And so, as I approach the twilight of my life, I have but one regret. I wish I’d been a pirate.
(And I don’t mean a Johnny Depp kind of pirate).
There’s something, and I admit I haven’t quite put my finger on it yet, about the pirate’s life that I really like. When I first thought about running away to sea to join Blackbeard I thought it might be the freedom of the high seas that was luring me. Now I’m not so sure. Of course, sailing about on one of those large creaking ships was very appealing, and the thrill of seeing land after being away for months was something I really would have liked to have experienced. The thought of fresh meat after months of surviving on er…lard (?) would certainly make me shout ‘Ah-arr’, or whatever it is pirates shout when they’re happy. But no I don’t think it’s that either.
OK, so let me admit, I have been enjoying ‘Black Sails’ on TV. In fact, I have one last episode to go. When I’ve seen that, I will be bereft. The adventures of Captain Flint, Charles Vane, John Silver etc have been brilliant. Not withstanding the huge number of heaving breasts and rampant sex in every episode, the whole thing has been excellent. Fantastically written and beautifully filmed. And if it is as authentic as it looks, I’ve learnt that pirate crews existed in a democracy, which was a major surprise.
Apparently, they voted on every major decision. Even down to who was to be Captain. Another surprise was to find that the man who wielded an awful lot of the power was the Quartermaster. He was the kind of middle man, standing between Captain and crew, speaking for each. If the Captain didn’t have the Quartermaster behind him and therefore the crew he was lost (literally, at sea).
To be truthful.
The more I think about it, the more I’m inclined to think that the thing about piracy on the High Seas that attracts me, is…the fashion. There, I’ve said it.
Pigtails, ear rings, thigh boots, no shaving etc. What a fine figure a man could present astride the poop deck. Matted hair blowing in a breeze coming the west, cutlass dangling from the waist, maybe even smoking one of those long-stemmed clay pipes. You can forget anything else. It’s the posing. It would have to be, because I’d be useless in a fight.
‘Where’s me buccaneers?’
‘On your bucking head, where they’ve always been’ (Pirate Joke).
Anyway, did I mention the heaving breasts? Ah-harr.