Meet Dan Shrapnel

This world is not a nice place, no matter what your parents or any other pansies might tell you. It’s mean and dirty. Dirty like the inside of a ‘Nam-era combat boot.

Oh…and hi. I’m Dan Shrapnel.

Where was I? Right. The world. Dirty. Combat boot. ‘Nam.

I’m here to tell you just how messed up this world is, so you can arm yourselves against it. You want my credentials? Fine.

I went through Marine boot camp and spent a week in combat training before they discharged me for health reasons. It’s my biggest regret that I got ringworm from the pillows, and also shot myself fourteen times in the left foot trying to kill a snake that turned out to be socks. That’s why they make you keep your bunk area clean, and don’t let you sleep with your gun.

While I don’t have any military-sanctioned combat experience, I’ve stayed in top mental and physical and mental shape over the past twenty years. I keep my guns polished—both my collection of firearms and the guns which metaphorically refer to my upper-arm muscles. At least once a month, I coordinate a raid on the Hendersons next door. It’s not because I consider them a threat; it’s just for the practice, and sometimes the leftover pizza.

That’s not to say I don’t consider them a threat.

It’s every free person’s duty to be ready in case of attack by the usual suspects—Communists, terrorists, Nazis, Reds, young people, King George, aliens (the kind from other countries), Prince Albert, Soviets, Injuns, aliens (the kind from Will Smith movies), feral dogs, the Spanish Inquisition, and aliens (the kind from the 1986 movie “Spaced Invaders”).

Ever since my mom told me how my pap had been captured by the Ruskies in the middle of the night, and how the Ruskies had also taken all of his clothes, his truck, and the silverware, I’ve tried to stay vigilant. But there’s too much danger for just one man to shoot in the face. So I looked for a public forum to educate everybody. I thought I’d found the perfect outlet in a local kid’s show, Commander Cartoon and Friends. I hoped I’d get a jump-start on training the next generation of civilian soldier.

No such luck.

Cartoon was a Sergeant, at best. I’m not even sure what those medals on his jacket were for. I think one was a silver dollar. And his “friends” were definitely not military material. A giant cat named Private Whiskers, a parrot on a string, and a snake that wouldn’t leave that stupid barrel. I was hired as a stuntman, mostly for the somersaulting entrances.

One day, I realized that Cartoon wasn’t just inept. He was dangerous. Between re-runs of comic-book-based cartoons and commercials for comic-book-based-cartoon-based toys, he was showing kids that the world was cute. That the military was about musical numbers with feline mascots and animatronic reptiles. And let’s just say that I didn’t have to ask, and he didn’t have to tell. I could tell.

So, I decided to take over hosting for a day. Maybe it was the live studio audience, or the scars I showed the live studio audience, or the live rounds I fired at the ceiling above the live studio audience. Maybe it was the fact I had to lock “Commander” Cartoon and his friends—except the bird, which I couldn’t reach—in a broom closet to keep them from endangering the mission. Whatever the case, I think I failed at getting through to anyone or at collecting a single paycheck.

So now I’m here to train you.

Gfk mhng frgh bnk.,mhnhnhbn g

Sorry, I was punching my keyboard because the stupid box was making a funny noise.

(Editor’s note: the views and opinions expressed in this column are not shared by the Mirror News, our advertisers, our friends & families, or anyone we know or wish to meet.) Dan Shrapnel’s column is edited by Jesse Dunsmore for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sanity.