Wednesday, June 13, 2007

There Be Pirates!

I’ll wager that the spirit in a surfer’s body would be something less without a shot of pirate blood. That the word for pirate is derived from the ancient Greek phrase that implies “finding luck on the water” is proof, if proof were needed, of the bond.

A bit of swash and buckle always ticks the boxes when a company or venture wants to sell that edgy, dangerous feel. In Kernow we’ve got Pirate FM on the radio and Cornish Pirates on the rugby field.

And rather bizarrely, the stereotypical pirate speak, owes much to the accents of the West Country. It was the Dorset born actor, Robert Newton, who put the “arr!” in pirate when he stole the show as Long John Silver in the screen adaptation of Treasure Island, thereby framing the template for Pirate performances ever since.

There’s even, matey, a "Talk Like A Pirate Day” . I found myself mugging along to the “they’re so bad they’re good” chat up lines in Pirate speak that include such gems as “that’s some treasure chest you’ve got there" and “they don’t call me Long John because my head is so big”.

Now a sense of humour is unlikely to have been a job requisite for your actual Pirates of the plundering and pillaging variety. The infamous Barbary Pirates were responsible, it has been claimed, for the capture and subsequent slavery of over a million Europeans.

Take the story of how the villagers of Baltimore in Co.Cork were rounded up like cattle by Algerian Pirates. Some ended up as galley slaves, some in the harem. I'm guessing the colleens ended up in the harem and the men in the galleys.

And of course, the popular image of a Pirate has become so familiar that the eye patch could be classed as a fashion accessory. About the only upside to losing an eye is the opportunity it would give to wear one. I mean take a look at these hombres. There’s Jack O’Neill who’s built a global surf brand with the panache that any Pirate would be proud of.

And Moshe Dayan, with his womanising and rapacious military tactics suggests that Pirate blood was flowing in his veins.

Any discussion of Pirates wouldn’t be complete without a reference to one Mr. Depp who's taken the pirate and turned him into an object of desire for many young (and older, ahem) women. I noted that the “hot date” under profiles for two of our local lifeguards would involve a bit of cut and thrust with Johnny D. OK, so what’s he got that I haven’t – apart from charm, hair, wit, intelligence and a sack full of doubloons?

Now I’ve had some comments that suggest my occasional use of photos focusing on the more curvaceous elements of the female form has raised some eyebrows. By way of balance, here’s one for the ladies. He is sporting my swim trunks. It’s not Beach Bum himself, you understand. I, of course, am much better looking.


Paula the Surf Mom said...

Bum, Bum, Bum, how could you do an article on pirates without mentioning THE QUEEN OF THE SURF PIRATES... its time to walk the plank for you boy and I never minded the sexy girl butt shots.

Beach Bum said...

Wow - that's the fastest feedback I've had - ever. Don't worry, I'll make it up to you. My timbers are shivering!

Anonymous said...

In Kernow we’ve got Pirate FM on the radio and Cornish Pirates on the rugby field.
and to fly from every mast in kernow land Flag Hi me arties...Telescopic poles from Pachawk, Zebco, Spirit, Flags of the World. Also A Good Range Of Windspinners, Windmills, VW Windsocks, VW Flags, VW Bunting, VW Banners, Twisters, Turbines and Spinsocks of every colour. Childrens Kites, Jackites, Stunt Kites, Powerfoils, Pole Bungees, Bunting, Polestakes, and so Much Much More.