TITLE: Spare Parts
DATE: 10/14/2004 09:11:00 PM
Background: This conversation was between me and a guy whose job is machine parts. It started off as a conversation bitching about the Red Sox.
Guy: Well, yeah, but I recently got an 'invitation' from the German Army to go serve in Afghanistan. So whenever I have a bad day, I just think of all those guys over in the desert, and I get a little perspective.
Me: Wait. Did you say you got an 'invitation'? From the German Army?
Guy: Yeah. I'm a German citizen. I was born there, grew up there, served in their army for a while when I was younger. They recently 'invited' me to re-up. That's how they put it anyway.
Me: Well...can you politely decline?
Guy: I think so. I'm looking into it. I mean, I spent a lot of money on my education. Too much for a fifty-cent bullet to make that investment worthless.
Me: That is crazy. What did you do when you were in the Army?
Guy: I was a paramedic assigned to a mine-field unit.
Me: [No words, just a subtle greying of the complexion]
Me: [gulp] Well, have you thought about being a paramedic here?
Guy: Nah, different licensing and stuff. And I haven't done it in a lot of years. I'm out of practice. Only thing I can still do is put a Band-Aid on straight.
Me: Oh, yeah, because Band-Aids really come in handy on those mine fields.
Guy: Yep. That and a bucket of ice. You just carry that around and throw in whatever comes off.
Me: [giggling uncontrollably] Oh...my...God.
Guy: Hey, look at it this way: in my job now, I'm still in charge of spare parts. [walks away]