Monday, March 13, 2006


A Pirate Tale – Part 135 “Pirate Laureate”

Captain Theodore Gustafson’s health took a turn for the worse. It was decided to bring him aboard his own ship, The HMS Tigershark, where if this was to be his last moment on earth, he could at least spend it in a familiar environment. Sawbones Burgess accompanied his patient working tirelessly to stave off the inevitable. Within hours of the departure of the landing party into the jungle and the trek back to Maracaibo, Gustafson passed from this life to the next. Lieutenant Buckler thanked the doctor for his service and a brief burial into the depths of Lake Maracaibo was performed with the crews of both His Majesty’s vessel and the pirate ship, The Festering Boil anchored for the honors.

The Boil was now under the command of George the Greek, which was not unusual, but with Ol’ Chumbucket, Cementhands McCormack and Leftenant Keeling joining Cap’n Slappy in the jungle, the new temporary second in command fell to Dogwatch Watts who now practiced his command voice in front of young Gabriel in the hopes that the boy could give him what pointers he could.

“You look constipated. Is that what you’re going for?” the boy asked.

“That’s my ‘stern but fair’ face.” Dogwatch replied. “Let me try it again.” He cleared his throat and reformed his ‘constipated’ face. “Now, see here – you lot! I’m not a man to be trifled with!”

“You shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition.” Gabe offered.

“I didn’t!” argued Dogwatch.

“You did.” countered the boy. “You said, ‘I’m not a man to be trifled with!’ and ‘with’ is a preposition.”

“Alright, my smarty, you tell me how you would say it!” Dogwatch sniffed.

“I wouldn’t.”

“You wouldn’t?”

“I wouldn’t.” The boy asserted. “I would simply behave in a way that left them with that impression.”

“How’s that?” Dogwatch was now curious to know.

“Well, when someone new challenges Cap’n Slappy’s authority, he beats them savagely with his fists and forehead.” Gabriel stated matter-of-factly.

“When?” Dogwatch asked.

“When what?” Gabriel shot back.

“When did you ever see Cap’n Slappy beat a member o’ this crew with his fists and forehead.” Dogwatch searched his own memory for such an occurrence.

Both of them sat for a while in silence. They had both witnessed Cap’n Slappy in battle and had a vivid recollection of his epic struggle against his identical Spanish cousin, Slappista in the waters of the Indian Ocean but neither could recall him ever having made good on his threat to beat an unyielding crew member savagely with his fists and forehead.

“Well, we know he could do it, so he never has to!” Dogwatch finally discovered.

“Exactly!” the boy’s realization was now a life lesson.

“But how will I get that kind of authority?” Dogwatch worried aloud.

“Because,” George’s voice boomed into their conversation, “If anyone has a problem with you – they have a problem with me – and I WILL deliver that savage beating with MY fists and forehead.”

And there was no doubt that he could if he wanted to – so with George’s authority, Dogwatch felt more assured of his own command.

Meanwhile, Red Molly helped Isabella de la Vaca Verde settle into her temporary quarters in the Captain’s Cabin aboard The Festering Boil for their two-day trip to Maracaibo to be reunited with her betrothed, Don Taco.

Isabella was sure that she was now in the living quarters of her brave, beloved Chumbucket – surely he was the captain of this ship! She breathed in the smell of his bed – a bit more pungent than she had thought – but still, it was certain that a man slept here. Then, she looked through his closet at his shirts – also pungent and quite a bit larger than she had thought her beloved would wear. “Perhaps he dresses in layers for those cold nights at sea?”

Finally, she came across a book of poems. “This!” she thought, “This will give me insight into the soul of The Chumbucket!”

The first one didn’t leave her with much promise;

Oh! Breasts I’ve Known!

Oh, round and pert and pouty breasts.
You burst your bodice and break your vest!
Your cleavage forms a nice “face nest!”
I’m close to heaven when I’m close to your chest!
Oh, boobs of plenty – boobs of girth!
No price to place upon their worth.
I’ve lived to suckle you from birth
The Slappy Happiest place on earth!

I give each nipple a little tweak
And then the magic words I speak.
“I’m dialing Tokyo!” radio freak!
Lactating knobs may actually leak.

And up and down you bouncy-bouncy
Pronounce my lust – pro-nouncy-nouncy.
You flit and flounce – yes, flouncy-flouncy
Each three pounds one ounce – ouncy-ouncy!

Oh, breasts I’ve loved and breasts I’ve known
My fondness for you is still shown
While standing up and more-so, prone
With me you’ll never be alone.

