Reader Takes LSD, Then His Physical


Fifth Estate # 32, June 15-30, 1967

I had this idea the other day that it would be cool and utilitarian at the same time to ‘drop’ 250 micrograms of acid just before going to take my army physical. I would just take enough to get a mellow and unreachable high so I would be convincing when I copped out as a dope addict-nut, etc.

The physical was due to start at 7:00 o’clock a.m. I stumbled in at 7:45 just after popping the acid. At 8:30 the tests were just beginning and I was pissed because I figures the stuff was not going to work.

The soldier explained that if you filled out the forms saying you were a fairy of some sort, you would be drafted almost immediately… He was a tall thin guy with large elbows and enormous pants.

He passed out the tests and I started answering the ‘ridiculously easy questions but half way through the test the machine parts and the ‘square’ tests began to get more difficult. I found it impossible to work the arithmetic problems and I began to worry that I would fail the test and have to take it over again.

I looked up for a second and the thin soldier in the baggy pants began to resemble a mummy. Alright, Jesus, I better get a hold on myself.

I wasn’t planning on hallucinating. The test was over and I was sure I flunked it.

I was wrong. I built up enough points during my sane first half that I passed it by a small margin. This Navy doctor stomps in and explains that it is now time to fill out the medical reports. Don’t make a mistake or you are douched. If you put down yes to any of the scores of ailments and symptoms mentioned, “You better be able to prove them fella or you’ll be in a uniform in three days.”

Looking at the fantastic choice of items I figured that I had nothing to lose by liberally checking yes to as many categories as possible, besides I’m a wreck anyway, and that I can prove.

After the medical forms were completed we were hustled off to a room where we all stripped down to the jockey shorts and shoes and started on what was to be a nightmare.

Just before station one the people in front of me ‘looked like lepers and the floor was beginning to feel spongy. I became fantastically sensitive and easily hurt.

Doctors began to ask us questions but I couldn’t understand them completely because most of what they said sounded like Chinese to me. So I just nodded yes to everything.

The most painful moments included the blood test when this mad doctor jammed a needle into my emaciated arm and kept it there for what felt like three hours of indescribable agony. I nearly dropped.

The great groin grab: This displaced person sits behind a plastic shield with a cotton glove on and grabs your testes and yells for you to cough.

I groaned.

I could not be touched by anything or anyone, it felt as though my skin was coming off. He grabbed on to my testes and squeezed as hard as he could yelling “Cough, god dammit, “cough.”

I coughed, yelled, anything!

After other indignities like this one-eyed cat who just ran around looking into ass-holes and the hearing test in a booth that nearly drove me crazy with my first case of claustrophobia, we sat down for a three hour wait to get the forms filled out and after that you could leave.

I was really nuts now. English became a foreign language and I couldn’t lean on anything because it would melt and on top of it, it felt as though I would go through the wall. All of the characters in the room became lopsided and the ceiling was slowly coming down.

Minutes really seemed like hours. I was really frightened.

After this soldier made an appearance by bombing into the room boots first, distorted like a headache commercial, I finally found out that I was disqualified temporarily from the draft for being a nut.

Running out of the building into the blinding sun I found my way back to my car. It was hot inside, my skin was melting on the wheel and the seats, but I didn’t give a damn. Driving home cars passed me, they seemed as though they were stretching by with a whooshing sound.

A fire engine drove up trapping me on railroad tracks between cars.

I nearly puked. The siren hurt my ears.

I made it home, alive. It was just luck.