Two privates appeared from nowhere, pale in their uniforms like young ghosts trapped by reality. I got out and followed them across Main and into a magazine shop near the corner. The unlit neon sign of Tom’s Cafe was almost directly across the street. Beer on Tap. Steam Beer. Try Our Spaghetti Special.
The soldiers were inspecting a rack of comic books with the air of connoisseurs. They selected half a dozen each, paid for them and left.
"Milk sops," the clerk said. He was a gray-headed man with smeared spectacles. "They draft them in didees these days. Cradle to grave in one jump."
Ross Macdonald, The Ivory Grin, 1952.