Review: Gus Openshaw’s Whale Killing Journal

Rating: ★★★½☆
Gus Openshaw’s Whale Killing Journal
by Keith Thomson

If you read only one happy-go-lucky account of whale slaughter this year…

Gus Openshaw is just your average joe, seeking to make a life with his wife and new son. When his plans are thwarted by an angry whale (who swallows his family whole, along with Gus’s right arm), Gus must find a way to make that all-too-common transition from humble catfood cannery worker into whale hunting avenger. This is easier said than done, especially considering that in these kinder, gentler days whale killing is generally frowned upon. One is certain to become entangled in all sorts of legal fiascos. But that’s only the beginning – mutinous crews, renegade princesses, foreign navies, discount arms dealers, and (of course) pirates all serve to make Gus’ adventures a sight more interesting than he’d like. Continue reading

Review: Pegleg Tango

Rating: ★★½☆☆
Captain Bogg and Salty

 Buy the CD
Genre: Original pirate songs and tunes.
Rating: G
Target Audience: All Ages.

Captain Bogg & Salty’s first album, Bedtime Stories for Pirates, is without a doubt one of the finest pirate albums ever made. It’s silly enough to entertain the young, yet clever enough for the old. But what I like best about it is that you don’t need to listen to the lyrics to know that the songs are a) piratey and b) funny. It spews pirates and laughs from its very core, and thus induces me now and then to dance about the living room whilst flailing my cutlass in meriment (a practice for which my son has scolded me.) Continue reading

Review: The Pirates! In an Adventure with Ahab

Rating: ★★★★☆
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Ahab
by Gideon Defoe

Back in the charming days of yesteryear (I think it was 2004), Gideon Defoe took the literary world by storm with his groundbreaking novelette, “The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists.” Never before had the gritty world of pirates been so vividly realized, complete with the utmost attention to both historical accuracy and poetic beauty.

I am, of course, full of it.

Like its predecessor, Defoe’s second work, “The Pirates! In an Adventure with Ahab” is sure to throw humorless historians into a tissy. But for the rest of us, it’s another wonderfully demented bit of comedic genius. Once again we’re invited to follow the adventures of a hapless crew of no-name pirates (“The Pirate Captain”, “The Pirate with a Scarf”, “The Pirate Who was Good at Math” and such), this time as they seek a way – any way – to gather the needed money to pay off a debt to the most dangerous of villians, Cutlass Liz. They attempt to gain said loot through a range of efforts, from improv-theater to whaling to out-right pirating. Continue reading

Review: Pirattitude

Rating: ★★★★☆
Pirattitude: So You Wanna Be a Pirate? Here’s How!

by John ‘Ol’ Chumbucket’ Baur and Mark ‘Cap’n Slappy’ Summers

Upon creating a major national holiday, most folks would figure they’ve done their bit for king and country and rest a while. But rest just isn’t in the Pirate Guys’ vocabulary. Since creating International Talk Like a Pirate Day (actually, one could argue International Talk Like a Pirate Day actually created the Pirate Guys, as before that moment, they were just guys), John “Ol’ Chumbucket” Baur and Mark “Cap’n Slappy” Summers have traveled the nation sharing pirate wisdom, written a comprehensive book on the subject (Well Blow Me Down!) and NOW they’ve gone and written yet another masterpiece, Pirattitude! Continue reading

Review: Well Blow Me Down!

Rating: ★★★★½
Well Blow Me Down! A Guy’s Guide to Talking Like a Pirate
by John ‘Ol’ Chumbucket’ Baur and Mark ‘Cap’n Slappy’ Summers

Where to even begin with a book like this? Well, I suppose I should mention it’s not even a book, really. Sure, it has words and pages, a cover with fun artwork, and even its own Library of Congress number. But still, it isn’t a book – it’s a focal point, a nexus, a singular compilation of all the history, wit, and wisdom that went into the creation of Talk Like a Pirate Day. The authors, as you know (or at least you should), are the co-creators of said holiday, and we all owe them a debt of grattitude. Johnny Depp may have brought pirates to the forefront of popular culture, but it was Cap’n Slappy and Chumbucket that gave us an outlet for the pirate hiding within us all – an excuse to get gussied up once a year and yell “Arrrrr!”

Newcomers to Talk Like a Pirate Day will find this book wonderfully entertaining and informative. The authors delve into the hows and whys of their unusual holiday, complete with a mini-dictionary, Talk Like a Pirate Day tips for various situations (clubs, work, church…), Continue reading

Review: The Pirate Movie

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Oddness compounded with oddness is the order of the day with this painfully 80’s pop-culture pirate flick (and I say that with nothing but love for the 80’s.) Based on the Pirates of Penzance, we follow the adventures of Frederic (Christopher Atkins) and Mabel (Kristi McNichol) – Frederic as he tries to escape his pirate foster-family, and Mabel as she tries to concoct a scheme to marry off her dozen or so older sisters, thus freeing herself to marry Frederic. It sounds simple enough, but their plans are consistently stalled by a relentless barrage of keystone cops, cartoon fish, and ruby-red codpieces. Dated pop-culture references abound, including an Indiana Jones “cameo,” and even a blatant nod at Star Wars as Frederic uses the force to levitate his glowing green light-rapier (no, I’m not kidding.) The opening sequence, featuring an 80’s style pirate rock song paired with visuals from a classic pirate film(The Black Swan, if rumor serves,) might lead you to believe this will actually be a decent film, but Atkins’ stilted acting, McNichol’s mullet, and a virtual blitzkreig of sexual innuendo delivered with all the taste and subtlety of your average 12-year old will quickly convince you otherwise. Continue reading

The Devil Wore Purple Plunder Pants – Chapter 5

excerpt from
“The Devil Wore Purple Plunder-Pants”
an upcoming romance novel from Bilgemunky Press

note: The following story and characters are works of fiction. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, and especially any resemblance to Keira Knightly, super sexy star of Pirates of the Caribbean, is entirely coincidental.

Chapter 5 – Inside the Contessa’s Chamber

Bam! Crash! Strangle! Boom!

The Contessa de Salma tightly clenched a stiletto to her silky bosom as she stared at her bedchamber door with an intensity that would surely whither the spine of even the most courageous of men. Unfortunately for her, it was no mere man that currently decimated her soldiers in the hallway – it was a demon of the sea, a mad beast driven by love and rage – love for his beloved Keira Knightly, who had looked really hot in that red dress in Pirates of the Caribbean, and rage at having had her torn from his mighty arms by the dastardly Don Squishy, scourge of four out of five Great Lakes. Continue reading

Review: Bedtime Stories for Pirates

Rating: ★★★★★
Captain Bogg and Salty

Buy the CD
Genre: Original pirate songs and tunes.
Rating: G
Target Audience: Kids, but HIGHLY recommended for all ages

Usually when someone makes a sing-a-long pirate album you get the distinct impression it was made by children’s entertainers trying their best to pretend at being pirates. As such, its appeal tends to be very limited. Continue reading

Review: The Pyrates

Rating: ★★★★★
The Pyrates
by George MacDonald Fraser

Now here’s a gem that’s escaped my notice for far too long. First published in 1983, The Pyrates is certainly as fresh and witty today as it was back then. Taking place in a non-specific part of the Golden Age of Piracy, the tale ranges from England to Madagascar to the Caribbean, and features the wildest cast imaginable. The characters are highly (and intentionally) stereotyped, and this is put to great comedic use. The hero, Captain Ben Avery, is brave, dashing, and impeccable in every fashion. The author makes frequent mention of his manicured nails and chisled jawline. Indeed, Avery seems perfect in every fashion, so it should naturally follow that every woman in the book swoons after him, be they admiral’s daughter, pirate queen, Spanish maiden, or missionary nun turned tribal goddess and chocolate addict. Whatever their role in this book, each of these women share one thing in common (aside from their lust for Captain Avery, that is) – each is heart-wrenchingly gorgeous, and each knows how to play that to maximum effect. They pout when they need to pout, scream appropriately when a damsel-in-distress scenario is called for, and slump to the ground to lie in a vulnerable-yet-alluring position when knocked out cold by the bad guys. Continue reading