I was a lad of 17, celebrating my last night of freedom before reporting for Basic Training. Having the brain of a teenager, I figured I should show up for the toughest physical and mental challenge of my life with a severe hangover and as little sleep as possible.
My buddies and I imbibed heavily into the wee hours before we were lubricated enough to achieve inspiration. I challenged my best friend to a contest. If he could chug an entire ice tea glass full of Jack Daniels, he could give me a Mohawk. In retrospect, I admit there was no clear path to victory for either participant in that bet.
His stomach bucked a few times, but he muscled his way through the entire glass. So, with greatly impaired fine motor skills, he administered a pretty decent Mr. T style Mohawk. Shortly thereafter, the world faded to black.
In the morning, as I gazed blearily into the mirror, it occurred to me that Uncle Sam might not appreciate my sense of humor. I had my friend buzz it off before he drove me to Fort Jackson.
Beleaguered and blurry-eyed, we embarked on our journey. We made it through the main entrance to Fort Jackson without incident. Once inside the perimeter, however, the tactical situation shifted. Within minutes we were pulled over by MPs.
We were snatched from the 1971 Dodge Challenger (the same car from Vanishing Point), arrested and separated. It was only after several hours of interrogation that the Army concluded our stories were too strange and consistent to be untrue.
You see, since my head was shaved clean, they assumed I had already begun processing and was attempting to go AWOL.
Perhaps no one besides me has ever or will ever need this advice. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to pass my hard-earned wisdom to future generations. Never get a Mohawk the day before Basic Training!