In addition to whatever mischief I had been up to during the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley, the Peace Corps wanted to know about my health.
I was directed to show up at the Army Induction Center in Oakland for a physical. I lined up with a bunch of semi-naked men to be poked and prodded. It was an experience not worth repeating.
“Turn your head and cough.”
I took it like a man and escaped as soon as the opportunity presented itself. A couple of days later I came back from class and there was a note from my other roommate, Cliff, who was also going into the Peace Corps.
“The Induction Center called,” he wrote, “and there is a problem with your urinalysis.” I was to call them.
“Darn it,” I thought. “Why is this so difficult?” So I called the Induction Center and resigned myself to having to pee in another jar. With really good luck I might avoid the naked-man-line.
I got a very cooperative secretary who quickly bounced me to a very cooperative nurse who quickly bounced me to a very cooperative technician who quickly bounced me to a very cooperative doctor… none of whom could find any record of my errant urinalysis.
They didn’t see any problems and they didn’t know who had called. They suggested I call back later and be bounced around again. More than a little worried, I rushed off to my next class.
That evening I reported my lack of success to Cliff. He got this strange little smile on his face and asked me what day it was.
“April 1st,” I replied as recognition of having been seriously screwed dawned in my mind. “You little twerp!” I screamed, as Cliff shot for the door with me in fast pursuit. It took me four blocks to catch him. The damage wasn’t all that bad, considering.