As darkness fell on the huge battlefield at Ypres in France in May, 1918, US Army Corporal Henry Unvunny sat peering at the letter he had finished writing to his family back in Inbreddible, Montana.
'Dear Mom', it said, 'I am here in France, and man, how I hate this place! Them Frenchies have already lost over a million men fighting the Germans and show no sign of giving up, and the British are just as determined. Makes me proud to come from the only country in the Western world that avoided this war for three years, I sure wish Ted Roosevelt hadn't bravely sent me here at the end of this pointless war.'
'But of course when I have children I'll teach 'em that Americans 'saved' Britain and France, saved 'em by not joining World War One until it was just about all over! Met some Canadian soldiers today, mom, and they called me all sorts of names like 'coward' and 'yellow' and 'only wanted in this war for supplies, your men can't fight and never will be able to', so I cried to myself to sleep last night into my stars and stripes handkerchief.'
'I lost most of my company on day one of arriving here in a friendly fire incident - Sergeant Dumyankski from L.A. got carried away with being allowed to have a machine-gun and started firing at us, because 'guns make people real tough' and decimated most of the battalion. He's 12, but of course is the oldest GI here.'
'Oh, I forgot, General Scheissekopf is 14, and keeps talkin' about 'roadmaps to peace', which sure helps us in this bloodthirsty conflict that has its roots in a hatred that has lasted for over a thousand years. Wish I could understand why this war is happening, and why Americans are in it here in France.'
'My uniform has been slightly creased, as when the Canadians and Australians were suicidally attacking the German front for the 300th time our company was posing for photographs for the folks back home. And Captain Bush had taken just one shot too many of morphine and tripped over our PX supplies of caviar and champagne, and sheeit!, he crumpled my $3,000 hand-made parade uniform! I tell ya, mom, that uniform makes me feel like the best-dressed soldier in the world, so I had another cry into my stars and stripes about it all.'
'Spoke to some British soldiers today, and they were talkin' about stuff like 'cannon fodder' and 'why not go and visit that hill over there?' You know, I can never tell whether them Brits are makin' fun of us proud Yankee warriors or not. Captain Bush told me that 'What else would they be doin', when they meet inbred morons like you?' which kinda hurt, but then again everything kinda hurts us sensitive American flowers.'
'On the first day of this Battle of Ypres the British lost 67,000 men, the French 88,000 and the Germans 46,000 - all in one day! But when this war is over let's just hope two Zeppelin airships don't fly across the Atlantic into some tall buildings in New York City and kill a fraction of that amount, or else we'll have to turn into crybaby children about it all.'
'Luckily New York City has the most advanced defence system in the world to prevent such attacks! So only if Mr. Roosevelt allowed a fake attack like that to happen would it be possible, which is about as likely as the President of the United States of America being an alcoholic, moronic, drug-addicted chimp! Oh, hi, Captain Bush, be with you in a minute.'
'Our chewing gum supplies are getting seriously low, mom, so it's getting real hard for us, and I only changed uniform eight times this morning. And - Zeppelins have attacked London again - my shoes are a little - another 60,000 British dead today - tight, must get a new pair - French death toll over a million now - from that boutique in Paris.'
'OK, gotta finish now, as - entire city of Coventry destroyed in one air raid - some movie makers want to come here and film us 'winning' World War One, must be some kinda Charlie Chaplin comedy or something. Americans win a war! But if a movie's made saying that then you'll all believe it back home, like children. Maybe it could be called 'Saving Private Ryan From Learning History'.'
'The weather's nice, though the damp in the trenches makes my brain cells act a bit funny, I keep thinking about a 'war on terror' and 'the mightiest country in the world', stuff a kid would laugh at if they weren't American, but I'll get some compassionate leave soon for 'the death of democracy in the United States of America in 1991', whatever the hell that means!'
'Hope your apple pie tastes as good as ever, mommie, and hope that Mr. Roosevelt won't get replaced by a grinning token idiot with dark skin and about as much power as a plate of cold baloney. Your ever-lovin' son, Corporal Henry Unvunny. 1234567. Self-Important 4th. Battalion of Forthwith Pompositers.'
Unvunny then sealed his letter and gave it to the Sergeant on duty and went to take his long-awaited leave of two hundred and thirty-three years to do bugger all, except for watching the British and French and Germans invent the modern world and to teach his children he 'won' two world wars he never even arrived in until they were about to end, and to develop a massive inferiority complex that lasts to this day.'
T.V. Fictional-News has never read any history books, and his entire perception of the world comes from ABC News, Hollywood movies and stories his grandfather made up about the USA.