Tuesday, January 11, 2005

 

A Pirate Tale - part 2

Cap’n Slappy closed the spyglass hard between his hands. The collapsing telescope pinched the fingers on his right hand – as usual, and he cursed, “Dit is te stom zelfs voor mijn moeder in wet!”
He always cursed in Dutch – nobody ever dared ask why. In fact, he didn’t speak or understand Dutch if he wasn’t enraged and ready to pummel some unsuspecting victim with his savage fists and forehead.

“Would you like me to take that for you?” Ol’ Chumbucket offered his hand as if taking a sharp object from a child. Cap’n Slappy handed over the spyglass as Ol’ Chumbucket sighed. “Have that thing fixed, will ye? It’s a hazard.” Chumbucket rolled his eyes, “Aye-Aye, Cap’n.” Slappy pressed the issue. “Now see here, Ol’ pal! I’ll brook no sass! That wee inanimate object is out to get me, no doubt some grudge passed on from its former owner, The Marquis d’Saucypants, who died tragically of mysterious causes.” Ol’ Chumbucket sighed again, “You fired a cannon ball into him at point blank range, Cap’n. That’s not a mystery – that’s fiery combustion and ballistic propulsion coupled with metallurgical breakthroughs in martial sciences.” Cap’n Slappy stared blankly. Ol’ Chumbucket rephrased, “Ye made the long nine go ‘BOOM’ and blowed him up real good.” Slappy smiled then his face turned suddenly fierce, “Vloek het! Chumbucket! Now ye’ve spoilt the mystery!”

Just then, Pauly “Wrong Way” Watts came running up, with Lieutenant (pronounced “Left Ten Ant”) Keeling sharply at his heels. Wrong Way gestured wildly, his hand pointing forty degrees south of the Spanish galleon – “Thar be a Spanish frigate on the horizon, Cap’n!” Slappy grabbed Watts’ wrist and re-pointed his finger toward the actual location of the ship. “Well done, Wrong Way!” The Cap’n started cheerfully, “However there are three near-fatal flaws in your assessment. What do ye think they may be?” Lieutenant Keeling cut in, “Begging the Cap’ns pardon, but we no longer call Mr. Watts ‘Wrong Way,’ sir.” “Don’t we?” inquired Cap’n Slappy, “No sir.” Keeling continued formally and at full attention. “We call him, ‘Dogwatch’ sir.” “Do we, now?” Slappy asked as he looked at all three men, for a moment – they all nodded. “Well, Mr. Dogwatch, have ye figured out yer three mistakes?”

Dogwatched looked crossly at his index finger, “Me pointy thingy is wrong.” “Aye!” Cap’n Slappy slapped him on the back, “Well done! That’s why we call ye, Wron- … uh … Dogwatch! What else? Lieutenant Keeling?” “That ship is a galleon, not a frigate, Cap’n.” “EXCELLENT! And perhaps me oldest and most trusted chum, Ol’ Chumbucket, can enlighten us on the third flaw in young Dogwatch’s assessment?” Ol’ Chumbucket sighed, “We’ve been following her for three days.” “PRECISELY! Well done, lads! I knew that if we put our collective brain-boxes together, we’d come up with something close to facts.”

Lieutenant Keeling spoke up, “Cap’n, do you think the Spaniard in question might be the infamous “El hombre que tiene los pescados en sus pantalones y esos pantalones se arde” or the ruthless “El bamboleo del señor su fondo y lo llama descortés?” God forbid it should be “La cabra borracha que tiene condiciones interesantes de la piel que hagan al otro enfermo de la gente” but it is well known that el pirata que no puede decidir si él desea ser conocido como una brisa apacible suave o la tormenta del fuego sails these waters!” So, who do you think it may be?” Slappy, Chumbucket and Dogwatch stood silently for a moment, their mouths agape at Lieutenant Keeling’s fluency in Spanish and especially his ability to roll his “rrrrs” with such ease.

“I know who it is!” Doc “Sawbones” Burgess stood just a few feet away, blood dripping from his bone-saw, he was tying line to it so that he could dip it into the ocean – his version of the sterilization process. “Are you going to tell them, Cap’n Slappy, or shall I?” Slappy glanced across the deck where he saw Cementhands McCormack holding two puking sailors over the side of the ship and commenting that he, “would be damned if he let a couple of lightweight drinkers vomit on his freshly swabbed deck.”

“Cementhands!” The Cap’n called, “Drop what ye’re doin’ and assemble the men on deck! I have an announcement!”

Comments:
For those less 'espanol' inclined... http://babelfish.altavista.com/tr for a translation
 
Thanks for the comment, Eric. It's the first sign we've had all week that anyone is reading this but ourselves. That's encouraging. And, as a matter of fact, I think Babel fish is where Cap'n Slappy did the original translation into Spanish.
 
Arrrr, this is bonny stuff!
 
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