This essay was written after my last trip to Pirates (in March). Knowing the changes that were coming...
I want to preface this essay by saying I am a great fan of the movie Pirates of the Carribean, and I have nothing but excitement in regards to the new changes to the ride. I just wanted to give a little tribute to a hard working Pirate.
Aye…I recall the day as if it were yesterday. April 19, 1967. I was given command of me first sloop, and she was a beauty. The Wicked Wench we called ‘er and she was a magnificent vessel. Fast she was, and as deadly with her guns as any ship that ever sailed. I knew my purpose on this here earth and as Gracey is my witness, I flew the colors of the Jolly Roger proudly since day one.
Can an Audio-Animatronic Pirate use a gold watch?
What do you give a retiring robotic pirate?
Oh how I set to work at once. From me first memory of being on ‘er deck, I knew of me goal. The lure of a fabled horde of treasure, the likes of which no man has laid eyes on, was our prize. Me crew (loyal cutthroats one and all) and I were all set to sack a small coastal town in the Caribbean were the secret of the treasure was rumored to be. One of them ‘town elders’ or perhaps even the mayor himself, knew the secret to finding the treasure, and we be aiming to make ‘em talk! Open the rum boys! Prep the cannons! There be squalls ahead!
We set to breaking their defenses…firing volley after volley at the stone wall that surrounded the blasted town. They fired back, with cannons of their own and we took hits. We fired again, and again, and they returned fire. I stood on the deck of the Wicked Wench (were I usually found myself, were I always was) shouting with all my strength, vowing to blast the town to pieces if they did not submit!
“Strike yer colors ya blooming cockroachers!” “Pound ‘em lads! Pound ‘em!”
On and on the melee raged, but it seemed as though we were just not getting anywhere. Our cannons seemed to have no lasting effect, and the town soldiers taunted back, “We’re going to sink your stinkin’ ship!”
They didn’t though. Their cannons be as ineffective as ours! I watched as our red cannonballs cooled with a splash in the water around the town, I relished the sound of the wizzing of the hot iron, and the smoke of battle. But the town be a tough one, er to be sure.
After about a month or so of hard fighting, I started to notice the little boats below.
Directly underneath me, and between us and our intended targets, there be little boats floating peacefully by…little boats filled with scurvy land-lubbers, men who looked as though they hadn’t ever seen the deck of a ship, wenches dressed in tarted-up finery and little barnacles too. Lots of wee little ones. I started noticing whole families, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and more, all floating by and staring at me with smiles. A bloomin’ parade of people floating peacefully by in the middle of me battle!
“Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s life for me!”
Indeed, this was my life, the pirate’s life and I lived it with ever fiber of me being. I shouted at the town wall, ordered my cannons to fire...bellowed at my men (loyal cutthroats all) and gestured threateningly.
I waved my cutlass and grimaced with fury, from time to time glancing down and affording a sly wink to the little boats below.
Ya see mateys, I began to love seeing the faces on the little boats. I couldn’t wait until they started by watching me in all me fury. I was putting on a grand show, and by Davey Jones, I loved it. I could see the joy I was a-bringing. I could feel the excitement from the boat people and (while it’s not in the Pirate code) I started to love my position in my never-ending attack. I truly never wanted it to end.
For almost 40 years now, I’ve stood on the deck of The Wicked Wench, eternally battling the town across the bay. Firing volley after volley, “Give ‘em a broadside!” and threatening the town.
I gave me all…I was a pirate through and through and as Walt is my witness, I never tired of my post. Never.
As long as I was the Captain of the Wicked Wench me heart and soul was dedicated to firing upon that town, and making the passengers on the little boats watch, smile and gasp in wide-eyed wonder.
But then one day everything stopped moving and the world was cracked open by the hands of the most powerful crew ever to appear in the Caribbean, The dreaded Imagineers. So powerful were these fabled devils, (these masters of reality) that man and beast succumbed with silence and stillness at their approach. I shuddered as I watched the very ocean water beneath me drain away as if by the hand of the eternal Marc Davis of the sea…I watched as the strangers, the Imagineers, began to destroy everything I knew.
My boat, my freedom, my beautiful Wicked Wench, was taken away by these demon marauders. I watched with mute horror as they boarded my baby and began to make changes.
Then the cruelest cut of all. I was handled and removed! My gut-wrenched as a great secret was revealed to me… I HAD NO LEGS!! None at all! Should I live to be a thousand, I will never find the noise to express my despair at the concept. I had no sea legs, aye… I had no legs at all.
I was carried by the Imagineers to a large open area and there, laid carefully down. For the first time in almost 40 years, my view had changed. As terrifying as it was, I was strangely excited, and waited for what was to be coming next.
Aye, I discovered that I was not to return to me ship…or any ship. My days as a Captain of me own vessel was at an end. A Captain Barbossa had somehow usurped me standing and had taken control of my crew (back-stabbing cutthroats all).
My view now is dark…and blurred beneath a sheet of clear material…a wrap of sorts that I’ve been placed in. I prayed that one of the Imagineers would at least have the decency to drive a cutlass into my heart and leave me to die with a Pirate’s pride. Alas. I lay here, legless and alone.
But mateys, I’ll let you all in on a little secret…I can still hear ‘em. Aye, Tis true. I can hear my mates a singing, I can hear the town a-burning, the cannons firing, the water splashing and I KNOW there are little boats sailing by, filled with families, men, women and children, (little barnacles) all smiling, staring and gasping at wide-eyed wonder. It’s all burned into me very being. Etched forever in me soul. Me heart swells at these glorious memory and if one of them wicked Imagineers should ever bother to look…and look carefully at me face, the face of a legless Pirate who for almost forty years commanded the most deadly vessel ever to set sail on the high seas…if they looked, they’d see very real tears.
Aye it’s a Pirates life indeed.