Aarrrgh is one of the defining words in our common psyche when we think of pirates. My wife says two mature, normal grown-ups can’t help but smile when they utter that word to each other. You can be a pirate aficionado, a parrothead with 50 years of partying and pirating under your sash, or just plain nuts like me, but the response will always be the same when someone greets you with “Aarrrgh!”
I don’t know why that is. As Johnny Depp says, “Enjoy the ride while it lasts.” Don’t question the gift of Aarrgh when someone brightens your day with one.
I taught school for over 37 years, and it’s the one word that’s practically impossible to misspell though I know a few people who would come close. Despite what you think and what you’ve seen in the dozens of pirate books you’ve read, there really is no one way to spell Aarrrgh.
Here are some of the more common ways. Aarrrgh! Aaarr! Arrrr! Arrr! Arrrgh! For the sake of consistency, I’m using Arr, though there are times when Arrgh is better.
Some historians assert that pirates never once uttered the word Aarrgh or anything like it. They assert that the word is a Hollywood device that can be traced back to Long John Silver in the story Treasure Island. I don’t think they would argue their point so loud if they were looking down the barrel of a Caribbean pirate’s cannon, or dancing a jig at the end of a pirate sword.
The fact is, many pirates were Irish, Welsh, and English. All three spoke with distinct accents that gave Aarrrgh a delightful flavor. Count among Welsh pirates, Henry Morgan, the inspiration behind Captain Morgan rum, and Black Bart aka Bartholomew Roberts. I don’t think a lot of people reading this would have wanted to sail on Roberts’ ship. He preferred to drink tea instead of rum.
Captain William Kidd was Scottish. I think his Aarrgh would have been as good as anyone’s in history. Blackbeard and Edward England were both English as was Calico Jack Rackham though his shipmate the notorious Anne Bonny was born in County Cork, Ireland. Anne delighted in revealing her breast to the men she conquered. Talk about wild Irish lasses! That alone deserves an Aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!
That’s not to say there weren’t French, Spanish, and Dutch pirates. Boy, there were plenty of those too. But I just don’t know how you can put a French or Dutch accent on Aarrrgh! Awkward!!!
The following are thirty pirate riddles with the word Aarrr in the answer. I have no doubt even Henry Morgan, if he sobered up long enough, would surely be amused. Ready or not, here they Arrr!
1.How do pirates like their eggs?
2. Where in the Caribbean do pirates go for vacation?
3. What’s a pirate’s favorite game fish?
4. Why was the pirate voted most valuable player in baseball?
Because he had the most Arrr BI’s.
5. What happened to the movie about pirates who plundered a ship with scantily clad wenches?
It was raided Arrr!
6. What music do pirates listen to?
Arrr and B
7. What’s a pirate’s favorite musical instrument?
8. What was the pirate’s explosive secret weapon?
9. What were pirates doing in the dollar store?
Looking for a b-arrr-gain.
10. What do pirates like to smoke after a day of pillaging and wenching?
11. What does a pirate do after brushing his teeth?
He g-arrr-gles with rum.
12. What did Blackbeard do when fuses got hopelessly tangled in his beard?
He went to a b-arrr-ber.
13. What do pirates like inscribed on their tombstone?
Arrr I P
14. Why didn’t the pirate say anything at his own trial?
Because there was no use in Arrr-guing with the judge.
15. Why did the pirate interrupt the band in the middle of the song?
He didn’t like the Arrr-angement.
16. What famous pirate appeared in Star Wars?
Arrr 2 D 2.
17. What’s a pirate’s favorite part of the boardwalk?
18. What do you call a muscular pirate with a German accent?
19. What vegetable does a cook never serve on a pirate ship?
20. Why did the pirate drink unsweetened iced tea?
He didn’t like Arrr-tificial sweeteners.
21. Where do pirates hold their tailgate party before a night of plundering?
In the p-arrr-king lot.
22. What TV show do pirates like to watch when they get up in the morning?
23. What job did the pirate volunteer for on Thanksgiving Day?
C-arrr-ving the turkey.
24. Why was the pirate limping?
25. How do pirates spend their Saturday mornings?
They go to yarrr-d sales.
26. If God is a pirate, what’s the first thing he’s going to ask to see when you reach heaven?
27. What kind of toilet paper do pirates use?
28. What’s the smelliest part of a pirate?
His Arrr-m pit.
29. Who was the best pirate to ever play golf?
30. What did God tell Noah to do when he turned pirate?
Start building an Arrr-k.
How about you? I bet there’s a little pirate in you yearning to break free. What arrr you waiting for? Let me hear your best aarrr jokes.
To leave a comment, click on https://billhegerichsr.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/aaaarrrrgh/ with a sense of humor.
