I was going to follow up last week’s blog with fifteen more worthy maritime organizations you might be interested in joining to help save the oceans, but as you no doubt know by now, South Carolina has been inundated with torrential rains that have had widespread consequences. None of them good. In fact, most schools in South Carolina were closed from Tuesday through Friday presumably because of flooding even though many are nowhere near a flood zone.
I find this cruelly ironic since those four days were knock dead gorgeous with sunshine from sunrise to sunset. Given the fact that many of the past ten or eleven days were filled with forecasts of heavy rains, thunderstorms, or clouds.
And while the historic rains had no good consequences, the fact is they did bring two blessings to me. With my daughter and son-in-law preoccupied with their jobs, my grandchildren Luke and Nora had nowhere to go. So for three afternoons, my wife and I harbored them in our house. And what a particular harbor it was. I think Jimmy Buffett would be proud.
One day we played the afternoon away on a weight bench that served as a pirate ship much as it has for the past four years. With plenty of pirate swords, hats, a real compass, and several treasure chests, there was booty aplenty to plunder.
But the best day was Thursday. No pirate ship that day. Captain Bill had something else planned. He hooked them young scalawags with a treasure hunt. Well, it wasn’t really a treasure hunt. The truth be told we was burying treasure, we was! On me special island in the back of me secret hideout.
But you can’t bury treasure without something to bury. So we rifled through me boxes and drawers filled with all kinds of treasures. If me memory serves me right, there was a small moon, an oversized coin of Florida, a coin with skull and crossbones on one side and a genuine pirate ship on the other. Me grandson threw in some jewels, the likes of which no pirate has ever seen. Rubies, emeralds, and more coins.
And so there we was, mates, two young pirates and this old salt, slipping out our secret door and into the unknown wild. Me grandson with a chest loaded with booty in one hand, his pirate sword in the other; me granddaughter with a treasure map tight in her fist and a pen in the other because what good is burying treasure if ye don’t know where ye hid it? Continue reading →
Aaaarrrrrrgh! Talk-like-a-Pirate Day is September 19. Are you ready, mates? Put on yer cleanest eye patch, polish yer pirate accent, and get hooked on a load of rum. Er, I mean fun.
Origins of Talk-like-a-Pirate Day are hard to come by. Some scalawags blame, er, I mean attribute the day to Rover Louis Stevenson, that author of renown disrepute who boldly forged the concept of the pirate in our psyche forever. His book Treasure Island produced generations of pirates, and now there seems no end to them. You can see them everywhere from nursery schools to boardrooms, swinging their plastic cutlasses and raising their schooners in bars and on beaches, toasting the pirate spirit that refuses to die.
If ye want to talk like a pirate, the spelling of the word Aaarrrgh is the first thing ye must master. Some spellings have the word ending with a gh such as Aarrrrgh! Others simply spell the word Aarrr! And make no mistake about this, mates, no respectable pirate would have a conversation without throwing in at least two or three Aarrrghs.
If ye have trouble making your Aaarrrrrgh sound like a real pirate’s, don’t be discouraged. It takes practice. First take a shot of rum or root beer, depending on how much fun ye can stand. Then let the word form back in yer throat like yer gargling. At the same time, roll the RRR as it comes across your tongue. It’s best to do this without letting the rum come spilling out of yer mouth. Otherwise wenches will either cringe or laugh at you.
Sometimes it’s necessary to simply reduce Aarrrgh to its primitive form, Aarrr. This is the preferred use when indulging in a swordfight or boarding a ship, and ye have trouble being heard over the shouting and cursing of other pirates. An “Arrr” is fast and effective as ye swing yer cutlass with one hand while clutching yer rum with yer hook.
Using Arrr instead of Aarrrgh is also useful when forced to walk the plank. It’s a short distance between the plank and the ocean and not a lot of time to shout your favorite profanity: “If I ever get my ********* hands on yer ******* , I’ll shove five ****** up yer ***** ***** ***.” As you can see, Arr works just fine.
If ye really want to blend in with a bunch of pirates, don’t forget to sprinkle yer conversation with a few double negatives. “I don’t want nothing but gold and silver fer me wench.” And be sure to tell the judge: “It weren’t me! I never stole nothing from nobody! All us pirates look the same!” Continue reading →
You May Be a Pirate if…
How did you do? Less than five and you’re no pirate at all. Six to ten and you’ll be pillagin’ and plunderin’ in no time with a little more practice. Fifteen correct and you must have a pirate ship waiting to whisk you away. Twenty correct and you deserve the Golden Doubloon Award. Let me dig into my pirate’s chest. I think I have one in here somewhere. Oh, yeah! Here it is…