Pirates of the Caribbean was HUGE! I don’t even think Pirates were a big deal until those movies came out. I mean, sure there was the ride in Disneyland, but now people want to be like a pirate. We even have a day dedicated to talking like a pirate and it just so happens to be September 19th, my husband’s birthday. That being said, I love pirates as a general rule. They pillage, they plunder and most importantly, they drink a good amount of rum. The depravity of their rum-polluted nature is inspiring, luring anyone in seductively. Oh the rum! Anyone who can pull off those things while three sheets to the wind and proclaiming, “Arrg!” is okay in my book.
Recently I noticed the correlation between me, a freak, and pirates. Picture this: a ship sails with a load of tea and spices from India to England. The wind blows in the fake white wig of the Captain and he feels alive. Why wouldn’t he? He is at sea and dressed in his finest white wig and tights. He is fancy, commanding and in his element. But ahoy! On the horizon another ship approaches. It seems to be getting closer. It is moving with such speed, but the Captain is not worried until (gasp!), an ominous black and white flag is raised. The Captain knows something bad is afoot and, as always, there’s not much he can do about it. The pirates pillage, they plunder, and they do it with ease in their inebriated rummy-headed state. The captain and his crew are left with nothing, stripped of their goods and ranks, mere prisoners on the pirate ship and yet there is an edge of envy. They want to be a pirate too.
And so it is with me. I conduct myself in a normal manner, but soon I feel the need to break loose, to make a spectacle of myself for no good reason. I get a look in my eye, so says my husband, and then I raise the colors! He can see it rising! Here it comes! And I let my freak flag fly in all its pirate-flag glory.
A few nights ago my husband took me to a very nice restaurant at the Ahwahnee in Yosemite Valley. I was dressed to kill and so was he. The maître d’ seated us, this demure couple, in the best seat in the house. Little did he know who just came aboard the ship. Our appetizer arrived, a beautiful crab cake paired with a deliciously overpriced glass of champagne. Ignoring the prevailing winds, I swirled the bubbly in my glass noting its resemblance to the sea. Oh, the deep blue sea. Yo ho! A Pirates life for me! The bubbles tickled my throat as I finished the glass, eyeing the wine list in hopes that the rum wasn’t already gone. A bottle of wine later and I began my rapid descent into pirate-dom. After much too much rum, Jake’s eyes grew wide. He knew. He saw me raise my colors. My freak flag flew high for all to see. He said something about a business associate. Something I felt was unsavory, savvy? And I cut loose. In the middle of the dining hall, I said, “You want me to kick his ass?” to which he hushed me and said that people were looking. I responded, “I’ll kick their asses too!” It was too late. There was no stopping me. I had to pillage and plunder! After all, the rum was only going to last a little while longer anyhow. I laughed manically at my husband’s jokes and made inappropriate jokes and comments to no avail. The other diners were looking at me with horror wondering just who let this pirate aboard this ship. But they were my prisoners! I pillaged and plundered and took their ship as my own. And they were helpless, along for the ride and, of course, secretly wanting to be a freak just like me.
Stephanie D. Birch is an acrobatic Captain of her pirate ship, The Grey Squirrel. She is also a certified taste tester of Rum and other libations, of which she is indiscriminate. She is currently setting sail for another pillage and plunder, destination unknown. To hear more of her pirate adventures, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yo ho Mateys!