A first: letter from a pirate

Inquiry via T.H.U.G.S.S. Public Relations Outreach
Your Name: Alissa
Subject: pirate question

Message: What is it like to be a pirate?  I have so many questions to ask you about being a pirate. What is your favorite hobby? Do you go to school ever? Do you have children? Are you guys crazy?  How is your life being a pirate?  There is a bunch more but that is too much to write, so see you later.  Please email me back.

Signed,
Alissa (as typed by Jeanette after a two night sleepover)

RE: Your Pirate Query #53-72-89. This message is union-certified.
THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN CLEARED FOR PUBLIC CONSUMPTION. 

Hello ALISSA. THANK YOU for your interest in PIRACY. We submitted your question to the crew deemed in closest time zone and work schedule proximity: the BLITZRIDERS of London, England. The BLITZRIDERS pilot four modified tank engines through a secret network of abandoned tunnels, captained by Alaisdair SIR CHUFF Black.

From the tank engine KINGSGUT IV arrives your answers, supplied by BERNIE TWO TRICKS, a young pirate girl currently serving as TRACKIST with the underground crew.

Sincerely,
Stanley Gladwell
T.H.U.G.S.S. Public Relations Committee

+++

Q: What it is like to be a pirate?
A: Dirty! Real dirty. Dirty and stinky and loud. It's great.

Q: What is your favourite hobby?
A: We work pretty hard so there's not much time for hobbies. We joke on each other a lot. We eat a lot. And cards can get pretty rowdy. Sometimes we sneak into football matches but the union don't like that much.

Q: Do you go to school ever?
A: Kind of. I went to school when I was upground but then I got in down here and it's not so much like school, more like being an apprentice. You get assigned by the union to an elder, a bunch of them one after the other, and they teach you on the job. On our crew we learn welding, and propulsion, and coaltending, firekeeping, piloting, navigation, and ship maintenance. It's kind of like school that never ends except it's fun.

Q: Do you have children?
A: Lots of kids ride with pirates. Sometimes the pirates have kids but if they do they've got to go on upground sabbatical and nobody wants to leave the crew. Mostly it's kids that don't have anybody end up finding a crew and they tag along, and if they're useful they get to stay. Like me.

Q: Are you guys crazy?
A: Sure. Why not?

Q: How is your life being a pirate?
A: Busy. Real busy. And fast. And never the same one day to the next. But we watch out for each other and the food's good once you get used to it (I still can't drink leech oil without a chaser of dandelion pulp). I see stuff down here that I'd never get to see otherwise. Sometimes I forget there are ordinary folk up there. It's funny. Gotta go. My break's up. Bye.

The International Treasure Hunters and Useful Goods Salvagers Society will endeavour to procure a response on nearly any topic but remind you that thugs, thieves and barbarians cannot be trusted in matters financial, romantic, medical, nutritional or hygenic in nature. Please take this into consideration but know that any question is welcome.