Monday, September 29, 2008

Yo, ho ho!

(the best pirates are always in motion, making it hard to get a decent photo)

Pirate sightings are normal during the Halloween season, but the impending holiday is not the only reason that these sea-going outlaws are currently taking front and center stage. As a matter of fact, for the past couple of weeks I have heard numerous stories about these pillaging, plundering, and debaucherizing characters.
It started a few days before September 19th, which just happended to be "Talk Like a Pirate Day". This has to be one of the most unusual, albiet fun, days of the year! My office maties started every sentence with "arrgh" and were shivering their timbers all day. Phil over at 'A Family Runs Through it' actually put out a pretty cool podcast of pirate songs in honor of this holiday. Check it out for some afternoon jigging on the deck.
Here, in our own pirate den, Lukas isn't exactly talking like a pirate yet. But, if he were he'd probably be demanding "surrender the booby!" We have heard all the stories of babies who "seem to lose interest" in nursing at around a year old, but that is definitely not the case with our little pirate. He is still going strong at 15 months and the running joke at home is that we will have to eventually drag him away, kicking and screaming. He gives no indication of slowing down! Mrs. LIAYF plans to allow him to nurse until he is 2 years old . . . I'm sure he will make it.
I am also closely following the news story of modern day pirates off the coast of Somalia who have hijacked a ship filled with Russian made tanks. They are asking, no demanding (like any self-respecting pirates), that they be paid a $35 million ransom (in gold boullion and jewels I presume). Last I read, the pirates lowered the demand to only $5 million. How can they look in their plundered mirrors in the morning and still call themselves pirates? U.S. and Russian warships are closely monitoring the situation. It could be a fierce battle. Stay tuned.
There was also the recent story of a Canadian father who built his son a Pirate Ship treehouse. The kid was the envy of every other child in the neighborhood. However, after a complaint from a neighbor the father was given the option by the city of Vancouver to either tear it down, or walk the plank. Turns out he gave in without drawing his sword. He auctioned off the dismantled ship for charity. BlueBeard would be turning in his watery grave.
And I probably don't have to mention the recent attempts at pilaging and plundering the American taxpayers to the tune of $700 billion. The bailout will happen, I am sure. And, while we have all heard that our financial system must be preserved, it doesn't make the result any easier to swallow. I'm sure a good portion of my retirement plan is now buried in some Wall Street executive's back yard only to be located by some crudly drawn map. I can see myself pulling an oar under the blistering sun well into my 80's, with only a small portion of grog to warm me insides.

All this talk of pirates reminds me of my favorite pirate read, The Pirate Hunter, by Richard Zacks. It is a fantastic book! It bills itself as the true biography of Captain Kidd, who started out as a state-sponsored pirate hunter. Unfortunately, after some treachery, he became wanted as a dreaded pirate himself. If you are looking for a good seasonal read for Halloween, pick up this book and enjoy. It's a real treasure!

Aaargggh! Enjoy your trick-o-treating, and keep a dead eye out for the candy prize!


Idaho Dad said...

What a great coincidence. Yesterday I started unpacking a box of books that has been sealed for a couple of years, and the first book I pulled out was Pirate Hunter, which I have yet to read. It's now on my bedside table, waiting for tonight!

Ed (zoesdad) said...

Dude, I'm 43 and haven't lost interest in nursing!

Martin said...

I'm with Ed on the nursing.

As for the bailout, I've no doubt it will go through, but I have a real gut feeling that it won't help stop the rot.

'Good money after bad' type scenario.

Jason Roth said...

Speaking of pirate ship tree houses, there are two houses not to far from ours that have giant pirate ships built as forts/club houses next to their swimming pools. They're so cool. I want one. However, first I need a bigger backyard.

Anonymous said...

Why would you ever stop?

And BTW, why is it so damn fun to say "Arrrrrr"?

Unknown said...

@Phil - That really is a odd coincidence! Enjoy though, it is a great read.

@Ed - Yeah, Lukas will always be a boob man, like most of us!

@Xbox - At this point it looks like anything can happen, though most of it won't be good.

@VegasDad - I plan on building Lukas a Pirate Ship play structure when he is a bit older. I might even let him use it now and again.

@DC - Not sure, but just try saying it with a straight face.