I am completely fascinated with a bit of news I actually ran across yesterday on CNN.
"Pirates Seize French Cruise Ship"
Pirates? We still have PIRATES? How can we have pirates? In the first place, I thought Johnny Depp was somewhere else shooting a movie. How would you have piracy going on without him?
Secondly, I was completely unaware of any pirate ships still around - you know, with all those neat sails and a real crows-nest and lots and lots of rigging for poor downtrodden cabin boys to swarm up. All I ever see on the Hudson are garbage scows, water taxis, and those freakin' gi-normous cruise ships that look like they have more than enough room for, say, the entire population of Enid, Oklahoma. (Hmmm. Has anyone been to Enid, Oklahoma recently? Does it still HAVE a population? I mean, if I lived in Enid, Oklahoma, I'd think moving to a cruise ship was an extremely excellent idea.) (One of the nice things about currently having a fairly limited audience for these ramblings is that I can be just about positive that I'm not going to get nasty comments from Enid, Oklahoma telling me all about their vital cultural institutions. Even though I'm sure they have a very fine community theatre group.)
And what do you do with the ship after you've seized it? I mean, what do the pirates want the cruise ship for? Parts? There weren't even any passengers on it - you know, with all that jewelry to wear to dinner in first class. Maybe the pirates are really tired of beef jerky and hardtack biscuits and wanted the chef. That would make sense. If I was forced to eat beef jerky and hardtack biscuits at every meal, I'd certainly want a cruise ship chef. (It's becoming very clear that I have seen all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies and read Treasure Island as a child, isn't it? Hey, I know my pirates.)
And one more question comes to mind. How do you get on a cruise ship if you're a pirate? Everybody knows that when a pirate ship takes another ship, they climb up all those ratlines. Since all ships are computer powered these days - wirelessly, one would assume, on account of I can't quite see them being plugged into anything on the ocean except maybe electric eels (you may perhaps be getting an idea here of what happens when anybody tries to explain something technical to me, and you would be absolutely right) - there aren't any of those handy ropes hanging around for the pirates to climb.
Call me confused - but I'm still thrilled to know that when every New York street has turned into a blurred blend of bank, Starbucks, Gap, Old Navy, bank, Starbucks, Gap, Old Navy, Duane Reade, bank, Starbucks...well, hell, we've still got PIRATES! Cool.