Review: The Pirate Life

Rating: ★★★½☆
The Pirate Life: Unleashing Your Inner Buccaneer
by John ‘Ol’ Chumbucket’ Baur and Mark ‘Cap’n Slappy’ Summers

My sister-in-law is a nurse. For those of you readers who prefer visuals to help in all matters, she’s the redhead posing on the Bilgemunky Swag page. But do bear in mind that if you just now went to the swag page to sneak a peak, you’re morally obligated to buy a shirt. I’m just sayin’.

Anyways, my sister-in-law is a nurse. And the problem with nurses in the family is they have this thing – it’s called “wellness.” The concept behind wellness is that you’re supposed to think about your health all the time. You’re supposed to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and try not to put any crap into your system – i.e. anything fun. Proponents of wellness fail to grasp that the whole point of an annual checkup is so that you don’t have to think about these things the other 364 days of the year. It seems these people think that getting poked and prodded by someone with an “M.D” after their name one day each year is no longer enough, and that all matters regarding our health should somehow infiltrate the rest of our lives. It’s a right crying shame, if you ask me.

Which brings us to The Pirate Guys. They did a good thing, and none can dispute (and those that do won’t be long of this world), in bringing us Talk Like a Pirate Day each September 19th. But much like the nurses who’ve forgotten the points of annual checkups, priests who’ve forgotten the point of confession, and the green movement, The Pirate Guys now seem to think talking like a pirate one day a year is no longer enough, and that it’s now time we begin to eat like pirates, date like pirates, exercise like pirates, vote like pirates, and so forth.

Actually, I shouldn’t be so cynical. Because unlike eating fresh vegetables, avoiding playful spaniard-gutting, or re-using your toilet-paper, acting like a pirate 24/7 might actually make the world a better place. And if not, it will at least make it a lot more fun. And fun, of course, is at the heart of The Pirate Life. From the restructuring of the food triangle into the “Perverted Polygon of Piratical Provender” to psycological explanations of how to become “piractualized”, it’s first and formost all about having a good, swashbuckling time.

Like The Pirate Guys’ previous works, The Pirate Life is sometimes clever, sometimes goofy, sometimes right-on-the-mark, and occasionally in left field (I mean, there’s no way that a non-pirattitudely-enfused teen skateboarder is on the same level of coolness as a pirattitudely-enfused ninja assassin. If such a being were scientifically possible, which it’s not, it would blow an average teen skateboarder out of orbit.) Most of the chapters stick with the “self-help” sort of format, while at other times it’s more about observing common realities of life through a pirate lense. And just occasionally, it strays into odd but humorous tangents, like when The Pirate Guys delve into what sort of television shows they’d create if given the opportunity. Such excursions can be amusing, but really – what are we supposed to learn from this? How is it in any way preparing us for a piratically-driven life? But soon enough the course is corrected and the book returns to more helpful topics such as the evaluation of one’s own stench, or scaring your daughter’s suitors with a pitchfork.

The Pirate Guys’ prior book, Pirattitude, was geared towards the overt aspects of being a pirate – talking, dressing, and knowing your pirate zodiac sign. This book takes the next step and examines the finer details of incorporating piracy into the daily practice of your being. And while I fear the idea of a third book with naught left to explore but the dubious concept of pirate nirvana, these first two works are definite must-haves for any working-joe-sixpack who wishes to transition his or her typically dull life into one of high adventure and lighthearted roguery.

5 thoughts on “Review: The Pirate Life

  1. Sister-in-law? That means Bilge has munky siblings running a muck! Yaaaaaaaar it be an army that knows no match!

  2. You win Bilge. In all fairness I’ve seen the swag page before but fair is fair. Is it because we are pirates that you guilt us into buying your swag?


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