The Dog and Pony Show Survival Guide

Dog and Pony Show:  A term used in the US Armed Forces to describe an event, often of arbitrary significance, which caters to the narcissistic needs of superiors.  DnP’s are often disguised as Change of Command ceremonies, Family Fun Days, random events when civilians get access to bases en masse, or anything with “General” in the name.  Vehicles, equipment, gear, weapons, and personnel are often positioned with a great amount of strategery to simultaneously highlight the more positive aspects of military life while downplaying the negative.*

*Note:  You won’t often see civilians tour an occupied USMC barracks due to the lethal cloud of alcohol, smoke, cursing, and hate that surrounds enlisted Marines.

As a United States Marine, you will learn all about the DnP.  In detail (you poor, poor, boot bastard).  The Marine Corps loves a good dog and pony show the way she loves her classes.  The longer, slower, hotter, and mind-numbingly-boring the better.  Officers and lucky civilians get to look at all the pretty devil dogs in their adorable uniforms, standing in those big grid formations of meat and camouflage, their feet creating a low, thunderous rumble with each carefully measured step.  Hell, if they’re lucky enough they’ll get to see those poor, sweaty bastards play with their rifles, salute, or scream some ridiculous chant really loudly in unison (OMG I sooo hope they say that “hooah” thing!!).  After this awesome display of patriotsturbation, they will get the chance to shuffle around (for-goddamned-ever) whilst staring blankly at whatever vehicle or equipment display has been thrown together by the least creative SNCO or officer who got voluntold to make a bunch of ugly piles of shit look presentable.  Nothing like proving to generals and civilians that you do…something…uh, productive?…with all that fat tax money they keep throwing at you.

The DnP starts early, as do most things in the Marine Corps.  For example, let’s say there will be a ceremony on the parade deck at 1000 that will last until 1130 (will actually end around 1220), followed by a guided tour that ends at a glorious display of “guns n’ hummers n’ tanks n’ ‘Merica,” with a grande finale of you and all of your buddies discretely getting face-raped by an NCO (after they’ve been properly face-raped by a SNCO.) after all of the civvies and people with shiny shit take off.  You know by now that if the ceremony starts at 1000, formation should be around 0915-0930ish.  Unfortunately, you forgot how special of an occasion this is.  A FUCKING GENERAL MIGHT BE HERE!  Formation is at 0900 the day before.  You will be told to field day your shop and equipment, company/battalion offices, parking lots, barracks, barracks, and barracks.  You might also field day the barracks.  The most fully-functioning-looking vehicles, gear, and equipment are scrubbed clean, painted (if needed) and cleaned again.  If it is a vehicle, it will probably break down for no reason overnight or seven seconds after you start it up the next morning when it needs to be staged for display (yes, you will have to prepare another vehicle if you can’t tow yours in and pull a Weekend at Bernie’s).  The actual ceremony starts at 1000 and the uniform is cammies (you lucky turd) but you need your rifle, and it must be spotless.  Your first inspection will be…yesterday afternoon for the rifle and last night after field day ended around 2342 for the uniform you wear every single day.  Your first one for today, though, will be at 0730, right after PT and field day inspection.

Check out your rifle from the Armory Clusterfuck yet?  Good, now stand the fuck by, devil nuts, shit is about to get…just…just awful.  By 0900 you will be in formation getting your final ass-chewing/impromptu arbitrary inspection, and so will all the other companies or battalions (depending on the scale of this assrapery).  Whichever dick head NCO that has been instructed to “post” out front while the Staff and Oscars bullshit behind formation will inevitably put everyone at the POA for several minutes at a time to keep you from getting too complacent while standing at parade rest with a rifle in 110 degree Okinawan humidity, then get tired himself and “At Ease” your asses for a few moments.  This process will repeat until about thirty seconds before the Little Old Man decides to kick shit off.  Guys will walk around showing off their big stick covered in their favorite pretty fabric samples, the band will drop some fat patriotic beats, and a few older gentlemen will jerk each other off for a while.  This process, especially the congratsturbating, can take an extremely long time, and you will likely find yourself thinking some of the following thoughts:

