“How America was Saved by a retard,” this was the title of Randall Boyce’s American History book report. Six weeks ago it was called upon Randall to read chapters 5 and 6 in his American History textbook and, “discuss in 3-5 pages the Vietnam War, including the reasons for U.S. involvement and charting the outcome of the war.” Extra-credit would be given to those who formed a vocabulary list of “challenge words” they found in the chapters but Randall decided to forgo this opportunity.
In the popular fashion of most kids his age and human beings in general, Randall, waited until the final hour to pick up the massive textbook and realized that trying to read the historic recount would be damn near impossible. So at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday night he used his family’s computer to search Netflix for a quick solution. Randall explained in a phone interview that at the time he reasoned that if he, “could find a movie about Vietnam, it would take me only two hours to finish it and I’d be done with the paper before Family Guy came on.” The top two results that appeared on Randall’s search for, “mad funny Vietnam movie,” were Forest Gump and M.A.S.H. Knowing that his, “boring and lame,” grandfather loved watching M.A.S.H. he quickly went with the Tom Hanks classic.
Armed with a box of Cheez-Its and some chilled Capri-Sun he started watching the age inappropriate film. Once it was over, he was emotionally moved beyond his limit and still completely oblivious to the fact that the film was pure fiction but nevertheless began his composition. Not surprisingly, his essay was completed disjointed from his teacher’s directions. For your enjoyment an excerpt has been published.
“So in conclusion, how does the U.S. govermment have the write to just take guys like Bubba and let them die?! That’s so f-d up! He was the mann! And why should their have been a Veitnam anyway? Guys like Lt. Dan are yelling at you all the time because they don’t have legs! That’s not cool. And then you get shot in the butt, or rained on, or your mom dies and all you want is to get homes and be with your girl. Vietnam sucked for everybody but good thing we have real-life heroes like Forest Gump. He’s f-ing sick.”
Four more pages of adolescent criticism with capricious direction lined the pages of Randall’s essay, which was finally completed at 11:30 p.m. He received an incomplete for his assignment and was given an extension to turn in an appropriate paper on a different topic. Randall’s working title for his new essay is “Unsung Heroes: A Patriotic Examination of The Ghostbusters”
–Fred Polone, October 2010