The Bad Boy of the Sea

Intern Becky

Sketchy Becky

What is the allure of pirates? They captivate the imaginations of both the young and old, despite the fact that pirates of yore tended not be the nicest of folks. We dedicate an entire day to talking like them, they strut across the silver screen, and everyone from the Muppets to the Doctor has spent quality time with them. Pirates are animated, transformed into action figures, and doted upon. On the bright side, they do not regularly attempt to drink the blood of mortals or sparkle in the sun. Thus, our attraction to them is not totally insane. But seriously, where does the appeal of these seafaring individuals stem from? Maybe it’s just the sight of a guy with…er, a talking parrot and an eyepatch that gets hearts pounding?

Captain Jack Sparrow

O, that I were a steering wheel.

Pirates are on our minds currently. Possibly because the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie just came out. It makes one want to start going “ARGH!” or maybe that’s because it’s Friday and nearly the weekend. Since I can’t don a tricorne hat, I will settle for entertaining everyone with random pirate facts, in addition to considering the evolution of the pirate in popular culture.

  • Did you know that pirate ships utilized limited democracies? And that part of the treasure was put into a general fund that compensated injuries sustained by the crew? Gaining a peg leg also meant collecting a nice pile of gold.
Drawing of pirates

Arrrrgh!

  • How about the fact that pirates (and sailors in general) would wear eyepatches even when they had two perfectly healthy eyes? When going below deck, a pirate could simply flip the patch to the other eye and avoid having to wait for his sight to adjust to the dark.
  • Julius Caesar was once kidnapped by Cilician pirates and ransomed for fifty talents of gold. Originally, they were just going to charge twenty pieces, but Caesar claimed he was worth more than that. Unfortunately for the pirates, after regaining his freedom, Caesar raised a fleet and had them hunted down and…let’s say, those pirates never kidnapped anyone else again.
Amy Pond from Doctor who as a pirate

The ingredients for a pirate: a sword, a hat, and a coat.

  • Let’s not forget that Vikings were pirates. Sadly, they sailed aboard ships and never wore horned helmets. This does nothing to lessen the fact that they are wicked awesome when donning headgear and riding dragons.

How to Train Your Dragon VikingsIs it any wonder that dashing versions of these pirates frequently appear as the heroes of romance novels? The most bewildering aspect of the covers of some of these books is how well maintained their appearances are. I mean, check these guys out. Most average dudes of the 21st century aren’t this groomed. Shaving creams and powders were expensive back in the day. Using a rusty razor is presumably as dangerous and unhygienic as it sounds. Is it any wonder pirates typically sported beards? Additionally, I very much doubt any spare time a pirate happened upon would be spent slathering hot wax on a hair chest for the ladies.

Dorchester's Pirates books

Pirates: way sexier than you remembered

Pirates from Muppet Treasure Island

Does anyone else want to start singing about cabin fever?

Braids in a pirate’s beard can signify a number of things, such as men killed or whether a guy has a girlfriend back in port. That’s kind of sweet…in a ruthless-pirate-sort-of-way. Not that I’m complaining about the shaved guys of the covers. There is nothing at all wrong with a handsome, fictional pirate. Simply avoid time-traveling to meet any real ones.

Dread Pirates Robert from The Princess BrideThe fictional pirates of today have cleaned up nicely. They’re the right amount of charming and sinister. Captain Hook is fabulous, evil, and too inept to defeat a gaggle of children. Captain Jack backstabs but not quite. The Dread Pirate Roberts is just…really, really hot and romantic and could save me from Rodents of Unusual Size any time. Historical accuracy is nothing to scoff at, but trips in the fantastical when it comes to pirates often lead to remarkable adventures. (Plus, you’ll ultimately be a whole lot happier than you spent time with a non-existent pirate rather than a real one.)

Because we all deserve a little treasure, Pirate e-books are on sale for $3.99!Captain Hook from Peter Pan

The Pirate Hunter by Jennifer Ashley

Once a Pirate by Susan Grant

The Perils of the Heart by Jennifer Ashley

The Care and Feeding of Pirates by Jennifer Ashley

Pleasuring the Pirate by Emily Bryan

The Pirate Next Door by Jennifer Ashley

Batman as a pirate

Even Batman has been a pirate.

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2 Responses to The Bad Boy of the Sea

  1. misty says:

    Batman as a pirate is freaking me out. The eyepatch thing…whoa. Very cool. But the viking thing…shshhsh about the head gear. Who doesn’t want to dream about a dude in horned head gear?

  2. Batman has been a pirate on a few occasions actually 🙂

    Really, what’s cooler than Batman as a pirate? Not much, I say.

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