Innermost Secrets 33 – 37

DSC00863This is the edge of the map. Further are warnings that say, “Here Be Dragons.” This is the next installment of my innermost secrets. If you wish to be further horrified by my past, start at the beginning (Innermost Secrets 1-8, 9-15, 16-21, 22, 23-27 & 28-32).

33rd Innermost Secret:

  • I didn’t know what the word “perorate” meant until yesterday.

I’m not going to lie to you, I had to look this word up again. I probably haven’t used it since I wrote it down in my secret journal. In fact, my spellcheck doesn’t even recognize it as a word. Then again it doesn’t like the word “spellcheck” either. Anyway, according to tfd.com, perorate means:

per·o·rate  (pr-rt)

intr.v. per·o·rat·ed, per·o·rat·ing, per·o·rates

1. To conclude a speech with a formal recapitulation.
2. To speak at great length, often in a grandiloquent manner; declaim.

34th Innermost Secret:

  • I dodged the draft, or maybe I just quit ROTC.

When deciding on where to spend my collegiate years, money played a big factor. I had earned a few scholarships from high school, but no more than I would have needed to cover my books and maybe tuition for one or two classes. What I needed was a way to have my entire college career paid for… and I found it.

Western Michigan University is one of many schools with a solid Army ROTC program. If you are unfamiliar with ROTC, it stands for “Reserve Officers Training Corps” and is a program for training commissioned officers in the armed services. Members of the ROTC can compete for scholarships. I competed and I won a four-year scholarship, complete with stipend for living expenses. It was a sweet deal. And the real beauty was that I didn’t need to actually enlist in the military until after my freshman year and before my sophomore year.This was a really good thing, because about midway through my freshman year, I realized that I didn’t really want to be in the military.

Now, this was just before the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and so on. That happened the year after I quit, so I really feel like a dodged a bullet (or many of them). At the end of my first semester, I went to the top brass, turned in my uniform and told them that I was returning my scholarship. I was not enlisted yet, so there were no military or legal repercussions to quitting. When they asked why I was giving up I pointed to one of the poster that hung nearby. It said, “The Army isn’t for everyone. That’s the point.”

35th Innermost Secret:

  • I’ve never bathed.

Just kidding. I did once. NEVER AGAIN.

36th Innermost Secret:

  • Even when people tell me I smell bad, I know they’re just kidding.

People are such kidders.

37th Innermost Secret:

  • Were it not for the way they looked, I would have a mullet.

And it would look like this: