Pirate Therapy

Pirate flagLaurence arrived a few minutes late for his regular Thursday morning session, but his therapist usually ran late, so he wasn’t worried.

From behind the door of his therapist’s office, he heard a blood-curdling scream, and then a thump. A door opened somewhere, and Laurence heard a strange sound, almost as though something heavy was being dragged. He heard grunts, scraping, and the rhythmical percussion of something booming on the floor. Laurence looked around, and realized the secretary was not there. He also realized he was standing, tense.

The door to his therapist’s office creaked opened, and he heard a rough voice shout: “Ahoy Larry! Be ye out there laddie?”

“Uh. Yes.”

“Come in, matey.”

Laurence walked unsteadily to the door and opened the door fully.

A pirate sat in his therapist’s chair. He had wild, unkempt hair held in by a greasy red bandanna, and a full dread-locked beard that looked like it was made out of black steel wool. He was wearing a stained white silk shirt, a sash of what was probably once a lovely dark green silk and pantaloons. He had one black boot, and he was missing a leg, which was replaced by a wooden peg that was carved into the shape of …

Laurence looked away.

“Arr matey, don’t ye like me leg?”

“Uh, it’s very creative,” Laurence said. “Um. Um, where is Dr. Glick?”

“She’s in-dee-sposed,” the pirate said. “She’s asked me to take care of her sessions today. Now, repeat after me: Arrrr!”

“Ar?”

“No, like ye mean it. Take a deep breath. No, don’t sit down. Ye won’t be sitting down this morning Larry, ye’ll be workin’! Now, say it: arrrr!!!”

“Arr.”

“Avast!” the pirate stood, the obscenely rounded end of his peg leg booming on the floor. A cutlass lay on Dr. Glick’s desk, and he picked it up. “I want to hear a real pirate yawlp before ye leave, ye bilge rat!”

Larry suddenly understood what that dragging sound had been. He looked around wildly for a weapon to defend himself; he picked up a pillow from the couch. Perhaps it would work as a shield.

“Would ye like a blankie too Larry? I won’t be caring if ye need to carry around a stuffed bear, as long as I hear ye. Now take a deep breath, and say it: arrrr!” The pirate’s voice was incredibly loud.

Laurence dropped the pillow and held his ears. He started shaking.

The pirate took a step closer and pointed the cutlass tip at Laurence’s throat; he lowered his voice and said menacingly: “I’ve slit the throats of better men than ye, Larry me boyo. Now say it, smartly lad, smartly!”

“Arr!” Larry managed, terror driving his voice several octaves higher.

“Grand! Grand!” the pirate enthused. “Now, let’s pretend you’ve got a pair, and say it again.”

“Arrr!” Larry shouted.

“Again!”

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“Arrr!”

“Again! Louder!”

“Arrr!” Larry screamed.

“Arrr!” the pirate joined in.

“Arrr!”

“Arrr!”

“Arrrrr……..” Their joint shouting tailed off, and Laurence realized that the pirate was grinning at him.

“So how do ye feel matey?”

Laurence wanted to say he felt good, but he know that wasn’t the right answer, so he just muttered: “arrrrr.”

The End

Alltop be wanting yer attention too, the scallywags. The title story in my collection, Pirate Therapy and Other Cures.

Lucinda at the Laundrette of Shattered Hope

Lucinda was a dreamer. She was also stuck in a clothes dryer.Lucinda was a dreamer. Someday, she knew that her Mom would return with the waffle iron and say she was sorry; perhaps even share her delicious recipe for Translucent Liquid Essence of Bran.

She watched as Betsy came back to the Launderette of Shattered Hope, carrying a sack full of soiled turnips that she liked to cook in the dryer next to Lucinda’s (on fluff for about an hour, and then ten minutes on high heat).

Some of the other inhabitants of launderette didn’t like the sound the turnips made as they bashed around inside the genuine Tagmay industrial-strength dryer (and cappuccino maker), but it made Lucinda think of tumbling bags of cats, and furnishings, and a time when she wasn’t sitting in a pool of her own sweat.

Oddly, it made her yearn for the days when her Mom would make potato-flavoured expectorant. That Betsy!

Alltop enjoys properly dried turnip. Originally published October 2006.

Ask General Kang: If my foreign policy is a failure, do I have to admit it?

Ask General KangHell no!

If you can’t blame the failures of your policy on some flunky (or opposition party, if you’re unlucky enough to be ruling in a “democracy”) then what kind of leader are you?

The best option is to say that your policy is a rousing success, in spite of all evidence. (That is, if you can’t suppress the evidence.)

Of course, as a intergalactic overlord, I’ve always felt that the best foreign policy comes from the “offer them a Stay-Fresh Snakin’ Cake … and carry a plasma weapon” school. Here on Earth you face the challenge of multiple opponents/allies who are impossible to defeat militarily, without destroying your biosphere, that is. (What is it with your human fascination with those quaint nuclear weapons? Don’t you realize they can wipe out everything?)

So no. Don’t ever take ownership of a mistake! I mean, if you admit to a mistake, then you might actually learn something, and do better the next time.

How the hell am I going to conquer you people if you start learning things?

Next time: Henri Bergson described time as something we experience as a duration, in a flow of consciousness, not as a series of events. So what gives with knock, knock jokes?

Alltop is the knock, knock joke of the Internet. Originally published in October, 2006. Does that depress you? It should.