Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Vessel Virgin

I took to the sea under a threatening grey sky. The choppy sea hinted at the storms that were to come. Undaunted, I a cannon onto my vessel and prepared to take to the water in order to seize a larger and more sea-worthy craft for my crew and me.

An hour later, having learned a valuable lesson about trying to mount a 400 pound cannon onto the stern of a kayak, I had successfully salvaged my vessel from the bottom of the harbor and, armed only with my trusty cutlass, I took to the sea.

It wasn’t long before I came across two men and a woman on a small boat with the name Bass Ackwards painted across the transom. Cursing under my breath, I vowed then and there to change the name immediately after seizing the vessel – and to make them pay for coming up with such a stupid name in the first place.

“Avas luvers, hehare hu he hoar led.” I shouted as I come alongside them.

“Did you just call us lovers?” inquired the burly man that I took to be the Captain. “Cause if you’re looking for Fire Island, you’re a long way off.”

“Hold on. What’s that about whores?” asked the second.

“Maybe we should ask him to take that knife out from between his teeth,” suggested the woman.

“Is a cullas.” I replied, before realizing that she was right.

“It’s not a knife.” I corrected, “It’s a cutlass. Now prepare to be boarded!”

Since standing in the kayak was impossible, I lunged for the side of the boat and prepared to pull myself aboard. Seeing what I was planning, the quick thinking captain fired the engines briefly, effectively putting the ship out of arm’s reach. Thus began a cat and mouse game in which I’d paddle furiously to cut off their escape route and they’d respond by laughing and pelting me in the head with empty beer cans before scooting out of reach.

Several hours later, exhausted and much further out to sea than I’d intended, my splitting headache forced me to give up the chase. On the plus side, I’d collected quite a few empties over the course of our battle that - at 5 cents each -would go a long way towards covering the cost of a my end of the day frappucino. I decided to count the day as a success and I turned about to make my way back to shore.

As I paddled home, I thought about all of the nautical terminology I’d need to learn so that I could impress my crew. I already knew that “port” was the left side of the boat (when facing front) and that it was easily remembered because “port” and “left” each consisted of four letters. I also knew that “starboard” was the right side of the boat, but there was no easy way to remember that one. As I idly wondered if the crew would notice if I called it “rightboard” I noticed a cutter speeding into view on the horizon.

She was a majestic craft, sporting machine guns on the bow and an impressive looking radar spinning on the roof of that part where the captain stands and shouts orders. I chastised myself for being foolish enough to waste my morning chasing the other boat when I should have been trawling for something like this all along.

The unfortunately named Us Coast Guard pulled alongside my vessel and the Captain ordered me to come aboard. There was no need for him to ask twice as I was going to do so even without his permission. If he was foolish enough to invite a Pirate Captain on board, well then he deserved his fate.

If my research had taught me anything, it was that if I could take the Captain out first, the demoralized crew would quickly fall and the battle would be over in mere minutes. I reached for my cutlass before remembering I’d left it in the kayak after removing it because it kept jabbing my leg while I paddled.

Undaunted, I lunged at the Captain, prepared to subdue him with my bare hands, only to be set upon by several crew members. After an epic battle, which they estimate took at least five seconds, I was handcuffed and tossed in the brig. From there I was transferred to a prison where I’ll reside until I’m to be brought before a judge tomorrow.

If my reputation has preceded me – and there is little doubt that it has – it’s likely that I’ll be hanged, tarred, and put in an iron cage by the harbor as a warning to other pirates. Should that come to pass, I will face my fate with my head held high in the hopes that my crew will be inspired by my bravery to carry on without me.

It goes without saying, of course, that my stoicism should not preclude any attempts by them to rescue me.