Self-Help: the Pirate

Yeah, yeah, we all knew it was coming. We did the ninja, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the next one will be the rockstar. It takes some of the fun out of it for me knowing that you readers out there expect these now, so stop harassing me about doing them and lets make it fun again…for me…because who really cares about you anyway? Not me…I don’t give a rat’s teet in heck about you. Anyway.

So, the Pirate.

For as long as pirates and ninjas have existed there has been the argument about who would win in a fight, the pirate, or the ninja. I am not here today to answer that question. It’s not my concern if your pathetic life hinges that far on nerddom that you seriously have arguments about this. I’m here to coach you into becoming the best pirate you can be, not feed into your anti-social awkward behavior. If you get into serious discussions about who would win these hypothetical conflicts, then you are neither a ninja, nor a pirate, and thus not interesting to me and I don’t care to speak to you. For those of you interested in becoming a pirate, read on.

You can just skip the next paragraph, it’s legally mandated but of no use to anyone…

DISCLAIMER: Mr. Thursday and any and all of his affiliates, writers, editors, friends, countrymen, Romans, imaginary friends, luck dragons, ligers, entourage, pets, or habitual line steppers are not in anyway/shape/ or form liable for any acts of piracy, lunacy, idiosyncrasy, or any other cy words that might stem from reading this passage. Mr. Thursday disavows any real, firsthand knowledge of such things as pirates, the following came to him in a comatose dream after hitting his head in the bathroom, directly after discovering the flux capacitor. Mr. Thursday denies that pirates even actually exist, which sucks for you because should you follow the following steps and become a pirate, you will surely become lonely. Mr. Thursday denies that he once held a habenero eating contest in his friends kitchen that sent 3 boys crying to the freezer to eat as much ice cream and chug as much milk as they could. Mr. Thursday also denies ever intentionally wearing a zap collar through an electric fence to see how far he could get. Mr. Thursday denies the moon landing. Mr. Thursday believes in ghosts, but believes they are merely still here because they have unfinished business. Mr. Thursday believes heartily in zombies, and you should to, before it’s too late. Mr. Thursday does not, however, believe in pixies, fairies (except for…the other kind), nymphs, goblins, trolls, dryads, or man-eating cicadas. Finally, Mr. Thursday denies that everyone and everything is anything more than a figment of his imagination and wholeheartedly affirms that the Earth sits on the back of a giant sea-turtle.

On to the looting and pillaging and whatnot.

Pirates are easily the most feared and most badass of the Maritime classifications of men, barely edging out the navy seal. But you can’t be just any chump off the streets to captain a pirate ship. And keeping with the “go big or go home” mentality of Mr. Thursday (Yes, i just created that mentality out of nowhere, it’s never been previously set forth as doctrine for the site), if you aren’t captaining the ship, you have failed. This is a dog eat dog world, and there’s no room for first mates.

You’ve heard the famous names: Blackbeard, Bluebeard, jean Lafitte, jack sparrow, William Kidd, Francis Drake (knighted pirates get bonus points), captain hook, long john silver, and the like. For some reason, even though most of these men are noteworthy for their merciless acts of greed, cruelty, selfishness, flagrant disregard for the laws of the land and any sort of human rights, and unabashed body odor, they are not vilified to the extent one would expect. In some cases (Jack Sparrow), they are even the hero…so to speak. My demographic deifies pirates. Instead of disdaining their disregard for life, morality, and any value system whatsoever, we focus on their lust for excitement, their refusal to bow to rules, and their penchant for getting the girls they want (when its not by total and complete force). So to craft a pirate of the highest caliber, we are going to teach you, our dear readers, about how to aspire to be the kind of pirate who is bold and daring, but with the most sensitive side, like our dear captain sparrow.

1. Speech Patterns

If you don’t sound like a pirate, no one is gonna take you seriously, savvy? It’s not just about throwing in “AARRRs” and “mates” in a confused mishmash of monosyllabic foolhardiness. It’s about tone, style, its about grace. The pirate speech should roll off your tongue. It should flow elegantly as an Englishmen reciting Shakespeare. Except instead of “A rose by any other name” you want to say “Git yer lilly-livered corpse on that plank and start walking til yer seein’ Davey Jones”. See what i mean?
Also everything must be spelled fenetikaly, so as the not-so-well-educated can pick up its simple, and graphic meaning. Pirates also aren’t known for hygiene or good dieting practices, so a lot of the gruffness in their voice will be hard to imitate. We here at Mr. Thursday also like to shoot for realism, so we suggest you contract scurvy and stop brushing your teeth. That should produce some sort of hygienic problems on par with what they face. You try communicating effectively with no teeth and a consummately sore throat. You’d be pretty unhappy also.

