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holiday humour with a hint of piracy

With the last public holiday before Christmas comes the opportunity to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day a little early, and hopefully this will get you into the swing of things for September 19th.

The Captain stood at his ship’s rail and surveyed his crew as they stood on the dockside. “What thee be waiting for?” He thundered; “Get thee aboard and let’s be cast off for there be plunder awaiting us”.

There was a muttering amongst the crew and then a voice spoke up; “We be withdrawing our labour”.

The Captain leaned on the rail and roared down at them “What be this mutiny thee scurvy dogs! Get thee aboard this instant!”

After some more muttering another voice called up “Not until gangplank safety improvements have been implemented” and then a chorus of “and we want a fair share of plunder”.

From the rail the Captain glared down at them. “And who be your spokesman? Let him come forward and speak”.

The Bosun stepped out of the crew and spoke; “If ‘e give me safe passage I will step aboard and put our case to ‘e Cap’n”.

“Aye then, come aboard a face me man to man”.

The Bosun walked up the gangplank and placed his cutlass at his feet. “We mean ‘e no harm Cap’n, but change must come. We ‘bin reading Marx & Engels and see thing different like. We’ve formed a union and first off we want proper risk assessments for all jobs and tasks and your word that no man shall lose his job if he refuses to do anything unsafe”.

“What!” Thundered the Captain, “Piracy isn’t supposed to be safe. Pirates fight for everything and get hung if they’re caught. Anyway we does assess risk; if we see a ship I looks through me ‘glass and if she ‘as more guns than us we skedaddle, but if we outguns ‘er we go take a look. And then when we gets close we ‘as another look before we boards and plunders ‘er. If that’s not assessing risk what be it?”

“It’s not enough and  we want safer piracy. Look at us two; you’ve lost a leg and I’ve lost an eye; we should be entitled to compensation. Anyway we want every job on board ship properly assessed and we want proper training and protective clothing and we also want equality with wenches”.

“How be ‘e unequal to the wenches then?”

“Well they get all the soft jobs below while we do all the hard work up top. They do sewing and cooking and washing and we have to be up top in all weathers and climbing the rigging and that”.

“Wenches can’t be climbing the rigging boy! Not in they dresses anyway. Twouldn’t be proper like; that’s why we stopped sending Jock up to man the crows nest”.

“Well they could wear pants like we do. We want a rota with them to share the work fair and square and we want their headache breaks too” the Bosun went on. “And while we’re on the subject of discrimination we want an end to nicknames, for instance Ginger Pete don’t want to be called Ginger no more”.

“How’s we s’posed to know ‘oo’s ‘oo then?” roared back the Captain, “If I call for Ginger Pete ‘e knows to come and Darkie Pete and Peg Leg Pete know to stay put. It’d be troublesome if I shouted Pete and they all came”.

“We don’t care. Ginger Pete gets into fights ‘cos people think that his name refers to his sexual orientation and Darkie Pete is a racial slur”.

“Racial slur? ‘Ow be it a racial slur? He’s got black hair and darkish skin. All the Celtic lot are like that so be ‘e telling me that the Welsh be one ‘o they ethnic minorities now?”

“Nicknames is wrong and have to stop, and while we’re at it calling one of the Pete’s Peg Leg is unacceptable too. It draws attention to the fact that he is a little challenged in the limb department. Same sort of thing with Blind Pugh. From now on he should just be Pugh.”

“And what else be ‘e after ye dogs?” enquired the Captain.

“Well we want an equal share of treasure and plunder”.

“Ye gets equal shares now!” thundered the Captain, “I gets half and the crew gets half!”

“But we want equal shares all round; there’s thirty of us all together and we want a thirtieth each”

“So what ‘appened to equality with they wenches then?” asked the Captain, “’Cos there be thirty seven of us if we bring the wenches into the number, and it was ‘e ‘oo wanted wenches on board remember? No other cap’n would sail with them”.

“Well perhaps if they share in the jobs then they should have a share of the spoils, but not before. We may have embraced Marxism, but there are limits”

“Ye two faced dog. Methinks that your demands for equality be nothing but a sham to get out of work. Be that it then?

“No. We want proper contracts of employment; no more of this self-employed pirate business and when we take on new crew from other vessels they should be entitled to TUPE. We want pension plans, we want sick leave and paternity leave as well and we want it in every port where we be fathers”.

“And ‘ow many brats do ‘e ‘ave between ‘e? I’d be without a crew before I were ‘alf way round the Main. Sick leave! Employment contracts! Get thee gone down amongst the scurvy dogs there while I think about this”.

The Bosun picked up his cutlass and with an wary eye on the captain made his way back down to join the crew on the dockside.  “I heard you telling him that I wasn’t to be called Ginger any more” said a red haired prirate, “but did you tell him that I wanted to be known as Peter instead?”

Before the Bosun could respond there was a splash and they looked up at the ship. The Captain had cut the stern rope and was rushing forward to cut the bow one which he did before any of the crew could react. The gang plank fell into the water too as the Black Haddock began to drift clear.

“Wait Captain!” called the Bosun, “You can’t sail the ship on your own”.

“I ain’t alone boys” shouted back the Captain as the ship slipped away into the night, “All thee Marxist talk has got me thinking and I can have the wenches help me sail. There’s one for every day of the week so they get equal shares of me too. Thanks for the idea me boyos, I’m off to have fun.”

Pirates tlapdbanner2


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