The Uncommon Mariner
My wife and I recently booked a Caribbean cruise with Royal Caribbean and were shocked when, at the last minute, it was canceled. Whoever heard of a cruise being canceled where hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake? In all fairness, the cruise company refunded our money along with some malarkey about renovations, but I think a whole lot more than that was going on. Just between you and me, and please don’t tell anyone this, because I don’t want it to get around, but I think it had a whole lot to do with pirates and less to do with making a ship looking good for a bunch of tourists, most of whom are half in the bag for seven straight days.
Think about it before you take another sip of your rum. Our ship was supposed to be travelling in the Caribbean. The Caribbean! The epicenter of piracy during the Golden Age of Piracy. I’ve studied this topic pretty intensely, so it’s hard to pull the wool over my eyes. Maybe an eyepatch but not wool. Let me put it this way. The spirit of Blackbeard and his kind is alive and well in the Caribbean. If you doubt that, you obviously haven’t been to a Jimmy Buffett concert or heard his song, A Pirate Looks at Forty.
At the risk of betraying my brothers under the black flag, I’m going to say no more. What I will do is give you a list of thirty signs that the next cruise ship you sign up for may not really be a cruise ship at all. You can do your homework, but sometimes that just isn’t enough. My wife and I know that firsthand.
That’s it, folks. If you’re planning a cruise in the near future. I suggest you pay close attention to this list. And if you talk to Black Bart, tell him the Uncommon Mariner sent you! Maybe I’ll be seeing ya out there on the high seas. And remember me motto: A little booty, a little rum, and me saucy wench make for a lot of fun. Aarrrgggh!
What experience have you had with pirate ships or cruise ships? Go to https://billhegerichsr.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/signs-your-cruise-ship-is-actually-a-pirate-ship/ and tell me about it.
It’s with a heavy heart and a whole lot of angst that I’m writing this blog. The United States is now in its 34th day of a government shutdown that Donald Trump, our ersatz president gleefully takes credit for. The scenario has the emperor Nero written all over it. For those of you who were smoking in the boy’s or girl’s bathroom during that history lesson, Nero was the sadistic emperor who played his fiddle while Rome burned. Sound familiar?
The Coast Guard along with countless thousands of others are now facing the second payday without a paycheck. Part of the strumpet’s coterie suggests these hardworking folks go to their local grocery store and tell the manager, they can’t pay now, but they’ll pay later. That would be laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic. As if the grocery stores don’t have to meet their own overhead and pay salaries.
Or how about this. When your credit card bill and your mortgage payment come due, the president wants you to pick up the phone and tell the nice person at the other end you are a government employee and you’re sacrificing yourself so he can build a wall for his supporters. Do you know how stupid that sounds?
Imagine telling 40,000 Coast Guard men and women that the sacrifices they make day in and day out is not enough. “Now you must sacrifice even more so I can build a wall.” And this coming from the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. If I wrote a book with this stuff in it, my agent would laugh me out of her office.
Of course, the Strumpet isn’t the only one to blame for the terrible predicament the Coast Guard and other federal employees are in. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell evidently thinks his job is to be head cheerleader for the president of the U.S. Now there’s someone who must have been smoking in the boy’s bathroom when civics was being taught.
Our forefathers set up our government with three branches. The Senate and the Congress are supposed to make laws. Not the president. If the president doesn’t like what’s put before him, he can veto it. It’s then up to the Congress and the Senate to get enough votes to override his veto and make their proposal into a law.
Instead of assuming the unpleasant task of confronting the president, McConnell has, instead, decided to climb into bed with the strumpet. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin would be infuriated if they could see this scenario being played out.
I don’t know how long this shutdown will continue, but I want to put a few salient facts about the Coast Guard before you. And if you’re not angered by what is being done to the members of the USCG, you’re part of the problem. If you are angered, then let the politicians know how furious you are, and let them know you have a long memory, a memory that stretches to the next elections in 2020.
If you do nothing, then when planes begin dropping out of the sky because air traffic controllers can’t do their job properly, when security at our ports falters, when the USCG can’t buy the gas they need to run their boats and helicopters to perform their Search-and-Rescue missions, you really must accept your part in this fiasco.
Maybe you know a Coastie who is struggling to make ends meet, maybe you know an air traffic controller whose mind is distracted because he can’t pay his kid’s medical bills, or maybe you know some other government worker who’s been told to take a job as an Uber driver or get a loan which will have to be paid back with double- digit interest while the billionaires in Washington waddle to their five-star restaurants and hotels, insulated from reality.
Support our unpaid patriots in whatever way you can. They’re hardworking folks just like you and me, and they don’t deserve to be betrayed by their Commander-in-Chief or other politicians in Washington. A couple of bucks, a gift card to help them through the crisis, a donation to a local food pantry; it’s all good. Contact the Coast Guard in your area. They’ll give you some ideas. Donate to the USO who’s also involved in assisting these dedicated men and women, being treated like shameless pawns.
Did You know…
The Uncommon Mariner
to leave a comment, click on https://billhegerichsr.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/whats-really-keeping-america-safe/