pirate history

Fifty Things You’ll Never Find on a Pirate Ship

After a hard voyage of plundering and pillaging, pirates are always ready for a little fun. Here’s your chance to mess with them and win some of that booty they pilfered.

You might not know the answer to the following riddle, but it’s key to what you’re about to read. What’s a pirate’s favorite game at a birthday party? Ready for the answer? A Scavenger Hunt. Well, you can bet your very last doubloon you’d win a load of buried treasure if you could snooker drunken pirates into looking for the following items on a pirate ship.           Let’s get started, shall we?

  1. Washing machines.

  2. An ironing board.

  3. Clean dishes. What’s a dish, a pirate might well ask. These guys are the ones who invented the expression, “Finger-licking good.”

  4. Linen napkins.

  5. Bottles of deodorant.

  1. A prayer book.

  2. Bible Study Class

  3. An unopened bottle of wine.

  4. Love letters to their wives. Not only were many pirates unmarried, but when they captured ships and recruited men to serve on their ship, they often refused to let married men join their crew. The thinking was that married men would miss their wives and not have their heart and soul into the job.

  5. A savings account.

  1. Virgins. I don’t think we need to go into that one.

  2. Clean sheets. The closest thing pirates had for sheets were the grungy hammocks they slept in. And they only got washed when a wave accidently washed into an open port hole.

  3. Tooth brush.

  4. One look at Blackbeard would tell you this. The gnarlier and unkempt your appearance, the more ferocious you appeared.

  5. Fresh towels.

  1. Mouth wash. Let’s face it. Pirates weren’t particularly fond of g-aarrrrgggh-ling. Unless of course it was with rum.

  2. A copy of Roberts Rules of Order.

  3. A roll of toilet paper. But how did they……..? Don’t even ask.

  4. A barber. What’s the point of growing a beard, if you’re going to get a haircut? That’s why a lot of men walking around today would fail the initial test for being a pirate. So many have all these shaved, bald, shiny heads and a little pointed beard on their chin. Blackbeard would howl with laughter.

  5. A copy of The Eight Habits of Successful People. Pirates didn’t think in terms of long-range goals. Success to them was gold, rum, and lots of hot wenches.

  1. An English Teacher. Having taught 37 years, I think I can safely say, some of my worst students would have made great pirates.

  2. A book of etiquette.

  3. A copy of the Ten Commandments.

  4. A financial advisor. I’m afraid any financial advisor that worked aboard a pirate ship probably starved to death unless he got hired as a comedian and told them out important investing for the future was.

  5. A bottle of Febreze. Pirates had their own way of freshening the air below deck. When the stench from the bilge water became overwhelming, they lit sulphur and brimstone to kill the smell.

  1. Dental floss.

  2. A 12-step program. The only steps pirates were interested in were how many steps to a bottle of rum or their favorite wench.

  3. A piggy bank.

  4. A game of Scrabble. Every pirate would be an automatic winner since they spelled words any damn way they liked.

  5. Gourmet meals.

  1. Hand sanitizer.

  2. A copy of the New York Times.

  3. A library card. Most pirates would have been at a loss to read the books in a kindergarten classroom. Unless, of course, it had pictures.

  4. A subscription to Better Homes and Gardens. Though I bet there might have been one or two pirates who might have subscribed to Better Bars and Taverns had there been such a publication.

  5. Condoms. You don’t really want me to draw you a picture, do you?

  1. A box of Tic Tacs.

  2. An unopened six pack of beer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. An AARP card. I’m afraid the organization for retired persons wouldn’t have thrived on a pirate ship. You can be a member of AARP at 50. Most pirates didn’t make it out of their twenties and thirties.

  2. A handkerchief. Seriously! That’s what hairy arms were for.

  3. A checkbook. Words like checking, deposit, investments, interest, and balance were foreign words to the typical pirate.

41. A bar of soap.

  1. A tattoo that says, “Mom.”

  2. A Life Insurance policy.

  3. Matching Gucci luggage to store belongings on a long voyage.

  4. Room service. The fact is, pirates slept below deck with the cannons, their hammocks stretched out within feet of each other. No private suites here. And there was no Wake up call either. The only wake up call a pirate got was the loud boom of a cannon followed by the splintering of the hull above their head, if they still had one.

46. Clean underwear. If you got that kind of a wake-up call, would you still have clean underwear?

47. A five-star chef. If you’re fussy about how your meals are prepared, you might want to reconsider your aspirations as a pirate. The cook was often the guy who lost his arm in battle or got his leg mangled in the lines and could no longer do regular jobs. He knew as much about cooking as I know about astrophysics.

48. The board game, “Sorry.” The only thing pirates were sorry about was when they ran out of rum, or didn’t have any more doubloons to pay the wenches in port.

49. A bottle of Mr. Clean. Come on, get real. Why would a pirate want to keep anything clean? That’s the whole point of being a pirate. The only exception was their guns. These they were expected to keep in pristine condition.

  1. Tofu or quiche. If food didn’t, at one time, walk, cluck, moo, or poop, pirates weren’t crazy about putting it in their mouth. I can’t blame them, I’d rather walk the plank than have to touch quiche let alone eat it. Remember that book, “Real men don’t eat quiche?” Well, that applies to pirates a 100 fold.

So if you come across some real live pirates this coming week, go ahead and take advantage of them; challenge them to a little treasure hunt. A word of warning, however, Make sure you haven’t worn deodorant for a few days. You don’t want them to get suspicious.

