7 Reasons to Pretend to be a Pirate
1. It’s cool. Whatever you do, there’s nothing that’s cooler than dressing up as a pirate. Being a poet is cool but people don’t dress up as poets. Being an architect is cool but people don’t dress up as architects. Being a deep sea diver is cool but people don’t dress up as deep sea divers. Probably one of the coolest things you can do is be in a really good rock band. Look at Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, they were a great band. They dressed up as pirates.
2. Avast. Pirates say “Avast” a lot, we’re not sure why. They preface many of their sentences with it. “Avast below”, “avast, ye scurvy dogs” and “avast, me hearties” are all commonly used pirate phrases. Saying “Avast” is fun. You can even improvise your own phrases. If, for example, while dressed as a pirate, you enter a room to discover your then girlfriend facing away from you and bending over, it is acceptable to exclaim “Avast behind!” Just make sure that you don’t trip over your own cutlass while running away.
3. Black eye-patches. Black eye-patches are great. When you’re a child that gets grit in your eye, you get given a white eye-patch. White eye-patches are surgical-looking and conspicuous, and you feel really silly wearing one until your eyeball heals. If your parents are thoughtful enough to get hold of a black one for you though, you can pretend to be a pirate while you’re at school, thus earning the envy and admiration of your classmates…and teachers.
4. Equality. Pretending to be a pirate is an equal opportunity business. While boys are pretending to be Blackbeard, Bluebeard, Yellowbeard or (ahem) Gingerbeard, girls needn’t be relegated to the role of pirate wenches. There’s a grand tradition of women pirates, from Lady Mary Killigrew through Charlotte de Berry to Anne Bonny, budding girl-pirates have loads of great role-models to look up to. Girls can’t be cowboys or spacemen, but they can be pirates.
5. Shanties. Sea shanties are brilliant. They’re tremendously evocative and a lot of fun to sing. You can’t sing sea shanties when you’re not dressed up as a pirate though, people will look at you funny and tell you to stop. They may even try to lock you away. We’re fairly certain that you’re not dressed as a pirate right now so, if you don’t believe us, stand up and sing this aloud.
Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Drink and the devil had done for the rest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.
The mate was fixed by the bosun’s pike
The bosun brained with a marlinspike
And cookey’s throat was marked belike
It had been gripped by fingers ten;
And there they lay, all good dead men
Like break o’day in a boozing ken
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.
Wouldn’t that have been better if you were dressed as a pirate?
6. Required. Pirates arrrr cool.*
7. Costumes. When else does a straight man get to wear frilly shirts, tight trousers, thigh-high leather boots and flamboyant hats? Never. Unless they dress up as a Highwayman, and that would be silly.
*It is the law that you use this joke whenever pirates are mentioned.