“Jesusfuckingchrist it is hot as fuck out here.  God damn it.”
“I should have joined the Air Force.”
“Welp, Jones just passed out.  SILVER BULLET!”
“How fucking long can this shit possibly go on?”
“Are they not sweating their balls off up there, too?”
“I need to piss.  So.  Bad.”
“Fuck.  My.  Life.  Fuck it so, so hard.”
“That’s two down for Bravo Company.  They must not hydrate over there.”
“What the fuck are they talking about?”
“Oh dear Lord Jesus his fucking wife is giving a goddamned speech now??”
“Sax player just went down, I wonder if they’ll play ‘Another One Bites the Dust?'”
“I should have joined the Air Force.”
“Third row, fifth seat from the left.  I would smash that SO hard.”
“Shit my left hand wasn’t perfectly straight for a moment, I wonder which NCO is going to jump my ass for that…”
“Okay…slowly…gently…oh thank fuck, I thought that drop of sweat was going to tickle my taint forever.”
“Fuck, I’m going to have to buy more socks.  You can’t wash this much sweat out.”
“I should have joined the Air Force.”

Eventually, after the Generals decide that enough Marines have succumbed to heat stroke, the faggy pride parade comes to an abrupt and uneventful end with some civilians awkwardly trying to decide whether or not it would be proper form to cheer or just go home and pretend they didn’t just watch a handful of America’s finest young men sustain heat injuries for their amusement.  If you are one of the lucky ones, you will be either sent back to work or released for liberty, if you are extremely lucky.  If you have been chosen to provide assistance to the buttfuckery that is the Dog and Pony Show Working Party Extravaganza, then you about to go for a ride, my friend.

Get ready for the ultimate test in keeping your composure, for you are about to embark on an insane journey of self-discovery that will stretch the limits of your imagination far beyond any line you may think you have crossed.  No, not really.  You are about to be asked a series of very, very stupid questions, though.  Very stupid.  Here are some of the most common, followed by the appropriate/inappropriate response:

Question:  “What is this big thing?  Some kind of tank?”
Appropriate Response:  “This is an AAV.  Marines use these to assault beaches.”
Inappropriate Response:  “This is an AAV.  Marines use these to make grunts pass out and throw up from the huge, toxic exhaust leak that every single one of them has.”

Q:  “Do you like being in the Marines?”
AR:  “I love it.  I get to defend my country while earning college credit and gaining useful experience.”

Q:  “I bet you have to be pretty smart to work on these, huh?”
AR:  “The Marine Corps only accepts the best and brightest, sir.”
IR:  “One of my NCO’s lost half his left hand by sticking it in the turbocharger.”

Q:  “I was in during the 60’s/70’s/80’s/90’s, is it still the good old Corps I remember?”
AR:  “Better than ever.  We pride ourselves on our willingness and ability to evolve as a professional institution.”
IR:  “Yep, still racist as fuck-all and infinitely homoerotic despite being shamefully homophobic.  The only big change is we went from physical abuse to mental and emotional abuse.  Much more effective.”

Q:  “How awesome is it that you get to use this stuff like every day?”
AR:  “I won’t lie, one of the best perks of the job is getting to drive this magnificent beast.”
IR”  “I fucking hate this piece of shit.  Its always deadlined, it leaks every fluid imaginable constantly, it stinks like sweaty grunt taints and puke, and I hope you die an extremely painful death.”

Q:  “How do you start this thing?”  (AAV)
AR:  “It can be a bit complicated, would you like to check out the turret?  It has guns…”
IR:  “Flip that big switch that says ‘Master’ then push the button that says ‘Start’ until it…uh, you know.  Starts.”

Q:  “How do you start this thing?”  (HMMV)
AR:  “Gosh, my Sergeant must have the keys…”
IR:  “Ha, check this out.  See that switch?  Turn it.  Boom, you just started it.  Now get the fuck out, I’m hitting the drive thru, biatch!”

Q:  “…”
AR:  (Smiles) “Good afternoon.”

After the civilians, generals, and other assorted riffraff leave, you are basically done with all of this stressful garbage.   Ha, I kid.  It is either dusk by now or full on darkness time, and you need to get that equipment back to its proper place, devil dog.  Also, it will need to be clean.  Duh.  Spend the rest of your Friday cleaning your shit and prepare to get fucked again, because you will probably be put on duty for causing the CO so much embarrassment by allowing your equipment to be in such horrific condition during a DnP.

Now go back to the bricks, hate your life, rinse with alcohol, repeat.


Submitted by “AAVPOG”