Pirate Times
Ahoy! Pirates by Peter Bottomley

A talk with the publisher of Pirate Times, the then First Mate Stout McHaggis.


Pirating is obviously a thriving occupation, so why is it only now that there is a publication dedicated to it?

Well, before with ancient pirates and their seatime expeditions they did not have the advantage of computers or printing presses to get their work done. And most of their time was spent either looting and pillaging upon the seven seas or eating limes and citrus fruits to prevent themselves from getting scurvy. Or another famous past time would be drinking ale and wining with wenches. So, you could see, it is kind of hard to get all of that writing done when you are trying to make your living being a pirate. But now with modern day inventions it is easy to get all this stuff done at once: be a pirate, write a magazine about piracy, and whatnot.

I assume that you receive a number of letters from pirates. Do they still send their letters in bottles or has their communication caught up to the times.

Well, for the most part there aren’t many real pirates receiving Pirate Times. A few actually. The true ones still get it to us by bottle, however, modern pirates who may consider themselves pirates upon the so-called "electronic seas&quo t; (i.e. – the Web) send us pirate mail via email or instant messages on America Online. But, all in all, most of our mail probably comes in standard paper form on parchment with a wax seal.

The abundance of precious metals is obviously shortened these days. So what is the most sought after bounty on the high seas?

Well, there are actually quite a few. You can still find your standard rubies and emeralds. Wenches are very popular because, you see, out on the high seas the don’t allow many wenches so us pirates are always after wenches. However, mi favorite is fine vinyl products and compact discs of mi favorite pirate bands, what be humming in a bottle or playing thee pirate tunes on instruments.

What is the most active pirating area in the world these days?

Arrgh, you mean as far as upon the seven seas or as far as the most lucrative area of pirating?

Upon the seven seas.

The mighty area of Thousand Oaks [California] be bountiful with pirates, but as far as the majority of pirates what be looting and stealing upon the seven seas the most active area be the Philippines for there be a large amount of islands in which the pirates can hide between and sneak out and attack merchant ships and tankers with assault rifles, not like they should really be using swords and grappling hooks and pistols and muskets, but no, they use assault rifles now.

So has El Nino wrecked havoc on the remaining fleets of pirate ships?

Oh no, El Nino have not wrecked its havoc upon mi ships of pirates for El Nino is simply but a storm which… of course it puts down the ship in for a bit which of course puts down the pirates too, but all in all it hasn’t done much to piracy for the shi ps that we be praying upon have to be sitting in ports for awhile too.

What pirates do you look up to?

Oh, but of course the mighty Blackbeard for he have been the most lucrative pirate of all time. Other good pirates be Calico Jack Rackum, Steve Bonnett, Captain Cook was good but he was hung in an English harbor for everyone to see. As far as fake pi rates is concerned, Long John Silver was good.

So what does it take to be a pirate?

Arrgh, it doesn’t take much. You may have to be cutting off one of thee legs if you want to have that real pirate look like a peg leg or an eye patch, you may have to remove an eye. But as far as being a pirate is concerned, you just have to find thy self a vessel and a couple of mates, you need a galley cook unless you not be caring about eating. Other than that you just need a fine ship, a couple of canons, some swords, a nice hat, a wench, and of course a parrot. But a stuffed parrot will do.

Have many pirates left piracy to join the Mafia?

I haven’t quite encountered that yet. However, some pirates are congruent in the Mafia. I happen to be a member of the Scottish Mafia as well as a pirate. In fact, I run the pirating side of the Scottish Mafia. Stout McHaggis is, yes, in fact the head pirate of the Scottish Mafia.

Is homosexuality acceptable on vessels?

No, no. There be no such thing as homosexuality on mi vessel. Mi captain, Captain Terrible Thomas, will not permit such acts. I don’t care what he says about me and the galley cook, Jeff Snow, being down in the galley the other night playing with th e sausage. It didn’t happen. He said his parrot be missing from his cage for a couple of days but I didn’t have nothing to do with it. Parrots aren’t big enough anyway. There is no such thing as pirates being homosexuals.

But doesn’t it get lonely out there at sea sometimes?

[Irritated] No. I don’t know what you be talking about. Pirates don’t get lonely and if we do we go to the nearest port and get us some wenches.

Is the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland a good portrayal of pirate life?

It used to be but now it is all politically correct and whatnot, they have the pirates chasing food instead of wenches and I don’t know what that is all about. Actually, the pirate captain that be commanding that great vessel what be firing cannon bal ls at that fort there, that is my friend, his name is Captain Whistlesnap. We served on a vessel once and I was nothing but a deck swabber and he was a cabin boy. That ship was the Inferno, we served under Captain One-Eyed Willie. It used to be a good, accurate portrayal with the stealing and looting of the town and pillaging and setting things on fire.

Being a real pirate and all, how do you feel about your portrayal in movies like Treasure Island and Goonies?

Arrgh, they be fake pirates. For a real pirate not be wearing such lavish clothes and finding such bountiful amounts of booty. A real pirate lives off of mostly spices and cloth, what he be taking from other ships. Pirates really not be living lavis h lives and wearing such fancy clothes.

So how do pirates avoid the political laws of the day?

Well, with the way mi ship looks, the Lady of Westlake, we don’t get much harassment. Our captain keeps us pretty low-key.

Which do you prefer, the raping or the pillaging?

Oh, me being a politically correct lad and whatnot I don’t do much raping, just pillaging and looting. Stealing booty, mostly from the rich. I don’t give it to the poor, though, because I’m poor myself.

So what do your parents think of you being a pirate?

I don’t quite know yet. Mi mom doesn’t seem to be fond of it. Mi pappy actually was a pirate but he settled down and now works in the sale of disposable paper goods. But he is kind of proud that I followed his footsteps, in the sense of being a pira te. Mi mom doesn’t seem to be too proud of it, she doesn’t agree with the whole pillage, loot, and burning down of cities. She thinks I’m going to hurt myself if I fall from the riggings. But I know better and I wish she’d quit worrying.

Are they afraid that you are going to catch scurvy?

No. Mi mum always sends me citrus fruits but now we actually have a refrigerator on the Lady of Westlake to keep citrus fruit in, so scurvy isn’t much of a worry these days. I did have a battle with the rickets, though, when I was locked down in the galley for a week because I was punished by Captain Terrible Thomas.

Where did you get the inspiration to publish the Pirate Times?

Well, we first thought of the Pirate Times because we have quite a mighty large following of pirates in the area and what we decided to do was put out a publication describing the pirates of the local area and talking about our adventures at sea and something to keep the pirate entertained when he be sailing the seven seas.

And how did you decide to burden the punk rock scene with Pirate Times?

Well, most pirates are pretty punk to start off with. If you haven’t noticed they have hoop earrings and they mostly have black hair. Pirates are pretty punk, peg legs and parrots. Actually, they’re not really that punk, we just like punk music. Pirates do.

So are you going to enter into the realm of pirate punk bands?

We have made an attempt. The first was Blackbeard and the Buccaneers, which was a band of ours that didn’t go anywhere. Pirates bands are quite a thriving area these days. I don’t think anyone has done it and, when someone does, it should be a prett y lucrative area.




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