Letting the Pyrate In Me Out

Since yesterday was National-Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day, I decided to let the pyrate in me leak out a bit. So I did what any decent buccaneer would do. I went looking for booty. Fer ye landlubbers, booty is pyratese for treasure, not that other kind of booty. And not just any kind of treasure. Had to be a shiver-me-timbers-and-blow-the-man-down kind.

First thing was to get properly dressed in a new set of long-john-silvers. Just can’t go looking for booty if you’re not properly dressed. I put on me tweeds, me silk shirt and me brogues and off I went shopping at the local pyrate store, Blackbeard’s. You know it’s the place to go if you want to be a well-dressed gentleman o’ fortune .

“Ye be going on the account?” the attendant at the clothier asked.

“No shippin’ off fer me. Looking for booty-hunting attire, matey,” I returned him with a smile. “And I don’t want to be taken for no sprog or squiffy. If ye scallywag me, I’ll keelhaul ye for the scurvy dog ye are.”

“Aye, I have just the thing, matey.” He adjusted his eye patch. “And keep yer black spot to yerself.”

Then he dressed me up in some fine loot-hunting gear: a red scarf for me head, an earring of the skull-and-crossbones for me ear, a linen shirt under me sea-green vest and a gray-and-white striped, cotton pants fer me bottom. And to top off me ensemble. A pair of black leather boots.

“By the Powers, all the lassies will give ye the swoon, me hearty,” he said.

I swaggered out of the store like the pyrate-for-a-day I knew I was.

If ye’re going booty huntin’, best have a map. So I went to me book shelves and pulled down an ancient tome. Opened it up and what do ye know. In me own back yard, the loot was buried.

I’d be in need of a shovel if I was going booty-huntin’. I went to the shed. Hadn’t been there for weeks. Maybe months. That was where the shovel had to be. Where else would a shovel choose to hide itself? Certainly not in the kitchen or the bathroom.

I dug and I dug till the shovel showed itself. I grasped it by the handle and went to the X-marks-the-spot on the map. I pushed the shovel into the ground and soon I was six feet and more into that earth I called a yard. All the while I sang the song every pyrate sings when in pursuit of loot: ” Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest—Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! Drink and the devil had done for the rest—Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!”

Down I went, past the black gates of Mordor. Past the foul smell of Buccaneer’s Den. Deeper into the dark earth I dug. Tired, beswaggered, me sweat dripping its sweat, I continued, deeper into the earth than I had ever been. But where was the treasure I sought? Could the ghost of Captain Morgan his own self have stolen it?

Just before breaking through the ground and hitting China in the rump, thar she was. The booty I sought. In an ancient chest, it resided. I approached it, trembling with fear. Yet excitement too. This was it. Me treasure, me booty, me precious.

Me hands shook as I touched the large, rusty padlock. I would need a key for such a lock. But then, by Edward Teach’s beard, the lock dropped open, freeing the chest. I wrenched the lock free. The chest squealed a banshee’s cry as I opened it. I peered into the casket. There sitting alone on a scarlet cloth was me booty. It was a box of Cracker Jacks. And, yes, there was a prize inside the box. It was a gosh-darn truly doubloon. How ’bout that?

I breathed easy, a large grin on me buccaneer-for-a-day face, and leaned against the earth. I reached into the box and pulled out a handful of the molasses-covered popcorn and peanuts. I popped them into me mouth and chewed. This must be the ambrosia the gods spoke of. It was indeed bootylicious.

Relationships

As a writer, I think about how characters talk. One of the things that determine how characters talk is their job. So here is how a character would speak about their relationship with a significant other if they were:

  1. A meteorologist, “Cloudy with a chance of rain.”
  2. Lawyer, “Am I under oath?”
  3. .Doctor, “We’ll need to run some tests.”
  4. Cop, “I’ll have to take the Fifth.”
  5. Economist, “You can’t buy your way out of a recession.”
  6. Soldier, “It’s a no man’s land out there.”
  7. Politician, “Frankly…next question.”
  8. Mystery writer, “I’m not sure where we put the dead body.”
  9. Librarian, “Shhhh.”
  10. Minister, “I’ll have to pray on that one.”
  11. Psychiatrist, “It has a Freudian slip with a twist of Jungian synchronicity.”
  12. Explorer, “It’s been Terra Incognito all the way.”
  13. Superman, “Lois, will you please be careful with that kryptonite.”

What profession would you say your relationship with your significant other reflects?

 

Near 500 words: Grammar-ing rhymes with hammering

Note: For all who wanted the mystery, “The Great Squirrel Caper”, it’s in the works and on its way. 

In need of a writer, I’m your man. I can make a screwdriver sound sexy. You want to spunk up your orange juice, just pour in some vodka. Then turn it with a screwdriver and that screw goes write in. Folks, as you can see. I have those mixed metaphors down pat. And talk about similes, well, we shouldn’t gossip.

If you want your house to stand, you want to use a screwdriver that’s going to drive in them screws good and hard. (Now get your heads out of the dirt. I’m not talking sex here. ‘Course if I was, same words might work in reference to condoms.)

When it comes to clichés, I’m your man. My philosophy is why take the road not taken when you can hit the hammer of the head and take the easy way out. That road not taken is going to have a lot of weeds and burrs. Who knows? It might even have some lions and tigers and bears, oh my. I know I would prefer being a cowardly lion than a dead one. So I’m taking heart and using my brain. I’m taking the Yellow Brick Road. If it was good enough for Dorothy, it’s good enough for me.

