To pronate or not to pronate, that is the question

I just got a ride from an old friend Bill Murtaugh who was an old housemate and still rents an office in the old house. I was on the way to work to use the computer and look up my wordpress fans. We exchanged stories: I told him that I will be starting a new job that offers health insurance. However, because of the cost of the premiums, I will continue using the Veterans Administration for my health care. But Bill, who is a year older than me, is not a veteran; instead he had received a 4-F rating from the draft board. All because he has been a lifelong radical. You can look him up on youtube.

Bill was playing on a jungle jim as a child with a kid who later became a young republican and was spouting off about peace and social justice. The kid became upset and pushed him off and he broke his wrist. Years later, when he was standing in line at the draft board, he was thinking about all the ways he could get deferred. He was thinking about his peace activities and thought maybe he could claim to be a nazi. But the guy at the draft board kept saying all those things were good. Even his bad eyesight.

Finally he remembered the wrist. The draft board guy gave him a broom and told him to pretend that it was a rifle. That’s when they learned that Bill Murtaugh could not pronate and if you can’t pronate, you can’t shoot a rifle.

He got quite a mixed reaction from the other guys when he left with his draft deferment. Depending on how they felt about the war, guys were either cheering him on or calling him a coward.

Ironically, not being able to pronate has not affected him very much. He got married, had kids (or rather his wife had them) and he writes his poetry, all without being able to shoot a rifle. I on the other hand was able to pronate, shot a rifle with about as much accuracy as Jose Hernandez swinging a bat but at least I qualifed for health insurance paid for by our tax dollars. I threw in Jose Hernandez, which was a really cheap shot.

But Hernandez played short stop several years ago for the Milwaukee Brewers and would have set a major league record for swtrikeouts if he had not been benched the last few games of the season. He struck out at least once per game throughout the season so not being able to hit a target more often than that clown could hit a baseball was a big deal.

Fortunately, not being able to hit anything with a rifle has not affected my civilian life. There were few guns to be fired in the library or the grant writing or day care worlds. And I rarely discuss shooting with peers I am assisting. Nonetheless, being able to sit here wearing my free Veterans Administration glasses is pretty cool.

So for all you pronators out there, make sure not to fire guns. Grow vegetables, except for beets, instead.  That’s my story and I’ sticking to it.


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