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!”


“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!!!”


“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.


Pirate Therapy and Other Cures
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“Again! Louder!”

“Arrr!” Larry screamed.

“Arrr!” the pirate joined in.



“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.

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.

Ask General Kang: Do you think we should ban tasers?

Ask General KangI believe that tasers are a barbaric technology. Not only are tasers an excruciating way to kill people, it seems to me that you should be using some kind of non-lethal stunning weapon.

A taser is supposed to be a non-lethal stunning weapon.

Well, there is clearly a PROBLEM. If police forces around the world are willing to give me their tasers, I will pass along the technical schematics for a number of non-lethal devices that my Uber-Ape-Jackboot-and-Miniskirt Paramilitary Forces (and dance troupe) have used quite effectively to subdue the great unwashed populace.

The Amplified Kazoo:
Amplified kazoo music is brutal. I once knew a bonobo who’s atonal rendition of “Don’t Cry for Me Fargentina” could drop a brigade of gorilloids armed with broadswords.

While not quite as painful as the Amplified Kazoo, Electro-accordions can work as non-lethal weapons, and are especially effective means of crowd control with young hipsters. Warning: does not work anywhere people listen to zydeco, the Paris metro, or at Irish sessions. This is most effective when deployed by an armada of angry uber-chimps with no sense of rhythm.

On Mephitis VI, there is a kind of multi-appendaged gut worm that can emit a high-pitched whining sound, which is a combination of noise similar to a mosquito’s buzz and about 100 overtired children stuffed into a mini-van. If amplified, the sound will pop the eyes out of any primate. Warning: Handle this creature with care; each appendage of the gut worm is capable of delivering a neurotoxin that causes bits of your face to fall off and necrotize rapidly into a bubbly goo that smells worse than the Stench-Beast of Vomitus XII.

What are you going to do with all those tasers?

Oh, I have uses for them.

Next time: How do I fit “tab a” into “slot b” if all I can find is a multi-dimensional “thingy c”?

Alltop is the tab a of humor aggregators. Originally published November, 2007.

The Unit Upgrade

Horse with mountains “Mr. President, we have to talk about the unit.”

“What unit, Minister?”

“Remember the regiment that was forgotten in the Peltarsh Mountains?”

“Right. The unit of horse archers. Did we ever figure out what to do with all those old compound bows? I’ve got one in the armoury — it’s quite ingenious in design, you know, thought it’s primitive. Did you know it uses horn?”

“Yes, sir. We auctioned most of them off on E-Bay. The idea was to help pay for the retraining.”

“Excellent. I like to see our Departments using our resources efficiently. How is the unit shaping up?”

“Well, not as well as it did with our cavalry units. We had a surprising number of troopers who were able to fly the helicopters, and the rest really seem to like the idea of being called air cavalry.”

“And the horse archers?”

“Most of them seem to think the helicopters are some kind of god.”

“I see. Well we had to expect some problems. They were isolated in the mountains for centuries, without any word from us. If I remember the file, the country was still under the control of the ancient dictator Slagothon the Bloody when they last heard from the capital.”

“Yes. We’ve been trying to educate them and bring them into the 21st century. It has, uh, been somewhat costly.”

“How much?”

“About ten times what it takes to upgrade our cavalry units.”

“I see, and the recommendations?”

“Well, we think we can do it, but we may lose the unit cohesion that we were trying to save. The unit has quite a storied history. Did you know they defeated the Horde of Logdor on their own?”

“I see. Naturally, these are their descendants. So how much more do you think it will cost?”

“Estimates are high. Possibly 500 million.”

“And they think the helicopters are gods?”

“Yes. Every time a pilot gets into the cockpit they scream in horror. They think the god is eating them.”

“And when they come out?”

“Well, it’s a miracle to them. They’ve started worshiping the pilots. Or stoning them to death. It has started a small religious disagreement.”

“Could we just send them back to the mountains?”

“Sure. They’ve been guarding that flank of our country from the barbarians for centuries. I say we give them some rifles, a few officers with modern training, and let them do it.”

“So we have a plan.”

“Yes, Mr. President.”



“There’s just one other matter. You know our territories down in the Glotharian jungle? Well it turns out we have a unit of warriors down there.”

“What do you mean, warriors?”

“Well, it’s hard to define.”

“Give it a try Minister.”

“I should probably start by explaining that they’re armed with clubs . . .”

Apologies to my readers who have never played Civilization, a strategy game, which is digital crack. Thanks to Stuck in Customs for photo. Originally published February, 2010.