2. The Plank

The favorite method of execution by pirates. For those of you living under a rock/in a barn/from outter space/who just never had any fun, this is a fairly simple mechanism, it consists of a large body of water, a boat, and a long, thin board. You place the boat inside the large body of water, you extend the board over the side of the boat so that its out over the water. You then make your prisoner walk from the boat down the board, until they fall off the end of the board into the water, you then sail away rejoicing at your good fun. Simple? Very. Effective? Not as much. Many of our heroes have walked the plank and lived to tell the tale. When you, dear reader, become a pirate, you may want to introduce new and creative elements to the plank so as to insure mortality. Mr. Thursdays suggestion: bind arms and legs, cover head with bag, tie large rocks to prisoner, make prisoner walk to end of plank, shoot prisoner in head till prisoner falls into the water. This should cause the desired effect while not detracting from the fun and merriment of a good ol’ fashioned plank walking.

3. Pets

A good pirate doesn’t needa pet, but has been known to have one anyway. Most pirates keep company with parrots, mostly because the scurvy and bad hygiene makes it painful to talk and rather be seen as a wussy pirate, they have their birds talk for them whenever possible. As parrots are the only other animals that can mimic human speech patterns, they are the obvious choice. Other choices include other kinds of birds, small monkeys, etc. Under no circumstances should you even consider alligators as pets. It won’t work, don’t try it. Also, although a kitten might strike you as a good pet for this type of lifestyle, it is in fact a bad choice for pet for 2 reasons: 1) kittens are way too cute and will destroy your image, you need to play up your tough-guy side and play down your cute and cuddliness, or before you know it you’ll be bound with a bag over your head standing on a board over water tied to some rocks hearing a sound that sounds remarkably like a clicking noise… and 2)there is no fire department you can call at sea to get your cat down should it get stuck in the crows nest.

4. Hat

The bigger the better when it comes to the pirates hat. As captain, your stature is directly correlated to hat size and beware any of your crew who starts wearing a hat comparable to you, it is a sure sign he will try to mutiny. Feathers are okay, as long as they aren’t exceedingly tacky. Tri-corner hats have been, are, and will always be fun to look at, and as such are better than any other kind, except for maybe a bowler. If you can be a pirate and still pull off a bowler, throw everything I just said about hats out the window, you are a God among insectual pirates. But Mr. Thursday seriously doubts any of his readers could pull off a bowler, Mr. Thursday is barely sure HE could pull one off, and if he is only barely sure, you certainly have no chance.

5. Looting, Pillaging, General Shenanigans

As a pirate captain, you will be expected to take your crew to various ports, blast them with cannon fire till you’ve laid their defenses to rubble, take on the entire town with just your crew, overpower the local militia, recruit more pirates, take anything shiny you can find, allow your men to run amok for a given period of time not to exceed 4 hours from the surrender of the militia, then return to your boat where you will sail back to the port where you make birth (most likely near tortuga) and divvy up your booty amongst your mateys. You, of course, are entitled to everything you want and the rest can de divided among them however they see fit, just make sure not more than 10 of them die while vying for stolen goods as this will deplete your forces too much to attack the fun ports. It is important to remember that while running amok in the town, you need to be frantic, no matter what you’re doing or where you’re going. Always have a crazed look on your face, stick your tongue out, and make really obscene and odd noises. The townsfolk won’t respect you unless they believe that the hounds of hell themselves are feasting on whats left of your brain.

How you look while looting is also important. You can’t just run around a city with no make-up on, no one will be afraid of you. Eyeliner is a must, and mascara won’t hurt. You need some color in your checks, this can either be accomplished with booze or with some rouge, lipstick isn’t necessary, and anyone who wears lipstick should be referred to paragraph 2. The make-up needs to be smeared though, like you don’t care that it’s even there, you’re here to kick ass and take names, not impress anyone. Your hair should be disheveled also, neatly done hair is a sign of weakness. You should really shoot for looking like Britney Spears the morning after a night on the town, only no waking up next to multiple men whose names you don’t remember.

6. Booze

Rum or Brandy, no exceptions. Any pirate drinking fruity girly drinks will be referred to paragraph 2.

