Shiver me timbers if Johnny Depp doesn't make being a pirate look awfully appealing.
The actor, who makes his second appearance as the scheming Capt. Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which opens Friday, has revived interest in plundering booty and adopting a saltwater swagger.
Being a pirate, though, be it a high seas hero or suburban swashbuckler, requires more than an eyepatch and a willingness to say "yargh!" It's a lifestyle choice that requires commitment, study and piratanical leanings. Here's The Augusta Chronicle guide to becoming a proper pirate.
Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE PIRATE RIDE
Unfortunately, it simply isn't practical for every would-be sea dog to keep a schooner in the driveway. Still, just because The Black Heart of Tortuga isn't a possibility now, you still can ride in pirate style. Here are a few modes of transport well-suited for the styling swashbuckler:
- Oldsmobile Cutlass
- Edsel Corsair
- Buick LeSabre (particularly well-suited to French pirates)
- Schwinn Sting-Ray
- Plymouth Barracuda
- Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle
YO-HO-HO AND A BOTTLE OF ...
... rum. While we're sure there are some teetotaling buccaneers out there, the traditional beverage of choice for pirates has always been rum. Some may swig it straight, but the more sophisticated swashbuckler knows that a cocktail beats a belt from the bottle every time. Here are a couple of pirate faves:
One shot dark rum
One teaspoon brown sugar
One tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
Blend rum, sugar, lime juice and hot water together. Garnish with the cinnamon stick and cloves. Great for an evening when the seas are stormy.
Two ounces orange juice
Two ounces pineapple juice
Two ounces lime juice
One shot white rum
One shot amber rum
One teaspoon grenadine
Mix ingredients, shake and serve over ice. For a truly serious pirate punch, try pouring a shot of fortified Jamaican rum over the works.
Becoming a pirate means giving up your given name. Nobody named Mike Smith ever sailed the Spanish Main. Like a superhero or stripper, a pirate needs a moniker with moxie. Historically, these names were derived from physical features or personality traits - Blackbeard and Blind Pew come to mind - but technology has made life a little easier. Though there is a variety of pirate name generators available on the Internet, the crew on the Good Ship Applause prefers one found at www.fidius.org/quiz/pirate.
Whether it's a bawdy sea chanty or a rousing Hollywood score, pirating long has been associated with songs that get the peg leg tapping. Here's a mix of music appropriate for contemporary pirates:
- Steve Malkmus - The Hook
- Jimmy Buffet - A Pirate Looks at Forty
- The Hellblinki Sextet - Yo Ho Yo Ho
- AC/DC - Back in Black
- Styx - Jonas Psalter
- Roger McGuinn - Jolly Roger
- Gilbert and Sullivan - Oh, Better Far to Live and Die (The Pirate King Song) from The Pirates of Penzance
- The Decemberists - Mariner's Revenge Song
- Ray Stevens - The Pirate Song
- Bob Marley - Don't Rock the Boat
- Anything by Black Flag
Yes I am a pirate, two hundred years too late The cannons don't thunder, there's nothin' to plunder I'm an over-forty victim of fate Arriving too late, arriving too late
- Jimmy Buffett,
A Pirate Looks at Forty
For as long as privateers have plied their trade on the open seas, they have been accompanied by animal companions. Selecting the right pirate pet takes some real thought. Not only do they need to be immune to the discomforts of seasickness but they also have a little cconnection with the crew. Here's a look at what's appropriate and, more tellingly, what isn't.
A scurvy sea dog
A hamster named Mr. Rollo
ON THE WELL-HEELED BUCCANEER'S BEDSIDE TABLE
The image of a pirate settling down with spectacles and a good book might seem at odds with the all-adventure, all-the-time image that has developed around the lifestyle, but sometimes those sea voyages can be long. Here are a few pirate-library classics:
Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
Under the Black Flag: The Romance and Reality of Life Among the Pirates - David Cordingly
Blackbeard: America's Most Notorious Pirate - Angus Konstam
The Pyrates - George MacDonald Fraser
Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (Again, those sea voyages can get pretty boring.)
-Raleigh News & Observer