Piratical Ponderings – “Are you a REAL pirate ?”

piratical ponderings matt hawk

By: Cap'n Slappy

Art by Matt Hawk

Like a lot o' people these days, I spend entirely too much time on "The Facebook.". I know... I know. It's just called "Facebook," but when you reach my advanced years you start to do things that are intentionally idiosyncratic. For instance, I like to add "The" to things and people who would otherwise go without the seemingly unnecessary article. When my friends' kids go to Disney ("The Disneyland") I like to ask them if they saw. "The Mickey Mouse!" I get this from my Grandpa who used to comment on my little brother's and my television watching habits. We'd be watching "The Speed Racer" and he would say. "This isn't The Mickey Mouse! What the hell is this? And why don't their goddam words match their mouth!?!" Grandpa said "goddam" a lot - he also smoked a pipe. He was the epitome of cool. But I digress.

I was on The Facebook and saw where a paragon of pirattitude, Jeff Mackay, had posed the question. It's a question that comes up when you are either talking to someone in the media or too small children. I have never been asked this question by any of the following: law enforcement officers, district attorneys, tax collectors, undertakers, milkmen, licensed practical nurses, jockeys ( apart from the "disc" variety, or professional didgeridoo players. ( There are others who have not asked me this question, but this list is a representative sampling.) It's understandable that folks like Jeff and Rebecca Mackay would be asked this - they are the very picture of what a pirate should look like! Likewise my good mate, Talderoy - a man-shaped battering ram - looks like he just clawed his way out of a 16th-century woodcut. Being their general vicinity is enough to get a swashbuckler contact high. But for me....not much.





Illustration by Matt Hawk

Several years back I was joining in some good-natured skullduggery with my pals in Seattle's Seafair Pirates. We were invading the famed Pike's Place Market - where you can purchase everything from baboon testicles to what appeared to be the carcass of a baby zebra-tuna. Thirty sword-wielding partially besotted sons-o-bitches hardly raise an eyebrow there. But a gentleman who appeared to be in his one-hundred and twenty-seventh year looked at me and said, "You're too fat to be a pirate." Had I been anywhere close to sober, I might have taken that badly, I know who I am when I am putting on the pirate - a morbidly Rubenesque git who wouldn't know his ball sack from his baldrick. I am at peace with that. But Grandpa Walton required an answer..so I wrapped him in newsprint and threw him to one of the fish-tossin fellas. At the time, it seemed the "pirate" thing to do. Of course, I didn't do it - but I thought about it.., then I fantasized about it..and later, did a crayon drawing of which my mother STILL refuses to hang on the refrigerator.

more to come......

Check out Jeff Mackay's Pirate Video