A Pirate’s Life for Me!
It was a familiar game among lesser pirates: sink or capture enough ships and be the first to be rewarded with 100 gold from the captain! It was a bloody sport of steel, fire, and death, all seemingly for a massive inflation of ego and a standard of gold. What pirate could resist such violent fun, and what pirate in his right mind would turn away the chance for some easy cash? Such were the thoughts of three scourges of the sea: Udyrte (older dirt) Patches, Dyrte le Tiger, and Verbal Peppers, whose father had always wanted him to become a doctor.
Udyrte Patches: “I was a captain and, dammit, I’m going to be a captain again!”
Dyrte le Tiger: though he has a desire to become a captain, he takes great pleasure in creating chaos. To the rest of the world he is known as a dangerously demented man.
Verbal Peppers: a young man oft neglected due to his communication difficulties; no one understood his use of silence, but they would come to respect and fear it in time.
To the captain who started up this game, this standard of gold was but a paltry sum of his accumulated wealth. With great wealth comes great power, and the captain enjoyed his power. However, this standard bought the loyalty of his crew, demonstrated to him who had potential and whom to remove from his ship, and, almost as important, helped to eliminate the competition. The captain, though, would never see himself as a predator despite the ruthlessness of his actions.
“Avast! Ahoy! Pirate cliché, go!” On this mystifying day Patches could say anything and he would still be golden. If he wanted a ship sunk, it sunk like a rock. Want one captured? Extra gold passed into his hands. “It was my superior strategy at work,” Patches would calmly say. Truth never sounded so humiliating to the ears of le Tiger and Peppers.
“I curse thee with dog breath!” screamed le Tiger, an odd rump of a man whose very existence spoke of the unspeakable horrors Nature is capable of producing.
Peppers remained quiet in contemplation of the next day of the competition. His silence was like a weapon. His crew could only liken it to being like a steak knife cutting through melted butter. It was a mistake for Patches and le Tiger to underestimate him, for Peppers had a way of creating luck where once none existed.
During the first day of the competition the cackling of Patches could be heard far and wide as he realized that he would be the clear victor, having made great progress in both sinking and capturing ships. His fellow competitors only grumbled in dismay, vowing never to let Patches see the finish line. As most historians are keen to note, le Tiger had a crazy look in his eye (only the one since the other was somewhat cross, as Peppers always took great pleasure in pointing out). It was the type of look that could scare a shit shitless, if that could be believed. Young Peppers, meanwhile, just smiled and nodded and bid his time. Soon it would be his turn to shine.
At the end of the day Patches had 66 gold, Peppers had 54 gold and crazy-old le Tiger had 52 gold. Only one thing was certain: tomorrow would be a bloodbath and le Tiger was growing increasingly anxious.
No one, however, could have imagined what next occurred.
“Ah, what a nice morning, eh lad?” boomed the voice of le Tiger to his cannon-man. The voice had startled the young man but he was at once relieved that his superior was in a jolly mood. At once, as though in response to this thought, cannon fire erupted from Patches’ direction, nearly destroying the mast of one of le Tiger’s ships.
In a half-jovial, half-mad scream le Tiger called out: “What are you waiting for boy? Fire your cannon, show ‘em you’re mad!”
The young cannon-man looked back and felt himself melt away as he saw madness flicker on le Tiger’s face; an unspeakable dread came over him, and the young man thought: “The kraken is real and he’s standing beside me!”
Across the sea, Patches told his crew, “Prepare the boarding party, men, that ship will soon be ours! My superior strategy is paying off!” Of course, this was not to be as le Tiger was prepared for such a situation; though at a disadvantage, le Tiger used swift maneuvering to bring the ship back to port to be repaired. Today would not be the day for Patches’ superior strategy.
Where Patches failed in his boarding parties, Peppers succeeded (according to a certain point of view, that is!). Twice when le Tiger tried boarding Peppers’ ships, the young pup’s subterfuge paid off and both times Peppers captured the attacking ships. It was a good day to be Peppers!
It took nearly all of Patches’ courage and bravado to encourage more ships to join his fleet as Peppers continually sunk these pathetic boats. With great ease Peppers continued his assault: many ships were captured and twice that number sunk! Young Peppers had no intention of taking prisoners. Le Tiger the Cannibal (or so claimed his detractors) could only grit his teeth as he realized that he and dear, feeble Patches was being out-maneuvered by the weasel Peppers (a description fostered by le Tiger but never truly accepted by a jury of his peers). It should also be noted that there were reports of mass fires breaking out, though none of these pirates ever acknowledged these claims since they were too busy acting as “humanitarians” to allow any such fires to spread.
No matter, since by the end of the day there was nothing that these so-called pirate-humanitarians could do to prevent the acquisition of the 100 gold by Peppers from his former captain. With his hefty prize Peppers bought a saber and musket, new boots, two mute bodyguards, and an ape named Ape (actually, Noble Farnsworth). Historians also like to point out that it was around this time that a Captain Peppers Morgan entered the scene and shook the core of all pirate-hood.
Of course, that is a story for another day…
In ten years time, Dr. Farnsworth would take over the family enterprise (some say by force, but that has never been proven) and earn big bucks with the commercialization of the “Peppers” name. Soda-Pop and liquor for all!
Patches abandoned his captain and used his gold as startup capital for a new business in the Caribbean. What started as male freeform dancing soon turned “exotic” and what St. Nicholas Kringle would most certainly describe as naughty. Surprising everyone, Patches insisted that his “dancers” add singing to their acts to bolster the club’s revenue. Sadly, this venture was not as lucrative as Patches had thought and the club went out of business (shut down by The Man).
The inscrutable le Tiger bought Peppers’ old boots, a shiny gold tooth to hang around his neck, and a nice buffering of his luminous, smooth head. Money well spent!