He’s a fighter, for sure: Matt drops out of school to join the army

Posted By Horizon Staff January 31st, 2013 in Capstone : 1 COMMENTS

Matthew Bennett
Can do several push-ups

We’re starting a new series this semester. Essentially, from time to time, we will ask a random reader to finish the sentence, “What if…” and then take it upon ourselves to answer that question.

We don’t  leave any stone unturned at the Capstone.

“What if… Matt dropped out of college and enlisted?”

Which branch of the armed forces would I join? Army, I guess; why not just start with the oldest branch? I’d tell my parents, go to the registrar’s office, drop out, use Google to find the nearest recruiting station, drive there, enlist. Those are an Army baby’s first steps, right?

It would probably be a few months before I could actually get sent out anywhere, but I like travel, so I’d force it. I would use the full extent of my savings and travel the West Coast until they sent me to boot camp.

I could work out in my spare time (searches for Perfect Pushup on Amazon). Wait, if I’m not enrolled in school how am I supposed to get my Perfect Pushup sent to me? Target! Perfect.

Wait, ugh, Target is in Ventura. Why does Santa Barbara hate corporations so much?

Whatever. On Friday, I’d say goodbye to my friends; Saturday, I’d get gas, drive to Target, and start living out of my car until boot camp.

I’d travel up and down Highways 1 and 101. I’d probably even be able to sell a few things to some old people in Eureka and some hipsters in Portland on my way north. I’d definitely stop at the Tillamook factory where I would probably meet some tweaker named Guy who lost his eye in Vietnam and is convinced that the government is hiding howler monkeys in Tillamook State Forest and that’s why he can’t sleep at night.

I wouldn’t sleep that night either, so I’d slip one of my three Gideon Bibles under his pillow once he falls asleep (it had been, like, three weeks, and he sleeps with his eyes open), and then get the heck out of there.

By the time I got to Seattle, I’d probably have a nice beard going, so I’d fit right in. I’ve heard there’s a place in Seattle that can make you smell like old books. I’d go there, but then halfway through paying I’d realize that if I smelled like old books in the Army, someone would probably think I’m really intelligent or something and then expect me to do something that isn’t fighting.

Not this guy. I’m a fighter.

I’d have a miniature crisis moment, floor it to Canada, get a speeding ticket, get to Canada slower than desired, get out of the car, rip my shirt off, run into the forest and fight a moose.

No one in the Army is going to mess with a guy who smells like a moose. No one messed with Teddy Roosevelt and he was the head of a bunch of Bull Mooses.

Look out, Army; Matthew “Moose Fighter” Bennett is headed your way.

Theorizing time would be near over, I’d call my mom.

Me: Mom, I’m dropping out of school. This trash is too hard and I’ve decided I’m joining the Army.

Mom: Matt, what are you thinking?!1

Me: Mom, look. Our country needs it. I keep finding myself wanting to ask people if they want to fight, so I figure this is the best way to actually do that.

Mom: You are not joining the Army.

Me: I’m an adult. I can make real people decisions.

Mom: This is not a real person decision. You’re a quitter.

Me: That’s not true.

Mom: Yes it is. You are.

Me: Glad to know I have your support, Mom.

Mom: You’re not even going to make it through boot camp. Have you seen yourself?

Me: You just gestured to all of me over the phone, didn’t you?

Mom: Stop being an idiot. Go do your homework [hangs up].

Needless to say, my mom was not stoked on this. Good thing I didn’t tell her I was shirtless in Canada.


1. My mom would use more expletives than we can print throughout this conversation.

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