Thursday, June 29, 2006

Keelhauled

"You really are worthless, aren't you?"

She'd been dropping snide remarks like that ever since I'd gotten the kayak tangled in a mess of seaweed a few hours earlier. We were stranded there for quite a while until a group of boy scouts noticed our plight and waded over to push us free.

I suppose I could have gotten out done it, but the truth is that seaweed makes my skin crawl. The mere thought of those slimy tentacle like plants wrapping themselves around my legs was enough to make me sit there until we either drifted free or died from exposure. Besides, if she thought poorly of me for getting us stuck in the first place, you can imagine how she'd feel were I to leap from the water clawing at a piece of seaweed and squealing "Get it off of me! Get it off of me!"

She seemed so much nicer the previous afternoon when we were forced to share a table at Panera due to the lunchtime crowd. My last adventure taught me that I was more likely to take a vessel by cunning than by force, so it made sense to bring an attractive woman that could serve to lure unwary sailors close enough for me to board their vessel.

As lunch wound down, I'd proposed the idea to her and, much to my surprise, she accepted. Still, nothing was worth the abuse she was hurling my way.

"You'd best watch your tongue missy, afore I keelhaul1 ya," I growled menacingly.

She whipped out her blackberry and quickly googled the term.

"Keelhauled under a kayak? You're a moron." she said, shaking hear head in wonder.

"Anyway," she continued, "I'd rather be keelhauled than to have to sit here and listen to you do your stupid pirate impression - which, by the way, sucks. Are you trying to imitate Barbosa from Pirates of the Caribbean?"

"Yes. Or Johnny Depp. I can't decide."

"Well you sound like Popeye."

That sealed it. There was no way I could allow her to get away with talking to me like that in front of my crew - even if she was the only member of it at the moment.

Never being one to manhandle a woman, I resorted to a clever ruse in which I offered to make peace by teaching her to tie a few nautical knots. After binding her wrists to a length of rope, I paddled us out deeper water.

"You didn't have to trick me into being tied up, you know. I would have let you do it anyway." she whispered sexily. "In fact, why don't we stop playing pirate and go back to my place so that you can discipline me properly?"

Hearing her talk that way reminded me of those strange guys in Pirate Captain school who were always "accidentally" getting tangled in the rigging and then begging to receive their lashes before we cut them down.

As tempting as her offer was, but I quickly steeled my resolve (so to speak) and continued with the original plan.

When we reached the proper spot, she clambered into the water and made her way over to the bow, while I stowed the paddles. Once she was properly positioned, I began pulling the rope. Clearly I hadn't thought this trough since her lifejacket kept her afloat no matter how hard I pulled. As a result, I wound up dragging her around the side of vessel. By the time she reached the stern, I was an exhausted, sweaty mess. Even worse was the fact that far from being chastened, she actually looked remarkably refreshed.

"That was fun! Can we do it again?" she asked. Of course I obliged as it was the first time she'd smiled since the adventure began. After a few more passes, she took notice of my withered state and graciously offered to keelhaul me.2

It turned out to be so much fun that we spent the remainder of the day taking turns while practicing our pirate voices. Unfortunately, our pirate vocabulary was rather limited which lead to us repeating phrases like "Arrrr" and "Ye scurvy dog" over and over.

Fortunately, the sea provided us with plenty of saltwater to gargle with when our throats became raw.

Alas, I need to go to complete my community service so I'll need to tell you about the rest of the adventure later.
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1 Recently, several noted historians published an article speculating that David Blaine is the sole living person who could survive a keelhauling. It was later discovered that this theory was based solely on their desire to trick him into trying so that they could torture and drown him.

2 Though I secretly hoped that she meant "keelhaul" in a euphemistic way, it appeared that ship had sailed when I'd turned a deaf ear on her earlier proposal. The captain's life is a lonely one indeed.