 

                                       Bill Hegerich

                                       The Uncommon Mariner

To leave a comment, click on https://billhegerichsr.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/fifty-things-youll-never-find-on-a-pirate-ship/  Happy voyages out there on the High Seas of Life. Don’t forget to have some fun.

Caribbean pirates nab $654 million; plundering to continue indefinitely

Pub signs like this one always welcomed pirates home after hard months of pillaging and plundering. Jack Sparrow would have loved it!

It was the last week in June, 2003, that pirates sailed into the Caribbean, led by what may be the strangest pirate that ever lived. Captain Jack Sparrow. Not even Blackbeard could have guessed that Johnny Depp, in Disney’s swashbuckling film, Curse of the Black Pearl would plunder the hearts and wallets of pirate fans around the globe for years to come.

What most people don’t realize is that when Johnny Depp began to portray his character as a saucy, almost effeminate pirate, several of the executives bristled. Depp won out, and Disney was buried under an avalanche of cash. They didn’t complain much about that. Grossing over $654 million, Curse of the Black Pearl went on to become the most successful film of the year.

Other films in the series include Dead Man’s Chest (2006) which earned $1.1 billion. At the World’s End (2007) earned $960 million, On Stranger Tides (2011) over a billion dollars, and Deadmen Tell No Tales in 2017 plundered nearly $800 million. Not a bad take for a bunch of hapless, unwashed pirates.

Depp never won an Academy Award for Curse of the Black Pearl. He never won an Academy Award for the other five Pirates of the Caribbean either. In fact, of all the movies he’s appeared in, and that includes: Sweeney Todd (2007), Charlie and the
Chocolate Factory
(2005), Edward Scissorhands (1990), and Sleepy Hollow (1999), he’s never once won the coveted award. Is he that bad of an actor or do the people who vote on such things actually live with their heads up their astral?

Pirates never get old. Each generation must face the possibility of encountering some very real ones out on the high seas. Yet, as the Golden Age of Piracy, which lasted from around 1700 to 1720, fades into history’s rearview mirror, the appeal of pirates has never been stronger. Within a span of 14 years, Disney has sensed this, and continues to pillage the box office around the globe for the foreseeable future.

There are a few things that might surprise you about pirates. In fact, there are a few things that might surprise you about Johnny Depp. For example, did you know that he carries his pirate costume around with him so he can visit sick kids in the hospital? He’s not going to intimidate too many people with that kind of attitude. In fact, after playing the role of Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow, he found out the horse he rode was going to be put down so he adopted it. Softie!

Johnny Depp has been close friends with Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones for years. Depp used him as an inspiration for his portrayal of Jack Sparrow.

Anyone who’s seen Sweeney Todd is probably aware of what an excellent singer Depp is, but don’t ask him to dance anytime soon. It’s one of his biggest fears.

When God made Johnny Depp, he threw away the mold. As a man of contradictions, he isn’t easy to explain away as the executives in Hollywood know only too well. When he was cast as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, not many people knew he was allergic to chocolate as a kid. While he was filming the first Pirates of the Caribbean, he fell in love with an island he came across in the Caribbean. He was so enamored by it that he bought it for $3.6 million. My brother-in-law would be proud of him. Everything there runs on solar power.

If you think Captain Jack Sparrow is a strange character, you’ll be more than amused at the real-life character of Depp. He has 30 tattoos on his body. In fact, he once said: “My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story.” I don’t know if any of those tattoos are of saucy wenches or skull and crossbones, but he is known to have tattooed Winona Forever on his body. When he and Winona Ryder broke up, he had it altered to Wino Forever, a nod to his wine-keeping hobby.

You can’t say Johnny Depp hasn’t immersed himself in the persona of a pirate over the years. He was once accused of having trashed the room of a five-star hotel in New York City, something he flatly denies. To this day he swears an armadillo did it after jumping out of a closet. When questioned by police where it went, he pointed to the window. “Jumped out!” he exclaimed.

All the films in the Pirates of the Caribbean series serve up a lot of fun even if they are a little lean on historical accuracy. For example, did you know that most pirates never made anyone walk the plank. If they got around to disliking you, they simply threw you overboard.

Then, of course, there’s the Flying Dutchman. The historical account is actually simpler than what the movies portray. A Dutchman trying to round the Cape of Good Hope off South Africa kept being pushed backwards by ferocious winds and mountainous waves. Exasperated, he swore to the devil that if he would let him through, he would sell him his soul. Since then any sailor who sees the Flying Dutchman is doomed to die prematurely.

As for the depravity and slovenly dress of pirates, the crew of the Black Pearl got it right.  The more unkempt and dirty pirates were, the happier they seemed to be though Jack Sparrow dressed more closely to real-life pirate Jack Rackham who sported fancy clothes. As for pirates’ finances, I’m afraid my financial planner would starve if he were around pirates of the Golden Age. When in port, most spent every last doubloon on wine, women, and debauchery. Of course, there were exceptions. Buccaneer, Henry Morgan, whom all that rum has been named after, saved a generous portion of his booty and bought several plantations in the Caribbean.

When the next Pirates of the Caribbean comes out, I wonder where the adventure will take us. It doesn’t matter much. When Johnny Depp transforms himself into Captain Jack Sparrow, and his mascara is barely dry, we’ll be running for our lives trying to keep up with him. See you then. I’ll be the one in the movie seat behind you, swinging my cutlass wildly and curdling your blood with the fiercest scream I can muster. “Aarrggh!”

                                                Bill Hegerich

                                                The Uncommon Mariner

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