Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Hi Everyone. Sorry for the delay. I actually have a good excuse this time. I've been pretty sick for the last few days. I've been trying to self diagnose on WebMD since Friday. I've narrowed it down to SARS, Bird Flu, or Mad Cow. I was going to pick one of those three, but then I started feeling better. At least I think I'm feeling better, because Kate is no longer:

A: Calling me Typhoid Mary 
B:Banishing me to the bonus room above the garage 
C: Wearing one of our construction masks when she comes up to talk to me. 

Since none of those things are happening anymore, I must be healthy enough to blog. 

Since I've been confined to my bonus room bubble for the past three days, I've had plenty of time to watch television. Huge surprise, right? Anyway, my television viewing - from CNN to the Today Show - has been saturated with coverage of this Somali Pirate standoff. Now don't get me wrong, it was a great story. It was almost like an episode of 24. Except that it went on for like three days, so I guess it was more like three seasons of 24. Anyway, the one thing that bothers me is the use of the title 'pirate.' I've read the definition of pirate, and it is technically accurate in this situation. The problem is that I've got a list of things that I think of in my head when I hear the word pirate, and none of the hundred or so things that I think of is remotely close to a 2009 Somali man with guns and a a cell phone and  a boat with an engine. Here are some of the things that enter my head when I hear the word pirate:

In no particular order...

1. Traits/Attributes: Wooden leg, birds on shoulders, hooks for hands, curly mustaches, incoherent accents, gold, treasure chests, there are others that fit here. I think Kate mentioned vitamin deficient diets and women in puffy dresses when we discussed this topic this evening. 

2. Pop Culture References: Disney World, Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom (so dreamy), Spiced Rum, Paula Dean's husband, some musical from junior year of high school, and Rufio from Hook.

Question for the Group - Were Rufio and the rest of the lost boys in Hook/Peter Pan technically pirates or mini pirates in training? If not, why do I always think about Rufio when people talk about pirates?

Clarification - Trust me - Paula Dean's husband sort of looks like a pirate. If you catch one of the 'Paula Cooks with the Family' episodes, you'll totally know what I'm talking about.

3. Goonies References - I know that these could probably roll up into the 'pop culture' category, but there are literally dozens of them, so I think they get their own category. So when someone talks about pirates, I think about: Chunk, One-Eyed Willy, Ma Fratelli, Fifty Dollar Bills, Mouth's Soliloquy in the Wishing Well, Mikey's Marble Bag, Rocky Road, the Truffle Shuffle, Hey You Guys, Rosalita, and Chester Copperpot (to name a few).

So clearly I have enough mental images of pirates. I don't need these modern day Somali guys jumping into my brain and pushing Rufio and Paula Dean's husband back. So we need to come up with something else other than pirates to call these jackasses. I don't have all of the answers here, but I've given it some thought. Here's what I thought about on my run today. And yes, I'm now healthy enough to run again, which rules out SARS:

Boat Stealers - A little too easy and doesn't really account for all of the people on board or the size of the ship.

Boatjackers - I like using jackers - it modernizes it like carjackers and hijackers, but boat isn't quite right.

Shipjackers - Close, but not quite. And what if it is technically a boat and not a ship.

Vesseljackers - It's perfect! It uses 'jackers' when sounds more serious than robber, thief or stealer. Also, when you combine vessel and jacker, it sounds pretty inappropriate. So it'll make me smile and laugh when Brian Williams and Matt Lauer talk about it, even though it's a very serious situation.

So there you go. They will now be known as Somali VesselJackers. Please adjust your water cooler discussions accordingly. Come to think of it, that's another term we need to change. Nobody really stands around a water cooler anymore, right? Another day.


MaryBe said...

VesselJackers? Is that Swedish?

Amanda said...

Rufio and the Lost Boys were mortal enemies with the pirates -- I mean, *SPOILER ALERT* Hook freaking killed Rufio! (Aside: BANGARANG!)

Though it could be effectively argued that the pirate lifestyle is similar to the Lost Boy lifestyle, the Lost Boys represented good and the pirates represented bad. (Pirates are also the only adults in Never Never Land -- and as we all know, adults just don't get It). But once the croc comes back for the rest of Hook, evil is vanquished and the boys are free to leave Never Never Land if they want to grow up.

Betsy said...

How about the PITTSBURGH Pirates? Sure, our team has been losing for a good 15 years, but maybe all this attention on "pirates" will force them to step up to the plate...

Nate said...

MaryBe - Yes, it's either Swedish or 12 year old boy.

Bobanda - You are very wise, but I wish you wouldn't have brought up the Hook v. Rufio scene. I wish we'd just celebrate all the positives that Rufio brought (the Mohawk, the Ru-Fi-O Chant, Looky Looky, I've got hooky).

Betsy - Pittsburgh still has the Pirates. I thought it went
Stargell and Parker (We are Family)
Andy Van Slyke
Then I seem to remember a skinny Barry Bonds forgetting how to throw, Sid Bream scoring from second on a sharp single to left, and then nothing after that. I just figured y'all merged with the Phillies or something. Good to know.

Kath said...


I totally agree :)

Betsy said...

Phillies?!? How dare! Blech!

BB said...

happy happY hapPY haPPY hAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! I'll be sure to have an afternoon cocktail in your honor!!

Suzanne said...

Rufio! Rufio! Rufio! Rufio!

My friends and I adopted that moniker in college to describe the unsavoury frat types who were just looking to "rufie" (sp? roofie? huh, never seen it in print before) girls

oh yeah....what's a pirate's favorite restaurant?


Oh She Glows said...

I still can't believe this is happening in 2009!

Oh man, thanks for reminding me about 24. We're up to episode 2 season 7 now. The most brilliant show on TV!

Jennifer said...

"IM cooler" maybe? My creativity is shot after the trip down memory lane with the Goonies. I'm still laughing...