outcome. Week 3 I even wrote a note in my expert Espanol: "No ponga cepillo de dientes en el cepillo. Por favor. Mantenga aparte." Week 4 I hid my toothbrush in my closet.
Last week I returned home to ascertain my favorite pillow absconded. After a comprehensive house-search, it was still as absent as Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in Grease 2. My sister located it five days later. It was on my brother's bed in the same pillowcase as another pillow. This week, my friend's phone charger has disappeared like Casper the Ghost. I told him I was sorry, couldn't find it, but was almost certain the cleaning ladies were responsible for mislaying it. His response, "Maybe they hid it, like your pillow. I don't really understand their humor and am not sure I would enjoy staying in their country of origin." Me: "What are you taking about? They're from Mexico. We've been there!"
Drunken Patriot: "Only two shotguns passed the government's requirements for a combat shotgun. Both models were Mossberg. One of them was mine. I feel like a proud parent."
Me: "Oh dear God."
Drunken Patriot: "That's a great idea. I should write God with a letter thanking Him for blessing me with such an amazing object : )
Drunken Patriot: "Bobby G's response: 'Congrats! Now I see what being a gun owner is all about. It's the little moments that count.'"
Continued Conversation Between Drunken Patriot and Bobby G:
Drunken Patriot: "I like buying it anything it needs because it makes me happy whenever we spend time together."
Bobby G: "You clean it, play with it, live with it and show it affection. I just got my first rifle and I just hope that I can be half the parent you are. I really look up to you man."
Drunken Patriot: "Don't worry, I'm sure you'll do great. We should have our little ones play sometime."
Bobby G: "Ya, I think they'd get along well. They're both black Americans with white dads and no moms. They already have so much in common."
Today, for example. I evacuated the house because a potential buyer was coming over. The agent called. I had to go to the bank and decided to ride my bike. This may have been motivated by the fact that I sold my car, thus a bicycle or my legs are my only potential methods of transportation. I choose to believe I settled on the bike because I desired exercise.
As I haven't aggressively worked out in three months and haven't participated in any form of competitive organized sport for a year and a half, I probably should have reconsidered biking. This thought intruded my mind as I rode over a neighborhood speed-bump and felt like I was in Hurricane Katrina. This thought again presented itself when the neighborhood gate opened without my hesitation. I have always had to manually press a button for it to open. Only large objects, like tanks and cars, persuade it through motion detectors. I wondered how much weight I had gained to force it to open with the rapidity of an Irish jig. The treacherous ride on Summerfield's sidewalk made it apparent why bike lanes monopolize the city's streets. I should have retreated to my house haven when an off-duty officer rolled down his window at a red light and informed me it was law to wear a helmet. My reply, "Hi officer! I would, but finding a helmet in the garage is about as easy as solving math problems with exponents, variables, and fractions. I used a calculator to play Monopoly with my mom on Mother's Day." He let me go. He may have thought I was deranged.
I should have recompensed when I encroached a hill with the thought, "It's all about momentum. You just need momentum," and after twelve pedal rotations the bike rolled backward. I deduced the momentum tactic is a theory based on Lance Armstrong's abilities and needs to be amended.
I should have reassessed my biking resolution when the tire collided with a rock and I plunged to the side, gravitating to the ground with a reaction time rivaling that of eighty-three-year-old Helen Keller.
I decreed I don't want an eight-hour-a-day office position. My body desires more activity abundance than staring at a cubicle wall for eight hours as lethargic as a koala on opiates. This requirement eradicates every position I know how to procure like the Black Plague. Unemployment demands I apply to ten openings every two weeks. I apply to office posts with the detailed, "Attached please find my resume. Thank you."
My phone rang with a number I postulated was my friend's boyfriend. I answered with, "Yo yo yo. What's up?" to a perplexed voice identifying herself as someone with some company and asking to speak to Kara.
"Uh, sure, hold on a moment, please," I bleated, removed the phone from my head, and held, one hand over the phone's face.
"Who is it?" a friend inquired.
I familiarized her with the situation over the next three minutes before realizing Woman was still waiting.
"Here, let me talk," my friend demanded.
I hesitated, surmised why not, and handed it to her.
"Hello, this is Kara," Friend said.
"Ya, I apologize for not getting to the phone earlier. My mentally disabled brother answered."
My swat at the side of her head didn't dissuade her from continuing.
"Ya, he's younger. Younger retarded brother. So what's up?"
"Oh, sweet. Ya, not really looking for a job right now. I just applied because the government makes me."
"Uh huh... my resume was impressive? I must have lied on a lot of that stuff then."
"Na, I don't have any references. I'm telling you, even if you offered me the job, I wouldn't take it. I'm happy not working right now. I collect unemployment and travel."
"Ya, sorry, but good luck with everything."
"You jackass! What if they call Unemployment and tell them?" I asked, smacking at her head again.
"Well, you'll just have to actually look for a job."