Monday, July 04, 2005


A Pirate Tale – Part 93 “First thing we do …”

“Kill All the Lawyers!” Cementhands bellowed after Slappy finished explaining how Lily and her band of high-priced corporate lawyers had secured injunctions against the holdings of the Brotherhood of the Coast – in effect, freezing the assets of every working pirate. The part-time lawyer / part-time bartender who acted as legal council for the International Brotherhood’s governing body was no match for Lily and her boys.

In fact, Lily’s connections with the Portuguese government were so strong, she had a contingency plan that included a flotilla of no less than fifty strongly armed Portuguese Man o’ Wars and a long line of prison ships – enough to accommodate the crowds that had gathered in Sao Paulo for the Games.

“Is the Captain telling us that the games are off?” Leftenant Keeling’s lip quivered ever-so-slightly as he asked the question.

“On the contrary, me lad!” Slappy said, offering some cheer. “The games will go on as scheduled and nobody but ourselves will be aware of the impending doom we all face.”

“Facing impending doom will not take the luster from my exuberant thrashings!” Keeling offered, standing arms akimbo with his fists on his manly hips.

This declaration prompted a strong “Huzzah” from the men and women of the The Festering Boil who had gathered around to hear Slappy’s pronouncement of doom.

Cap’n Slappy smiled and placed his hand on Keeling’s shoulder. “That’s the spirit lad!” Then, he turned to the assembled crew and began one of his famous call and response chants.

Slappy: When facing sure death do we turn tail and run?

All: No! We give ‘em the finger then give ‘em the gun!

Slappy: If it gets too scary, should we danger shun?

All: No! We’ll slice ‘em and dice ‘em and eat ‘em for fun!

This was followed by three “Huzzahs!” Then, the crew went back to their work and getting ready for the competitions.

Ol’ Chumbucket, however, lingered as the others left. “Things are not nearly so rosy as this image of certain annihilation would make them seem, are they.” Though it was phrased as a question, there was a certainty in his tone and a familiarity with Slappy’s cheerleading abilities the belied the dire nature of their situation.

Trying to keep up the bravado, Slappy replied, “Come now. We’ve faced tighter spots than this one and come through splendidly.”

Ol’ Chumbucket looked around to make sure nobody was looking then with sharp suddenness began rapidly kicking and slapping Slappy’s pants at ass-level with enough force to cause consternation but not actual bruising.

“What the devil has gotten into you, man?” Slappy exclaimed as he tried to fend off the slaps and kicks with evasive ass maneuvers and girlish slapping of his own.

“You sir,” Ol’ Chumbucket declared, “are a ‘liar, liar, pants on fire’ fellow and I am simply taking precautionary measures to see to it that it doesn’t spread.”

After a brief spate of slap fighting and protestation, Slappy finally spilled the beans – the ones that were sitting in a bag near where the two men were tussling like schoolgirls and he agreed to tell Ol’ Chumbucket everything if he helped him clean up the mess.

“There is an alternative to the Portuguese navy and internment in their prison ships.” Slappy began to speak.

“Then why did you scare the crew with that story?” Ol’ Chumbucket asked.

“Because I want them ready to fight in case she double-crosses me.” Slappy’s face became furrowed with what appeared to be as much sorrow as anger.

“Lily?” Chumbucket knew the answer to the “who,” but didn’t know the “how.”

“Aye,” Slappy went on, “Lily has agreed to stay her hand and the Portuguese as long as I sign a contract that will commit me to her as something called, “Chief Executive Officer” of her Multi-National Consulting Firm whose holding are estimated in the billions of dollars. I am to be a figure-head whose reputation for toughness will be eclipsed only by my savvy business sense.”

“But you have no ‘savvy business sense.’” Chumbucket observed.

“I know.” Slappy’s face was crestfallen, “Lily provides the “savvy” as well as the “business sense,” but she insists that in order to impress the Europeans, one must possess the one thing she lacks in order to get ahead in business.

“A penis?” Chumbucket squinted at his own guess.

“Aye.” Slappy sighed, “And not just ANY penis – but mine.” Before Chumbucket could ask “why YOUR penis?” Slappy answered. “She knows my gears and levers – she knows how to control me which is why I find myself in such a dire pickle.”

“Does she expect you to be her slave?” Chumbucket asked.

“Well, if she does, she’s offered to make me a well-paid slave – with a three million dollar a year salary.” Slappy replied.
Ol’ Chumbucket thought for a moment and finally offered one observation. “I fail to see the downside here, Cap’n.”

Slappy looked at his friend wistfully and then turned to take in The Boil as she rocked gently in the harbor. He breathed in deeply, out slowly and smiled at the flashes of sunlight that flickered on the surface of the water.

“The contract also calls for me to abandon my pirating ways, my ship, my crew and never, ever set to sea again as long as I live.” He smiled at his friend. “Small price to pay, really – for a life of luxury and the salvation of the Brotherhood.”

Ol’ Chumbucket pulled a flask from his vest and offered it to Slappy – who in the most uncharacteristic moment of their long friendship – refused.

“That has to end as well. I might as well get used to it now as at the close of the games.” This last comment brightened Cap’n Slappy somewhat.

“Well, we still have the games, Ol’ Chumbucket! And we may as well make the most of it!” With that, he snatched the flask from Ol’ Chumbucket’s hand took a long deep dram.

He then returned the flask and said, “Now, let’s talk no more about this and just keep it between us two – we have the games, we have these last few days and then, my last act as Captain of The Festering Boil will be to disappear – forever.”

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