Yarrrgh!…I mean…sign here

This weekend, I visited the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. More specifically, I visited the museum’s “Pirates! Myth and Reality” exhibit.

It was an awesome exhibit and taught me lots about pirates. I’ve never really liked pirates, I think they are a little brutish. But since moving here, I’m always trying to get in as many pirate references as I can in normal conversation without people noticing. It has become a little game.

Anyway, so pirates…who knew they were so democratic? Well, I guess before I go into it, I should tell you the formality for becoming a pirate. All you had to do was sign a CONTRACT! Bam! You’re a pirate. There was no trial-pillage, no one-year apprenticeship with a pirate. None of that.

For example:

Pirate: “Argh, so you wanna, like, steal ships, drink rum and do bad stuff?”
Prospective Pirate: “Yeah.”
Pirate: “Aye, you want people to fear and loathe you?”
Prospective Pirate: “Yeah.”
Pirate: “Okay, sign here. Right here. Make it legible. There. You’re a pirate, welcome to the team.”

What?! What a shocker that was. And on this contract, one of the top conditions was “No money shall be used for dice and cards.” Um, pirates don’t gamble? It seems almost absurd. And, women weren’t allowed on ships. Everything was done by vote.

Also, one of the big myths about pirates was that they sailed monster ships, but actually, they mainly used little sloops.

The rest of the museum was pretty cool. I walked on a ship, read the list of passengers on the Titanic (There were no Shulists aboard. Or Cybulskis.), and looked at some gold coins and spoons.

I never did discover why pirates wear eye patches though. I was sure the exhibit would have discussed that.

3 Comment

  1. John Galt says:

    Lassie, ye might recall the tales of Elcid Barrett – named a privateer, but what you’d see as a pirate. I’d be easy on the jokin’ about pirates as they still can reach from the briny grave to touch yer mind. Fer yer readin’ up about this ye might look at http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/~jacktar/barretts.html

  2. rooney says:

    what about pirates with family surnames from eno road? There of course were no persons with paid passage on the Titanic with family names—they were down below, hiding or coursing the waters as pirates!!!!

  3. Anna says:

    i always thought the whole pillaging thing was an occupational hazard that made lost eyes and limbs (hooks! wooden legs!) just part of pirating life.

    but what about parrots??

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