Yo ho, the pirate’s life

Published 1:38 pm Wednesday, April 15, 2009

There is a romanticism when we talk about pirates, a vision of wooden vessels gracefully sailing the high seas with the good buccaneer at the helm looking exactly like Errol Flynn as he chases the bad pirate who is a nasty, hairy, gravely voiced character with a greedy heart and bad dental hygiene. That is what you call pirates!

A pirates life was about pillaging the harbor towns, drinking barrels of rum and among the brethren was a code to live by or so my Disney imagination and years of watching movies about the buccaneers tells me.

Piracy, and not the illegal act of swiping Wolverine films and playing them on the Internet before the picture is released kind of piracy, but the Caribbean swashbucklers that had skull and crossbones for their pirate flags and buried treasure are the true representation of the word pirate. Did it really represent the true way it was? Did Hollywood get it right?

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Do I care? I request from now on the word pirate be only referred to my kind of piracy and not this newfound, no class version. These water terrorists are giving pirates a bad name and I am calling for the media to quit using the pirate word when reporting these watery crimes! Why, these non-visionary thugs don’t even make captives walk the plank!

As long as we have water and boats, we will have crime at sea and the term we use for such evil behavior should not be condensed down to pirates. I wish we could refer to the new Somalian pirates as something else, something less romantic since all these guys are just desperate thugs trying to make a living by taking their fishing boats and transforming them into military attack boats used for drive by shootings. They are a gang at sea! Why can’t we call them Somalian Bloods? Or make up a new gang name that embraces their ocean tactics like SpongeBums or WaterBugs?

The problem with piracy is that it’s paying off. These bad guys attack another country’s vessels and ransom the crew or the boats and they make out financially. It’s a successful venture and one to be repeated… at least until they got a taste of the red, white and blue.

I am proud to say when they attacked the American ship with the Alabama name on it, they encountered more than they bargained for and then some! We have still got it, that determination and spunk to overthrow a bunch of thugs. The crew and Captain Phillips handled themselves with true American style. Yes, we have a new Captain America and he is not wearing blue tights! Or carrying a shield!

Phillips can now go into my hall of fame of heroic captains.

But I must give credit to the team — they pulled through too — and then add the heroic Navy Seals and we have us a great American story. The ending was satisfying and perfect — a made for TV movie!

As the world wonders what to do with all this piracy going on, wringing their hands and paying off ransoms, we provided another way of dealing with the thugs… by shooting them! If I were a pirate and I knew that there was a great probability of getting shot rather than getting a boat load of cash then I might find a new profession.

Yet, even as I write this several more ships have been attacked, but none with an American flag. Let us see how the other countries handle the high sea drama?

Don’t mess with American Captains! We have the best from Captain Sully who landed his plane in a river and won the respect and admiration of the world to Captain James Tiberius Kirk who through his tenacity and wit won the hearts of all alien worlds throughout his 40 year career as the captain of the ship Enterprise. Both captains had the support of a great crew too.

In piracy our country is too young to have any great American pirates, unless you count Captain Jack Sparrow. However, now is the time! If you have the means and the desire, piracy is back in style. If you have lost all your money in the stock market and are looking for a new occupation that pays well with very little risks, try piracy. But at least put a little flair into your costumes and ship so you can be worthy of the pirate name.

Captain Morgan has his own rum because he had fashion sense and a great publicist. You too could be the next brand name captain and in today’s world with the price they pay to put your name on a brand, you could make out really well!

Just remember to bypass any American ships on your new financial making venture. You don’t want to tangle up with our great captains.

Great captains come in many venues such as Captain Kangaroo; although I don’t remember him doing any captain stuff and I am not sure what he was a captain of? He could really get irritated by those ping pong balls though!

As for me, I will cringe when I hear news reports about modern day pirates as I try to reinforce my memory of true piracy by breaking out my swashbuckling movies.

Arrgh matey!