Just think. . .2009. . .The civilized age of high-tech marvels, medical miracles, instant worldwide communications, higher education, general enlightenment, pirates. . . Pirates. . .?
As a child, M fell heir to an outgrown Halloween pirate costume. The costume was really nothing more than a pair of black below-the-knee-length pants with a tattered edge, worn with a raggedy white t-shirt. To dress it up a bit, I offered a favored hoop earring and a red bandana. Being prior to the age of earring-wearing males, we attached the hoop to the bandana, thus giving the effect minus the agony. When his birthday came around, I took myself off to the pharmacy where I bought him a black eye patch to complete the rogue look. Accessorized with imagination. . . he was ready for adventure!
In those day, M lived his characters. We had been through eras of baseball players, frontiersmen, astronauts, astronomers, pirates, and even Navy SEALS, among others. His pirate period included teaming up with his dad to build a stunning papier-mache pirate ship, The Jolliest Roger; he also ventured into the world of pirate cuisine, cooking a meal of ship's biscuits, oh my. . . definitely best left for when one might be absolutely perishing from hunger with no other possibilities in sight.
Pirates from the past. . . Adventurers on the High Seas. Hunters of treasure. Chasers of dreams. Swashbuckling figures clothed in mystery and legend and romance. The dream of any small boy equipped with imagination and a little creativity.
Fast forward to 2009. Of all things incredible, piracy is making a comeback. You'd think, wouldn't you, that in this touchy-feely age of non-violence and tolerance, we might have outgrown this uncivilized, barbaric sort of behavior? Nope. It seems that all political correctness has really accomplished is to disarm the law-abiding victims, thus giving even more power to the criminals. After all, we wouldn't want to offend anyone, would we, and we certainly don't want to be intolerant of a pirate.
The latest in the modern pirate saga began just a few days ago, off the coast of Africa (think "shores of Tripoli"). The first attack on an American ship in over 200 years was carried out by a band of reprobates from Somalia, an anarchic country where piracy is apparently a mainstay of the economy. In the spirit of "international cooperation," our ship was unarmed, on its own out there upon the Seven Seas, with nothing more than a fire hose between it and any assilants that might come around. Hardly a match against these particular pirates who happened along well-armed with a variety of machine guns, in noisy motorboats, probably stinking of oil and gasoline. Looked at through modern-day eyes, piracy has most assuredly seen better days.
In the valiant tradition of true and honorable captaincy, Captain Richard Phillips offered himself hostage to these thugs, who promptly carted him off in a lifeboat where they planned to hold him for ransom. They obviously underestimated the United States Navy, who came quickly to the rescue, isolating the maverick lifeboat from reinforcements; and late-breaking reports indicate that Captain Phillips is today a free man, courtesy of the Navy SEALS, that elite team of real-life, all-American heroes who go through the world's toughest training only to do a job which few even know exists.
After parachuting down in the dark, the military snipers patiently watched for their chance, and with the Commander's "fire-when-ready" ok in place, they opened up on the renegades, killing all but the one who had gone off to the Bainbridge to negotiate (That one is now in American military custody, and will no doubt be treated to a civilized trial where he will be represented by the finest legal counsel the American taxpayer can provide. . . another rant for another time.). Sharpshooters, YES! Three shots, three pirates.
Yep. . . Piracy may have lost its luster, but the United States Navy just makes me proud! And the Navy SEALS. . .? You gotta love those guys!
The Time Of His Life
5 years ago