When I grow up, I want to be a pirate. Not a modern, machine gun toting pirate, but a Captain Hook, a Dread Pirate Roberts, Goonies kind of pirate. I’ll do away with the peg leg, but probably keep a old earring, lots of tattoos, a parrot or two, and as much pirate language as I can invent. I’ll never wake up early to go to a meeting, or wear formal work attire besides traditional pirate gear.
I’ll be a fearsome pirate, one that will send sailors jumping out of fear, but I’ll grant acts of mercy in private. I’ll sprinkle my speech with “arrr” and “aye, matey,” and try to mention booty whenever possible. I’ll be a goofy and loud pirate, with plenty of weird wardrobe choices. I’ll have a big ship with sails, a poop deck, and a plank for special occasions.
I’ll have a large and jovial band of pirates that will torture our foes with terrible jokes and a fondness for pranks. We’ll know what a foc’sal is, and we’ll toss nautical terms around with ease.
We’ll be equal opportunity pirates, encouraging small people and those of us with glasses to join our merry band. We might rob the rich for the poor, but we won’t feel constrained by it. We might traffic drugs, but only to spike the food of pompous asses, particularly university presidents and corporate teambuilders. No one will be allowed to mention Foucault or the French at all. If you are into wearing black and discussing the role of nihilism only to undermine what suffering and torment you endure in your middle class life, we’ll make you walk the plank, perhaps off the coast of South Africa.
We might sit on deck after dark sharing our deepest secrets, but we’ll never let the outside world know.
We’ll have lots of books hidden in the hold, under our booty of gold, silk and rubies. There’ll be no television, but at every port, we’ll have a favorite movie theater that would save all the great films and have recorded our favorite television shows without commercials. We’ll show the good British ads before our movies, but never the crazy Dutch ones unless they have pirates in them.
If we want to adopt an accent, we’ll yell enthusiastically and heartily smack each other’s backs, particularly if the accent is Indian or Australian. There will be a short wave radio on board, with its antenna strung in the masts, and we’ll listen to stations across the world to practice our accents.
We’ll dance, but only with much vigor and silliness. If anyone wants to dance slowly and romantically, they’ll have to dance behind the poop deck. If we catch them, they’ll have to do the troll dance.
We’ll have a telescope or two on board, preferably with some sapphires stuck on it for the gaudy pirate look. At least one pirate will know which stars are which, and will tell the rest of us if we want to know. We’ll sail to where we might see the Northern Lights, taking photos that will be reproduced in National Geographic or Science Magazine.
If you get married or have a kid, you’ll have to leave the ship, but we’ll let you back on board once the kids leave home or join their own pirate ship. We’ll never worry about cholesterol or heart disease, and always eat ice cream for breakfast and brownies for snacks. We’ll have a pirate masseuse, and raid luxury yachts to use their hot tubs.
You could be a vegetarian, but we have to eat with our hands, and spit when we’re talking excitedly. We would look with admiration on those who eat insects or lick slugs, but frown upon crossing our legs or ironing clothes. In fact, the iron would only exist for making grilled cheese sandwiches or melting things.
We’d do away with the death penalty, making those who break our codes walk the plank in shallow waters off New Jersey or Los Angeles.
When I grow up, I’m going to be a pirate. I’ll terrify my enemies with my vulgar tongue, and overwhelm my admirers with my dashing good looks. I’ll sail around the world demanding booty and investigating anything and everything. I’ll be the happiest and most pirate-y of all the pirates, and you can always join my pirate company.