7. First Mate

This is oft overlooked but very important asset of piracy. You can’t have a first mate who’s completely incompetent, but you don’t want one who believes he could do what you do and will try to usurp your power and stage a mutiny. Although it might make sense to you, you don’t wanna pick a childhood friend who you trust with your life, or your brother, or really anything along this line of “well, i really trust this guy not to stab me in the back at the earliest opportunity…” that’s horsehockey and should be flagrantly disregarded now. Mr. Thursday is the expert here, not you, and Mr. Thursday knows that the best first mates are the ones who look best in bandannas. There are a couple reasons for this. The first and most obvious is that anyone who looks best in a bandanna won’t be tempted to try on large hats, and therefore your dominance in the headgear department is assured. Also if you don’t choose someone you trust…you won’t trust them. If you pick your best friend, and try to keep an eye on him, he’ll get offended because he’s your best friend. If you pick some schmuck who inspires people with his colorful, design-ridden bandannas then he will have no cause for concern if you keep tabs on him now and again to make sure everything is hunky dory. One common argument Mr. Thursday has encountered with this theory is “but Mr. Thursday, isn’t it well documented that people will follow someone who looks good even if they are a schmuck, you haven’t done anything to dispel fears of mutiny.” To them Mr. Thursday condescendingly replies that people only follow fashionable or beautiful people until bodily harm is threatened. I’d follow Brad Pitt to the club, not to the battlefield. And the fact that you can monitor him without repercussions will make it easier to see when/if threatening bodily harm is necessary.

8. Ship

There are few key elements which are paramount to making sure you have the right ship. One, it must float. Two, it must be able to support the weight of many cannons. Three, it must have a steering wheel, a rudder, a couple sails, a brig, and a ridiculous and lavish bedroom for you, the captain. Other than that it’s more or less a personal choice. Do you want a faster ship that’s smaller? Do you want size over speed for the imposition and fear factor? DO you want racing stripes down the side? Do you want a NOS system installed? You can pretty much customize it how you see fit. Just don’t make it girly (i.e. the racing stripes/flames/and sort of lame decals are out, don’t do them).

9. Your Archnemesis

You can’t be a pirate if you don’t have an arch-nemesis, and I’m not talking about the abstract, “the pirate is against the law and decent society”. I’m talking about Pan, I’m talking about Commodore Norrington, I’m talking about whoever it was that hunted down real pirates. Yeah, I’m admitting I haven’t a clue who jean Lafitte, Blackbeard, and Francis Drake nemeses were (although we do know drake fought the Spanish, it’s still pretty ambiguous). That being said, you don’t know either, so our credibility remains. You need a nemesis who is obsessive, but not too bring; cunning, but not too crafty; merciful, but not too boring; emotional, but not too fruity; well dressed, but pulling it off without effort. He should represent a sort of moral intolerance (okay so peter pan isn’t really archetypal of this one) and an unbending view of what the law should be. He must be willing to sacrifice to make you cry, make you bleed, and make you fear for your life. And he should be short, and rather portly, because let’s face it, it’ll make us all laugh to think of those characteristics imbued in a chubby midget.

10. Treasure Map

If you don’t have a treasure map, make up an elaborate lie about where you hid it/ how only the captain can see it/ how only those who possess some sort of magical abilities are capable of beholding it. Or, if it becomes absolutely necessary, stop by a convenience store and buy the treasure map lotto card for every member of your crew, they’re a buck each i think in Pennsylvania. They’ll either believe you wholeheartedly after this, or be so confused about the nature and design of this card thing that they’ll be too befuddled to argue. Just pray none of them hit the jackpot, pandemonium will ensue. If you are uncomfortable with these, you can always draw up your own treasure map, it should have the following elements…

-no labels
-a dotted path going to an X
-a cardinal compass in one of the corners
-land formations that look like a 6 year old penciled them in
-a skull and crossbones, somewhere, anywhere, it has to be there
-some sort of vague warning of dead men’s chests, booby traps, curses, evil spirits, danger, imminent slow and painful death, rosie o’donnel porn tapes, carrot-top stand up comedy, you get the picture

So that should about wrap it up, Mr. Thursday hopes these hints and tips have come in handy and you will consider them should you decide to become a pirate. So avast ye seadogs, stay the mainsail and set a course for Tortuga, for there’s adventure brewin on the high seas and the horizon calls to me like the sirens to Odysseus. So raise up yer rum and swill one down for ol’ Davey Jones, savvy?

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6 Comments

Filed under How To

6 responses to “Self-Help: the Pirate

  1. Spectacular! Go big or go home! Especially the pirates who opt for the leather speedos.

  2. Pingback: Blatant Thievery - MCBias « The Extrapolater

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  4. Nanda

    Permission to use

    May i use the picture of pirate-91 for a school project?

  5. Joe

    u didnt say anything about melee combat, surely thats an integral of being a pirate, fearsome cutlass skills?

  6. Chris

    Could I have permission to borrow your cartoon pirate graphics for forum posting purposes on a pirate related game site?

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