Isabella quickly slammed the book shut and tried to remember what it was that attracted her to Chumbucket – the captain of The Festering Boil!

At that moment, Red Molly knocked on the cabin door. “I’ve brought you some tea.”

Isabella quickly ushered her into the room and invited her to share in the tea – and some gossip. She tried to be subtle.

“So, this is Cap’n Chumbucket’s quarters?” She said wistfully.

Red Molly snorted with laughter. “Cap’n Chumbucket, is it?” Then she thought for a moment. “No. This is Cap’n Slappy’s quarters. Nobody is allowed to enter Cap’n Chumbucket’s quarters – not even Cap’n Slappy.”

This was true – except for the “Cap’n Chumbucket” part – although, when Molly really thought about it, she realized that Ol’ Chumbucket was subordinate to no one – in a sense, he was more than a captain – untitled and with his room locked tightly – a man of considerable mystery.

As she conveyed this to Isabella, the young woman became even more enamored with Ol’ Chumbucket. “More than a captain.” She repeated as if trying to understand what that would be.

George the Greek poked his head into the cabin while the ladies had tea, “Pardon the interruption, ladies, but the funeral for Captain Gustafson is over and I wanted to let you know we will be under way presently.”

After he left, Isabella began to wonder about herself. “He’s very attractive as well, our current captain.”

Red Molly smiled, “Yes. Yes, George is a very attractive man. Pardon my forwardness, but have you traveled much by sea?”

Isabella seemed taken aback by the question at first, but answered truthfully. “Si. All the way from Spain. There were so many gorgeous sailors and then when I met Don Taco …” All of a sudden she was struck with a realization. “The rocking of a ship makes me …” She searched for the word in English, but Molly filled in the blank for her –


“Si. Horny.” But even the realization that her attractions were fueled by sea travel could not sate her lust. “Then I must find a way to stay on a ship forever!”

The two women laughed and Molly left Isabella alone to rest – and to continue to read Cap’n Slappy’s poetry. She found it impossible to ignore – like a carriage wreck. One poem entitled, My Penis Has A Name, created a whole stanza based on rhyming words and phrases with the word, spelunker.

When Molly returned the next day with tea, Isabella asked her to help her with the English words she didn’t understand – like radio and spelunker.

Molly became animated – like she was sharing one of the major ship’s secrets. “When we were on Diego Garcia, Cap’n Slappy entered a mysterious cave which was a portal to the future. These poems – crude though they may be – are his memoirs of those travels – like the French mystic, Nostradamus – only Cap’n Slappy HAS seen the future. Those mysterious words are future words that only he – and a few of the crew – understand.”

This piqued Isabella’s interest even more and she spent the balance of the voyage to Maracaibo deeply ensconced in the poetry of Cap’n Slappy making notes in the margins as she read.

“Cap’n Slappy’s bellybutton lint as a metaphor for corruption in the military industrial complex. Brilliant!”

Word of their arrival in Maracaibo spread quickly and Don Taco arranged for the town band to meet his bride-to-be as she disembarked the Boil. Word was sent to Isabella that they had arrived safely in Maracaibo – but she remained in the captain’s cabin.

Don Taco checked his dress uniform and straightened the little tie on his new musical accompanist, “Los Mariachi – Dos,” the little band stood at attention, trumpets at lips, ready to play. But nobody emerged from the room.

Finally, the door opened and Isabella stepped onto the deck, she was so focused on the book in her hand, she barely heard the band playing a nice “welcome home” tune and her betrothed’s beaming when unnoticed.

After an awkward moment, Don Taco spoke, “My darling! Welcome home to Maracaibo!”

She looked at Don Taco and asked, “Does Maracaibo have a Poet Laureate?”

Don Taco seemed confused, but answered honestly. “No, my dove, why do you ask?”

“I think Cap’n Slappy should be named Maracaibo’s Poet Laureate.” She replied.

Don Taco looked thunderstruck – then he smiled and finally began to laugh. “No, no no, my little peach – your English is not so good. It’s pronounced, PI-RATE not PO-ET. And I don’t think there is such a thing as a Pirate Laureate.”

Isabella shook her head as she looked around the dusty little fort that was now her domain. She held the book in front of Don Taco’s face. “This book will put this little dust bowl on the map – put your printers to work on it.” With that, she escorted herself to her quarters in the Governor’s mansion – Don Taco dutifully following behind after a quick stop at the book binder and print shop.

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