Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Life aboard the pirate ship The Pirate Ship was surprisingly pleasant for the three captives. Despite his outward appearance as a course, harsh scalawag, Magentabeard was one of the most gracious hosts imaginable. He had no qualms about catering to the every whim of his newfound slaves and, indeed, seemed eager to do so. He was also extremely accommodating to his usual crew, with the obvious exception of Plank Walkin’ Pete, whom he (and everyone else) hated virulently.

“PETE! I thought I told you to clean up this ship!” yelled Magentabeard one foggy morning at sea.

“But I’ve been cleaning,” argued Pete.

Magentabeard picked up a nearby bucket of tar and turned it upside down, letting the viscous substance spill out all over the floor.

“Then why be there tar all over the deck? Huh?!” demanded Magentabeard.

“Oh. I guess I missed it. Sorry,” said Pete.

John watched the scene with great interest, figuring that he could use some tips on how to deal with Bill, who since arriving on The Pirate Ship had, if anything, become even more annoying.

“Look at me John!” requested Bill. “I’m a pirate! Yarrgh! Hahaha, wasn’t that great? I’m so cool. Mom would be proud. She always used to say, ‘Bill! I’ll be proud of you if you become a mailman or a pirate, but nothing else.’ And now I’m a pirate! I failed the mailman test when I took it. Mom took away my X-Box.”

“That damn X-Box…” muttered John. “I really hope we get to Denmark soon. I can’t stand all this fresh air and water; it’s sickening. I feel nauseated.”

“I too am nauseous, Comrade!” concurred Mischa.

“That’s incorrect usage, Mischa,” corrected John. “Nauseous means inspiring nausea, whereas nauseated refers to the resulting nausea caused by something nauseous. Moron.”

As you may have noticed at the time but have probably forgotten by now, what with John’s pedantic grammatical lecture, it had transpired (quite luckily) that The Pirate Ship was also going to Denmark. Magentabeard refused to tell John why, but John didn’t especially care. He passed the time talking to Mischa and the non-Pete crew members, whom he found very tolerable.

“So you quit Rabbi school to become a pirate? Why?” asked John one day, enjoying a pleasant chat with Ron Goldstein.

“Eh,” shrugged Ron.


Mischa was developing a rather close friendship with Bjorn. Since they were both foreigners and neither one fit into his respective group, they got along very well. Each also found the other’s accent hilarious.

“Ja ja, they be making fun of me all the time, ja?” said Bjorn. “I don’t know whether it’s my accent or the hat.”

“I understand you completely, Comrade. It is difficult not to fit in,” concurred Mischa. “Say, when we get to Denmark, would you like to come with us to assassinate the king and help my comrade John regain his rightful throne?”

“No no, I could not do it, Mr. Petrovitch,” said Bjorn. “My place is here, whether they make fun of me or not. Being a pirate’s a lot more fun than being just a simple Viking, ja?”

Bill didn’t really talk to anyone, instead opting to spend all his time practicing pirate phrases, all of which he butchered horribly, incurring the ire of Magentabeard on more than one occasion.

“Yarrrgh, if you don’t cut that out, you’ll be walkin’ the plank with Pete tomorrow!” cautioned Magentabeard.

“What?” asked Pete.

“Nothing! Get back to cleaning,” ordered Magentabeard.

“Oh, okay…sorry.”

“I’d get to walk the plank? Like a real pirate? Wow!” exclaimed Bill, running toward the very plank with which he’d just been threatened.

Magentabeard let out a sigh of defeat, and The Pirate Ship sailed onward.

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