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2004-09-09 | 11:53 p.m.

1,000 u.s. soldiers have now been killed in iraq.

mission accomplished?

i was watching the news one night and they were showing army reservists getting ready to be shipped to the war zone. these were pudgy middle-aged men in bad polo shirts standing at attention and saying goodbye to their wives and toddlers. it broke my heart.

a bill is apparently being pushed through the legislature to reinstate the draft by january 2005. something kerry might want to mention in a speech or two. no college deferment this time either.

tonight i was returning a dvd rental and had trouble with the door. a security guard made a waving motion that i interpreted as meaning the store was closed. just to be sure, i asked him (from about 50 feet away), "is it closed?"

"what?" he called out, as he started to walk towards me.

"is the store closed?" i asked again.

"my vietnam ears can't hear you," he explained, now within 10 feet of me. "you'd have to explode for me to hear you."

hearing, sacrificed in the battlefield. sense of humor, intact.

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