Thursday, May 19, 2005

Pirates - Arrrrr!

So, a long while back, in the coming attractions, I mentioned something about pirates. I didn't offer any other details. Just mentioned it. Well, now is the time for that story to see the light of day. Pretty soon, I'll have written about all the things I said I would. Then, perhaps I'll have to post some new previews... *grin*

As many of you know, I have been practicing to be a storyteller. Eventually, I'd like to do it semi-professionally. A part of that is finding a persona and a style for yourself. I intend to have multiple personae to broaden my appeal, but I think my first one is going to be a pirate. I have a number of friends that work the Rennaissance Faire circuit out here, so I have an *in* as it were to a number of gigs. However, I still need to have an act that fits. For some reason that I cannot fathom, pirate characters are big on the circuit. I mean, I understand that it appeals to kids in particular, but pirate lore and culture has been pretty romanticized over the years. Not to mention the fact that the golden age of piracy was later than the time period of most faires. Regardelss, there are a number of pirate guilds that show up at the faires such as HMS Stranglehold and The Black Gryphon. There is also a very good singing pirate duo, Siler and Clarc.

So, the pirate infrastructure is there. In spite of this, there are no pirate storytellers. There are multiple pirate singing groups, however. This means I'm not horning in on someone else's territory and will likely be able to "gig" with the other pirates while bringing something new to the table. The other local storytellers on the circuit have their own very different themes. My two favorites are The Patchwork Players and A Fool and His Family. They both have their own takes on classic fairy tales that would be different from mine.

Of course, the main reason to do it is it would be fun! That other stuff just means it's doable. All I need are some stripey satin pants in a garish color combination and a long bandana. I have the rest of the outfit, more or less. Maybe a sash to add to the mix. Oh yes. I also need an act. *grin*

I have the format of the act already set. Typically, at a faire, you get a 30-45 minute slot. You spend the first five drumming up the crowd and the last five guilting the patrons into giving you money. The rest is where you do your story.

For the opening, I'm going to tell pirate jokes to draw the crowd in. It will also help me gauge how responsive the crowd is and let me know who my likely audience participants are. I've begun a search for pirate jokes. I've already got a few, but am always on the lookout for more. Send me your pirate jokes! You can do it in the comments or in e-mail. Here are the ones I have so far.

Q: What's a Pirate's favorite letter?
A: Arrrrrrr!

Side note: I tried this joke out on Josh. The exchange went something like this.

Me: I have a joke for you.
Josh: Ok.
Me: What's a Pirate's favorite letter?
Josh: E?
Me: No.
Josh: S?
Me: No.
Josh: Q?
Me: Why would it be Q?!?
Josh: I don't know.
Me: Want me to tell you?
Josh: Yes.
Me: It's Arrrrrrr!
Josh: *giggle* Ok. Ask me again.
Me: Ok. What's a Pirate's favorite letter?
Josh: E?

That's almost funnier than the joke itself. There are variations on that same joke, but I figure that one will reach the widest audience. Here are a few other examples of that theme.

Q: Why couldn't the pirate go to the movie?
A: It was rated Arrrrr!

Q: How does a pirate get to his ship?
A: By carrrrrrrr!

Q: Where does a pirate get a drink when he's on shore?
A: A barrrrrrr!

Q: How does a pirate navigate?
A: By starrrrrrrrr!

You get the idea. Josh did, too. He just thought the game was funny for a while. Here are the others.

Q: How much did the pirate's peg leg and hook cost?
A: An arm and a leg!

Q: How much does it cost a pirate for a piercing?
A: A buck an ear!

Q: Why does a pirate wear an eye patch over one eye?
A: If he wore it over both eyes, he wouldn't be able to see!

* * * * *

A pirate walks into a bar and the bartender says, "Hey, I haven't seen you in a while. What happened, you look terrible!"

"What do you mean?" the pirate replies, "I'm fine."

The bartender says, "But what about that wooden leg? You didn't have that before."

"Well," says the pirate, "We were in a battle at sea and a cannon ball hit my leg but the surgeon fixed me up, and I'm fine, really."

"Yeah," says the bartender, "But what about that hook? Last time I saw you, you had both hands."

"Well," says the pirate, "We were in another battle and we boarded the enemy ship. I was in a sword fight and my hand was cut off but the surgeon fixed me up with this hook, and I feel great, really."

"Oh," says the bartender, "What about that eye patch? Last time you were in here you had both eyes."

"Well," says the pirate, "One day when we were at sea, some birds were flying over the ship. I looked up, and one of them pooped in my eye."

"So?" replied the bartender, "what happened? You couldn't have lost an eye just from some bird poop!"

"Well," says the pirate, "I really wasn't used to the hook yet."

* * * * *

This pirate walks into a bar with a big ship's wheel down his pants. The bartender says, "Excuse me, sir, but do you know you have a ship's wheel down the front of your pants?" And the pirate says, "Aye, and it's driving me nuts!!"

* * * * *

So, I'm planning to tell pirate stories and classic fairy tales recast with pirate characters. The problem is, I'm having a bear of a time finding any pirate stories. I found a Polish/Jewish folktale called "The Pirate Princess" which will make a really good tell, but I need others. So, if any of you know any pirate stories, or have ideas for how to turn classic tales into pirate tales, let me know. I'll probably start a separate pirate page using my ISP account! Arrrrrrrrrrrr!