Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Pirate's Tale

I'm posting this here because it is absolutely my favorite pirate joke. You might wonder if perhaps I've added a little bit to it, for dramatic effect. You might indeed.

A sailor is sitting in a bar pounding down the boiler-makers when he notices a really old pirate sitting next to him, nursing a flagon of grog. They start chatting about the olden days, and the pirate recounts some of his many adventures on the high seas.

The sailor notices that the pirate has a peg-leg, a hook, and an eyepatch, and feeling bold, decides to ask about them. “How'd you lose the leg, old-timer?”

“Arrrgghh,” says the pirate, reflecting, “'twere a terrrrible storm. The ship, the Mary Widderwaltz she were, was plowin' on through waves higher than her mizzenmast. Pitchin' and a-corkscrewin' she was, a-droppin' like a stone then a-tossin' high up ta heaven again. There were a pair o' British heavy frigates hard after us, so we had ta keep our headin' whatever the blow. Well, I was up on deck on some damnfool errand or another, and a sudden squall tips me right inta the drink. The bosun throws me a line and I grabs it as soon as I hits the water. They can't spare a hand from the deck or aloft ta haul me aboard, and as God is my witness, I'm two hours in the sea, dragged along like a runnin' log line. Well at last, just afore noon it were, the skies clear and they starts ta haul me in. 'Odds finger! I ain't but two fathoms from the ship when a great bloody shark swims up ta see what's fer dinner, gets a sniff o' me, and takes off me left leg in one quick bite! The boys hauled me up and out before he could come back for seconds, but his firsts was enough ta get me this fine ivory peg.” He tapped the peg on the ground a couple of times and grinned.

“Merciful heavens!” says the sailor. “And what about the hook?”

“Ah, the hook, eh? That were a fierce battle. Aboard the old Diana Hunger, we was, takin' a fat Dutch merchant ship. We was just hove up alongside and about ta board 'er when she drops her flag, sends up the Union Jack, and runs out a dozen 18-pounders on each side. She no sooner sweeps our main deck with a port-side volley o' grape-shot and chain then up pops a couple squadrons o' Royal Marines. They leaps for our main chains and suddenly I'm alone on the poop, sword in hand, with three or four lobsterbacks tryin' ta carve me up like a Christmas goose!

“Fierce! Did I say fierce? It were infernal hot on that deck. Chain and grape and cannister is everywhere, buzzin' like them moskeeters in Hayti, and shrouds and stays are snappin' and lashin' down at us like the Devil's own cat on some Punishment Sunday in Hades. Below decks them 18-pound balls are smashin' at our timbers and it's the boomin' of our own guns givin' 'em what-fer, with the smoke so thick y'can hardly see the man what's tryin' ta run ya through.”

“My gosh,” (or something to that effect) said the sailor. “What happened?”

“Well, I manage ta poke one of 'em good -- right where he sits on! -- and doesn't he fall over a-bawlin' fer his momma! I gives his friend a push and knocks his head against the mizzen boom and down he goes. Before I can turn ta the third one, slash comes his blade and there goes me right hand, cutlass and all, flyin' over the rail and inta the briney. I'm a-standin' there, wonderin' if I'll have me own hand again if I gets ta Heaven, and thinkin' I'm t' be findin' out right soon enough, when up swarms Fat Sully the cook and Splinter-nose Jim the ship's carpenter. They've got 'em a sweep each from the captain's gig and they're swingin' 'em and screamin' like savages. They knocks the other marines bang over the rail and inta the middle o' next week, and then go a-roarin' off ta clear the main deck.

“When I wake up in the cable-tier it's three days later, and the surgeon is a-showin' off my right arm ta the captain, crowin' about what a neat bit o' sewin' he done, and won't I have a fine stump ta fit a sharp and shiny hook onta, once we gets inta port. And sure enough, three months later, we're in some Spanish seaside town, and I finds me a blacksmith to make this cruel beauty. She's a fine one, ain't she?”

“Sure is,” says the sailor admiringly. “And the eye-patch? What about that? Was that another big adventure?”

“Naahh...,” says the pirate, suddenly abashed, “'tweren't much of anythin' really. A seagull...,” he mumbled.

“A seagull? How could a seagull...?”

“He pooped in me eye, damn ye!”

“Seagull poop? You lost your eye from a little bit of seagull poop?” The sailor can't believe it.

“Aarrgh, yeah, well,” stammers the pirate, “Well, dontcha y'see, lad?... 'twere me first day with the hook!”

Don't forget that International Talk Like A Pirate Day is coming up September 19. And tell 'em that it were Iron Harry Flint sent ye.


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