Harkee me, you pewling foscle-heads, our true and trusty wildcat of a cap'n wants to heave up the anchor and draw on every rag of canvas the yards will hold come the rosy glow of dawn, ha-hurr, and it'll be a long time before we smell the sweet perfume of land and ladies again. Grab yer tomes and treatises, you knuckle-brained urchins. The cap'n wants us well-read, she does, and I'll drink a bowl of brimstone and fire with the Devil before I have me a unlettered and unliterate crew of drooling clam brains on my ship. 

Aye, our library is well-stocked with those right mettle tales of Bloody Jack, written by that scalliwag L. A. Meyers. Never was there a more true and accurate accounting of the pirate life during the late years of the Eighteenth Century, or I'm a lubberly Dutchman, and the tales of Mary Faber--she be the one who hides under the name of "Jack"--run twelve volumes. More than enough to entertain a case-hardened lamb during the long trek across the sea. 

And for those crusty barracudas amongst ye, Caroline Carlson continues the fierce and funny tale of the--fetch me up daft if this is not true, God's blood--Very & Nearly Honorable League of Pirates. Ho ho, me chums. But a tale such as this deserves to be read along while dangling from the mizzens, damn my lights and gizzards. The Buccaneers' Code is the newest tome, and I have smelled it, indeed I have. 

Airr, you'll count among your treasures a ball from my pistol should ye fail to inspect the fresh prizes our valiant mates have scrounged. Lookee here upon this chest of blisssome prizes. Ah, bosun! Get yer pipe and turn up the hands. Stint this foolery, you scabs. There are books to read!

And for the wailing sea urchin that you might have stashed down belowdecks, working the bilges, we have A Little Golden Book How To Be A Pirate. Told in rhyme, blast it all, which makes for easy reading between bouts of the pump. For those grass-combing horse-arses among you, there is even a picture book of DOG pirates. Bad Pirate it is called, I ken, and it, too, is filled with the doggerel rhyme that you ribald sea-monkeys like. 

And by my deathless soul, I have seen the cap'n carrying about a particular yellow tome that she says will treat all and any bone-rotted ailment you swag-bellied and stump-winged catfish might claim to suffer from. Says it right there on the cover, by the holy poker: "F*ck Feelings." Trust me, you pernicious muttonheads, the cap'n has no charm for layabouts. 

Blow my scuttle-butt, I plumb lost my senses and neglected to remind ye of the star-blessed and wave-washed celebration we be having a few days hence. After the sun has left the sky, we’ll be clearing the decks and laying out the tables for a fine evening of festive artistry—and I’ll be hearing none of that soulless spewing of foolery in regards to the finer affectations of culture from ye, in this regard! It will be all hands on deck, and ye will be coloring WITHIN THE LINES or ye’ll be thrown to the sharks. There will be duff and paracood, tipple and sweetwater for each and every one of ye, as well, by the eternal thunder. 

Let us forthwith toss a pot, twirl a can, and drain a beaker to this fine day whereupon we all talk like pirates. Argh!

Overheard At The Store »»

Bob: You remember that time, near Trinidad, when you . . . 

Alice: Oh, dear, you know I don’t like to talk about that stuff in public. You never know who might be listening. 

Colby: [Jumping out of the stacks] Did someone say ‘Trinidad’? Did you know that infamous pirate Edward Teach aka Blackbeard used harbors near Trinidad as hiding places for his boats? 

Alice:  See what I mean?