Artwork: IKI '26

Draft Dodging

Author: RYSL
As seen in: The Quixotic #

The national draft is underway, and as an amputee I’m terrified of active combat. Thankfully, I’m in the final stages of a foolproof plan to exempt myself from military service. 

Step one, join Congress. Check. Step two, work my way through the ranks and become President of the United States. Check minus, I won on an electoral college technicality. Step three, sign an executive order exempting amputees from the draft. Check plus, my ratings went through the roof. Step four, make an appearance on late night television and publicly admit that I have a prosthetic leg, thereby excusing me from mandatory military service.

Step four is proving more difficult than I expected. When I devised this plan, I thought that becoming President would be the hardest part. But after nearly two terms in the Oval Office, I just can’t bring myself to disappoint a country which has come to expect professionally-edited clips of me dunking a basketball almost as much as my landmark prison-preschool consolidation reforms. 

If I come clean, the people are going to have questions. The Presidential waltz, the Cabinet vs. aides kickball game, the Presidential worm. Was any of it real? they will ask. Only the Presidential worm, I’ll have to tell them.

Every night I have a recurring dream, where Jimmy Fallon tosses my prosthetic leg around a live studio audience as they howl with laughter. Production assistants keep the floor under me slick with peanut oil to maximize the laugh factor, and I’m slipping and sliding across the stage as the band plays the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme song to roaring applause. I watch helplessly from my peanut oil patch as my Veep is declared President, crowned in a ceremony where dozens of heads of state pledge their loyalty and offer extravagant gifts like elephants and valuable real estate in emerging markets. 

Honestly, I don’t mind that dream. I kind of like the smell of the peanut oil, and it’s nice to feel like I’m taking a break from being President every night when I go to sleep. It’s a stressful job, with lots of responsibilities such as the growing guilt of lying to the American people about having two legs and hiding all the UFOs. 

As Commander-in-Chief, I’m pretty involved in this war already. I spend most of my days locked in meetings with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when I’m not worrying about getting drafted. Perhaps I should just end it all. But it feels like taking the easy way out. Strictly speaking, we don’t have to be at war with Canada, but ending it now just feels cowardly.