“A bible-banger,” my doctor pronounced, palpating a cyst on my knee...  What?

“Fluid. In the old days we’d bang it with a bible. It causin’ you any problems?”

Who’s askin’? To him I answered No.

The second doctor: Man. Hurts like hell any time I bend it.

“Up on the table.” In those days that was the functional equivalent of ‘Let’s get an ultrasound of that sucker.’

In 1970 I bought a Harley Davidson Sprint with one problem: Kickstarting it was like playing Russian roulette - it would fire up, but - first kick? tenth? Didn’t matter; I was twenty. I had places to go. I kicked it. Hence, the cyst.

The difference in my responses? This was my preinduction physical examination. My ass was alarmingly eligible for the draft. My birthday is on Christmas Day and - I know I’ve told you this before, but humor me - as the anti-war billboard on the Edens Expressway proclaimed: “Happy birthday Jesus. Your lottery number is 63. Pack your bags. You’re headin’ for Nam.” That was one place the Harley couldn’t take me and this Army doc could send me.

In my effort to avoid the road trip to Vietnam I had also seen my doctor about a curved spine and pain in my flank - Related? Nope. Not curved enough for that. Or for a medical deferment. Canada? Nope.     Conscientious objector? Nope. Pretty sure I could kill, if I had to. But I wanted some say over that activity.

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