Life With The Jollier Roger

1

The evening is wearing down, the air humid and crew expended with the heat. There comes a knock on the door of the great cabin. No reply. Slowly, the pale visage of Captain James Roberts looks up to see the door opening, despite his ignoring it.

The young Spaniard enters, Estavan Acosta. “Come in…” says the captain with some irony.

“James.”

“Captain.”

“Whatever! The men are exhausted and the ship is canting.”

James gestures to himself. “And what am I expected to do about your problems?”

“MY problems?! It’s YOUR ship! Sometimes I find your lack of care appalling. What would you do if we suddenly struck an iceberg?”

The captain thought, long and hard, leaning back in his tall-backed chair and tapping his finger-tips together luxuriously. “Sink, eventually. But first I should spend a great deal of time wondering how an iceberg found its way into the Caribbean Sea.”

“Ugh…”

“Is that all?”

“Yes…”

“Well then! back to work with you.”

—-

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Dogban on Pirate #Torture

“Some people ask me, they says, ‘Dogban… You’re the first mate aboard The Bottle. You sail wiff Cap’n Roberts alls the time. Does he torture folks?’ And the answer I always gives ’em is ‘Aye, aye!’ Though, the cap’n never did things the usual way. He believes torture should be instructive. So, if he catches ya drinkin’, he makes ya drink ’til ya give back more than ya took. He doesn’t like plank walking, though he does sometimes dip offenders in oil. Cold oil. And then there’s squid-slapping, bilge-mopping, and Tenika, she’s the best stinkin’ torture tool he’s got! Get it-?”

– First Mate Dogban
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Yo-ho-ho!

Sometimes ye just need to stop and smell the roses. Other times ye need to sing a famous song about rum and a dead man’s chest. Either way it helps to know what ye’re doin’. For instance, ye wouldn’t want to smell the roses only to find our they ain’t roses, nor flowers at all!

And in just the same way, it’s nice to know what all that pirate yo-ho-ho-ing is all about. That’s an easy one; it’s part of a sea shanty.

Pirates weren’t the only ones to sing such songs. The crews of merchant ships did it too. The rhythm o’ the tune helped guide the sailors in specific tasks; hauling lines, turning the capstan, and so on.

In the novel in which Fifteen Men was invented, that a’course being Treasure Island, the yo-ho-ho is for the capstan, and when they got to the second ‘ho’ they gave it a greater effort.

But ye know, I think after the work is all done, a good pirate just sort o’ sings yo-ho-ho because he’s happy, or sad, or angry.

Thanky for blowin’ away yer time with this little article. See ye next time!