Piracy 101

Pirate University

A tall, strong and heavily muscled man enters the lecture hall; his nut-brown face is marred by a saber cut across one cheek. It has left a dirty, livid white scar that practically glows out of his dark face. He’s unkempt, his tarry pigtail falling over the shoulders of his soiled blue coat and his hands ragged and scarred, with black, broken nails.

He staggers noticeably as he walks up to the lectern, lets out a loud, sustained belch and then sings a snatch of song, drunkenly.

Billy Bones:

Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum …

He stops singing, and peers at the assembled class while he sways noticeably, his eyes are filled with an aimless, drunken, malice.

Billy Bones:
Ahoy mateys, and listen up, or I’ll be makin’ garters out of yer guts.

So ye think you’d like to go on account do ye? Become a Gentleman of Fortune?

We’ll, I’ll set you a straight course and tell you that the life of a pirate is no easy thing; mind ye, I’d have no other.

Teachin’ you feckless lubbers don’t compare with the freedom of the open seas, a black jack of rum in me hand, and a grand helpin’ of booty waitin’ at the end of the voyage. My name is Billy Bones, and I’ll be takin’ ye on a tour of yer basic piratical skills.

He unsheathes his cutlass, and slashes viciously at a rope holding up a projector screen. It unrolls, and clashes as the boom holding it rips away from the screen and hits the stage behind him.

Billy Bones:
Turn on the feckin’ projector will ye!

The lights go out, and the screen is illuminated by a slide that says “Piracy 101″. There is a painting of a sloop behind the text.

Billy Bones:
We heave to and speak of the many pirates that have come afore us, from yer Thracians to yer most excellent Vikings, through the Golden Age (including those scurvy Corsairs in the Med) and up to today.

A skinny, red-haired frosh with some kind of malignant skin condition and a black t-shirt that says “I be tackin’ fer’ trollops” in bold white lettering puts up his hand and asks in a voice that breaks at the interrogative:

Ginger Frosh:
But professor, what about the Narentines?

Billy Bones whips out his pistol, and there is a flash of light and a deafening boom as the powder ignites. The bullet strikes Ginger Frosh in the forehead, and he flips backwards out of his seat (he was in the front row), landing on a group of slovenly first-years behind him. A murmur of discontent runs through the class.

Billy Bones:
Avast!

The Provost says I can kill three of ye before I exceed item 9 in the Pirate University code of conduct. And in case any of ye’ lubbers are wonderin’, it states: “If any Man shall steal any Thing in the Company, or game, to the Value of a Piece of Eight, he shall be marroon’d or shot.”

I know what yer thinkin’, yer bilge rats! He didn’t steal nothin’. Yer fools, all of ye. He stole our time, with a worthless question.

So, any other issues?

There is an uncomfortable silence.

None?

The silence continues, except for a whimper from the front row. Bones stares balefully at the pathetic student, who manages to curtail his whinging. The Piracy 101 prof smiles evilly — several incisors are missing.

Excellent, you can get yer outline from Savage Jimbo, who’ll be our TA this term.

Bones gazes at the class with a sneer of distain.

Billy Bones:
I’d advise ye not to book any “one-on-one” sessions with Jimbo. He’s a cannibal, but that’s not why they call him savage, if ye’ get me drift.

Billy leers at a pretty, golden-haired froshman with a clear complexion and fine teeth.

Billy Bones:
Yar, I’d think Jimbo would like you well, thar boy. Arrrrr!

The blond first-year student runs from the room screaming.

Billy Bones:
Yo-ho-ho mateys! We’ve had a fine start … class dismissed!

Alltop is taking an elective in buccaneering. Inspired by: Treasure Island.