Short Stories for Teachers

How I Feel About Pirates
By:Charlie Hatton

Pirates are BAD because they steal booty from other people. The only people that should get to steal booty from other people is me. Also, I should get a pet parrot. And get to say, 'Arrrrr!' whenever I want.

Pirates are GOOD because when I do pretend I have a pet parrot, and I walk around saying, 'Arrrrr!', people know I'm acting like a pirate. If pirates had never existed, people might think I had a speech impediment, and some sort of kinky parrot fetish. That could be awkward.

Pirates are BAD because if you cross a pirate, you might get keelhauled. I don't know whether I even have a 'keel', or where exactly I might be keeping it, but I'm pretty sure I don't want some filthy one-eyed jackass with parrot poop on his shoulder hauling it anywhere. Especially if having my 'keel' 'hauled' involves some kind of kinky parrot sex. Really, I'm not into that. Honestly.

Pirates are GOOD because most of them are missing some body part or other, which makes them cool and mysterious. Anybody with an eyepatch or a hook for a hand, or a wooden leg, or whalebone-carved genitalia has a compelling life story to tell. Quite possibly in a high squeaky voice like a preteen girl, but still -- what a story.

Pirates are BAD because I'm guessing that most of the pirate-related injuries stem from hand-hook mishaps. Once a shark or octopus or giant slavering sea cucumber has bitten off your hand, you probably forget about the hook. And before you know it, you're wearing a patch, carrying a cane, and whittling yourself a new whalebone winkie. It's either that, or pirates run with scissors a lot more than I'd realized.

Pirates are GOOD because some pirates are baseball players -- in Pittsburgh, to be exact. Never mind that Pittsburgh is six hundred miles from the nearest ocean; apparently, these Pirates darken the waters of the Monongahela River, marauding the muddy shallows in search of... well, I don't know, really. Coal barges? Discarded teamsters? Industrial runoff? Who can say? Whatever it is, it sure as hell seems to keep them distracted from winning baseball games, so it must be important.

Pirates are BAD because some pirates are 'corporate raider' pirates. And I certainly don't want some pasty old guy in a suit taking over my office, making me 'walk his plank' and 'swab his poop deck'. I don't care how much money you paid for the company; you'd better keep that whalebone wang away from me, or I'll bury your treasure where the sun don't shne, matey. 'Arrrrr!'

Pirates are GOOD because they always keep intricate, detailed maps to indicate where they've buried their booty. Apparently, the practice is to draw the map, then immediately tear it into small pieces and hand them out, so other people can have a shot at digging up the gold. Personally, I'm not so much interested in the loot, but if I could get the piece that shows me how to get to the outlet mall without three hours of traffic gridlock, that would be super.

But pirates are BAD because to get their maps and booty and such, you've got to battle them first. And for a bunch of one-eyed hook-handed parrot-poking whalebone-wienered drunkards, they apparently put up a pretty good fight. I guess all that running around with scissors really pays off when it comes to swordfighting and swashbuckling and the like. So even though they could get you to the outlet mall, chances are, they won't. You might as well ask Sanjeev at the SlushyMart for directions, as much trouble as it's going to be.

So, pirates are BAD. But not that bad.

And that's how I feel about pirates.

Charlie Hatton

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