I just want you to know I got those parts of speech all wrangled and branded. Why, ladies and gentlemen, there isn’t an -ly adverb I haven’t used. And talk about split infinitives. Isn’t “to boldly go” so much sexier than “to go boldly”.

I think so. And so did James Tiberius Kirk. Otherwise he wouldn’t have written it in the Captain’s Log so many times. And after taking so much gup from Spock over “to boldly go does not compute”. Of course, it computes. It’s write there in the Captain’s Log. It may not be logical, but it sure is a Kirk-ism. Absolutely.

There I did it. I managed to put in an interjection. Don’t you think it spices up my writing a punch?

Unlike grammarians everywhere, I have a passion for the passive. When you think about it, you never want to take a pass on the passive if you want to be passionate. Why I used to date a girl who was all the time asking me, “Where were you last night?” If that ain’t passionate, I don’t know what is. And she said it so passionately. In spite of everything.

Uh-oh. I done gone and done it. I can hear them grammarians chomping at the bit, telling me not to use a sentence fragment. Here I go fragging my sentences all over the place. I can see the smoke coming out of their ears. Well, all I have to say is there just ain’t any pleasing some people. Like Abe Lincoln said, you can please some of the people all the time and you can please all the peeps none of the time. That leaves no time left for pleasing moi.

Anyway. (There I went and did it again.) If you’re looking for a writer who can write all formal like, I’m not your man. My motto, after all, is why not end a sentence with a preposition. Everybody does it. Oh, I know what my mother would say. “If Everybody jumped off a cliff, would you?” Of course, I wouldn’t. It’s a cliff, and I am afraid of heights.

A Rock ‘n’ Roll Monologue 

Wine, women and song; that’s what Frank used to say. And he should’ve known since he used all three. Me, I’m into sex, drugs and rock and roll. Same difference, you might say. Only a little bit rougher. You dig. Like Pete Townshend’s fond of saying, “Won’t get fooled again.”

Well, the times they are a-changing, and that’s my guitar flying through the air. Just to let you know, I never was into Nirvana. Too much bang-your-head-against-the-wall-boys noise. It’s Knopfler and the Straits ‘cause we are the Sultans of Creole, we are the Sultans of Swing. Now, that’s guitar, man. A Stratocaster. I love Eddie Cochran and all those Summertime Blues. But as Pink Floyd used to say, we’re still learning to fly.

Cut my first CD last year. A bit Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath without the Oz. Man, that Lita Ford was bitchin’. She and Joan Jett were out of this world Runaways. Called the CD “Teeth.” Peter Max, the Maxman, offered to do cover art. Maybe a werewolf. But Richard Avedon did it for us, you know. Now he’s on the other side. He died, man. Went to that Photographic Studio in the Sky, man. Groovy.

Hey, Paul is dead. Yeah, and Sergeant Pepper ain’t feeling so good his own sweet self. Richard’s up there with the Ansel. Ansel Adams, don’t you dig? I’m not a frogman, goo goo g’ joob. Hey, the Troggs were super deluxe. Wild Thing. I met that groupie in a bar and went round the world and over the moon. Yeah, and I’m talkin’ Keith too. Knew the Stones. Think she was doing jumping jack flash for Mick and Keith.

Janis sure could blast. Had a great set of pipes. Down at Monterrey. Blew Mama Cass out of her pipes. Well, that’s what’s happening with the Sounds of Silence. Simon and Garfunkel, they broke up. You don’t say. Me and Julio down by the Schoolyard.

Way, man, we done that CD. Sold three million. Got Duran-Duran-ed on MTV. Right up there with the Elvis, man. That’s Elvis Costello, not the King. Graceland, you don’t say. Sun Studio in Memphistown—Elvis and Johnny and Jerry Lee and Carl all putting on their best Johnny B. Goode in his Blue Suedes. Groovy.

Wine, women and song to you too, man. Don’t forget everybody’s trying to be my baby. And I’m outta here. See ya.

Grammarlogically Speaking

“I didn’t mean–” her daughter spoke back at her mother.

“Of course, you did,” her mother disagreed with her. “You wouldn’t have said it if you didn’t mean it.”

“But, Mom,” the daughter pleaded her case.

“That’s what you’re always saying,” the mother was announcing her victory. “There’ll be no ifs, ands, or buts. Not in my house.”

“How about a however,” her father said with a smile on his face.

“That’s as bad as a yet,” the mother was not happy about his however. It usurped her authority. It was bad enough that her daughter wanted to give her a hard time. Now she had to take on two members of the family instead of one. “That’s a nyet if ever there was one.”

“And yet,” he came back at her.

“What’d I tell you about starting a sentence with ‘and’.” The English teacher in the mother was coming out big time now.

The daughter was happy for the reinforcements. “Even though—“

“Now hold on,” the mother was not accepting the challenge with ease.

“Oh,” the father chipped in. “now you’re pulling one of those now-hold-ons. You know how we hate those. That’s hitting below the belt.”

“You think?” the mother wasn’t having none of his sass either.

“So you want to conjugate,” the father had a big smile on his face. “You think, you thought, you thunk.”

“Thunk?” the mother was not believing what she was hearing. “I thunk not. It’s you think, you thought, you had thought.”

“I spent a long time thunking it,” the daughter was trying to catch up with her parents.

“That’s enough,” the mother came back.

“Oh, now we’re getting a that’s-enough,” the father.

“You know you’re all wet,” the mother said. She had completely forgotten where the argument had started, forgotten enough to use a cliche’.

“So it’s going to be water pistols at ten paces,” the father said.