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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Talking Myself Out of Time Travel

I have always been fascinated with the age of the great sailing ships. Everyone probably fantasizes about time travel to one historic destination or another. Combining these two ideas I have decided that I would like to go back in time to be a pirate. I have ordered the time machine from the movie Napoleon Dynamite so expect a report from me on that trip sometime soon.

Perhaps I haven’t thought about this enough. Perhaps I shouldn’t just slap on the time machine apparatus and take off to pirate days. Perhaps I haven’t thought of the downside of being a buccaneer. Until now all I have considered was the upside, and it’s a pretty good upside. I’ll list the pros and cons of the life of a pirate and then maybe I can come to a more informed decision.

On the up side you have rape, pillage, and plunder—or the big three as they say in pirate circles. Rape, pillage, and plunder are what get pirates out of bed in the morning. First of all, it isn’t rape. That’s just what the port wives tell their British Naval officer husbands. To the pirates they just scream out “Please…don’t…stop” with extremely ambiguous connotations. Most non-pirates don’t even know the difference between pillage and plunder. What idiots! Pillage is stealing anything that isn’t nailed down, and plunder is the rest.

Pirates rarely bother themselves with plunder—too much like work. Plunder requires tools, but with pillage all you need is a wheel barrow to haul it away. Being a pirate is pretty much a cash industry so who needs anything nailed down? What is a pirate going to do, steal a gazebo? I would personally forgo the plunder and just burn anything I don’t pillage.

To a lot of people, getting to talk like a pirate would be a big incentive, but I personally can’t stand their vernacular. I mean, “avast,” what the hell is that? That’s not even a word. Talk normal! On my ship we’d speak proper English, and so help me, if I heard one fucking “Arrrh” I’d toss the offender over the side. They wouldn’t even get the dignity of walking the plank, just “one, two, three…heave.” I may even shoot them before they hit the water. My father taught English, so work with me on this one people.

There are some drawbacks to the life. Scurvy is a big one. I won’t kid you about scurvy, scurvy sucks. If you are looking to find a bright side to scurvy you’re in for a long wait. There is also a lot of talk about hanging pirates from a yardarm. I don’t know what the fuck a yardarm is but I can only imagine that hanging from one isn’t pleasant. I’m starting to talk myself out of this little fantasy.

One the other hand, pirates got to wear cool clothes. I’m super-conservative in the way I dress now so it probably won’t suit me to dress in pirate garb. For one thing, I don’t accessorize, I don’t even like to wear a watch, so earrings and gold medallions are out of the question. At 5’ 9’ I feel that I am too short to get away with wearing a hat and I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a bandana on my head. I suppose that it is all about confidence and the way you carry yourself but I don’t think I could pull off dressing like a pirate. I would just feel like one of the Village People if the Village People had a pirate.

So unless there is a pirate ship without syphilis or scurvy, where everyone talks like English graduate students and dresses in dorky Kenneth Cole department store clothes, I’m probably better off with the boring life I have now.

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