A second: letter from a pirate
Inquiry via T.H.U.G.S.S. Public Relations Outreach
Your Name: Sonny Percival
Subject: pirate question
Message: Do you think pirates get a bad press? Have you ever made someone walk the plank? Do you like Gretchen? Do you know the rhyme Solomon Grundy? Do your maggots have names? How do you pickle a herring? If you are such a good strategist, do you play chess? Is there much jockeying for position amongst your crew- would you really like to be in charge?
Sonny age 9 (via his Mum)
RE: Your Pirate Query #54-76-92. This message is union-certified.
THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN CLEARED FOR PUBLIC CONSUMPTION.
Hello SONNY. THANK YOU for your interest in PIRACY. We submitted your question to the pirate you seem to have addressed: VINCENT VAN GOON, First Mate of the DREAD CREW of the northeastern woods. From the woodship BARROW arrives your answers.
Ursula Macew, T.H.U.G.S.S. Public Relations Committee
Q: Do you think pirates get a bad press?
A: Not enough.
Q: Have you ever made someone walk the plank?
A: Don't have a plank. Don't have prisoners. They eat too much. Pirate gets lazy we make em scrub out the gun vat. Worse than any splash.
Q: Do you like Gretchen?
A: Yeah, but I'm not a brute. She's the brute-wrangler and she's a beast before breakfast.
Q: Do you know the rhyme Solomon Grundy?
A: Nope. I know a pirate named Grundy. Brute with the Griffs. Skinny fella. Billy Grundy. Don't think he's got any rhymes.
Q: Do your maggots have names?
A: Nope. Too many of em. You know, maggots, anyway. They all look alike.
Q: How do you pickle a herring?
A: Same way you'd pickle a leech.
Q: If you are such a good strategist, do you play chess?
A: Matter of fact I do. Don't tell the crew or I'll make you name all my maggots.
Q: Is there much jockeying for position amongst your crew—would you really like to be in charge?
A: Nope. Pirates do exactly what they want unless they're still learning and not sure, then they get shuffled around by the union til they find out where they fit. Phezzie's a metalworker. He's not into a faceful of splinters like Johnnie, the logdriver. If we were short one crewmember the ship wouldn't go. They're all important and they all know it so they don't get fancy. Besides. If I were Captain I'd get stuck with his paperwork.