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
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
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
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.