Sunday, December 30, 2007


The garbage ship departed. For almost a week it plowed slowly through the ocean, toward Denmark, its final (and only) destination. As the ship neared Denmark, John became so anxious that he had trouble containing it, just as the ship could barely contain the trash it carried. It was an interesting parallel.

“You know Bill, the other day I was thinking about my father. He was a good king,” recollected John one morning. “Nobody subjugated like he subjugated. Oh, you should’ve seen the way he used to subjugate; he was the finest subjugator in the land! He’s the one that inspired me to become a mailman.”

“Really?” asked Bill.

“No,” replied John. “No, I was lying. You’re not worth telling the truth to. Hey Mischa! Get over here; we need to discuss strategy for when we arrive in Denmark. I have a feeling it might be rather difficult to assassinate the king, what with laws and security and all.”

“Good thinking, Comrade! I was just drawing up a battle plan,” said Mischa, holding up a piece of paper.

On it were scribbled a bunch of complicated diagrams that nobody could possibly understand. In crayon.

“I don’t know what these are supposed to be. They’re crap!” criticized John. “Besides, this mission will require far more than mere diagrams.”

As Mischa pondered what John had said thoughtfully, a siren suddenly began to wail. An announcement came over the ship’s intercom system, which was noteworthy, since the ship didn’t have an intercom system.

“Attention all passengers, we have just spotted a pirate ship. An update: it has apparently already begun to board us. You know, in retrospect, we probably should’ve posted a lookout or something, someone who could notify us about these things before it’s too late. Well, you know what they say: hindsight’s 20/20. Now we know better; this is a valuable lesson for all of us. That is all.”

“Crap! Pirates!” exclaimed John. “I had a feeling this would happen. All right guys, when I was in postman school, they taught us how to deal with pirates. Unfortunately, I cut class that day, because I doubted I’d ever need to deal with pirates. I guess we’re stuck.”

Mischa looked scared, but Bill, far from being frightened, was positively elated. Ever since the age of four, he’d wished daily that he were a pirate.

“Oh boy! I can’t believe I’m really gonna meet some –”

“Aarrrggg, matey!” came the gruff, guttural grunt of an unmistakable pirate. “We be in control of this vessel now! My name be Magentabeard, and I be the captain of The Pirate Ship, my pirate ship.”

“Your ship is called The Pirate Ship? That’s a little unimaginative, don’t you think?” asked John.

“I’ll be askin’ the questions here, matey!” rebuked Magentabeard. “Now, we have no use for a garbage ship, but we could sure as treasure use the three of you for slave labor! Come with me!”

John, Bill and Mischa followed Magentabeard off of the garbage ship and onto The Pirate Ship. John was a bit peeved, as he thought this would interfere with his journey to Denmark; Mischa was terrified, the pirates reminding him of Josiah; and Bill was, as I said before, very happy.

The ship was massive, far larger than the garbage vessel. It also seemed to be about three hundred years old. It was the perfect stereotype of a pirate ship: crow’s nest, pirate flag, the works. Bill nearly fainted with joy.

“Here’s the rest of me crew,” said the pirate. “That be Ron Goldstein, me first mate.”

“Hello everyone, it’s wonderful to meet you.”

“There’s Bjorn. We picked him up in Sweden,” continued Magentabeard.

“I’m a Viking!”

“Bjorn isn’t fitting in too well. And that guy over there be Plank Walkin’ Pete! Say hello to the men, Pete,” ordered Magentabeard.

“Uh, hi. I’m Pete,” said Pete.

“How’d you get the name Plank Walkin’ Pete?” asked John. “Do you walk planks often?”

“Oh no, I haven’t walked one yet. That’s just a joke between me and the guys. I’m sure I’ll never really have to walk one,” answered Pete.

“We’re makin’ him walk at noon. We’re havin’ pizza! So, now that ye know the crew, it’s time to get down to your slavery! Swab the decks!” commanded Magentabeard.

“No thanks, we’d rather eat,” said John, turning around and walking hungrily toward the galley.

“Okay, well, suit yourselves!”

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