Friday, 26 August 2005
Bad News
Sadly, the crime of piracy has taken hold of readers’ fancies. If you can bear it, see the article about that in today’s New York Times. The article discusses my book Pirates of Pensacola and a handful of others.

Speaking of that remnant of my shameful alleged criminal past, the hardcover run is all but exhausted, thank the stars. They're selling the last few copies off on Amazon for just $9.58. Shippies, please buy the things and heave them overboard so as my name will no longer be associated with piracy and I can go on to be a philanthropist for women’s causes, especially the ones that throw decent parties.

P.S. This scrimshaw of Trish Cavendish is worth posting twice (for the fine artistship by Flarq the harpoonist):

Posted by Nelson Cooke at 12:58 PM ADT | Post Comment | View Comments (5165) | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 26 August 2005 7:21 PM ADT
Thursday, 4 August 2005
I Met A Guy
A funny thing happened to me when I was on vacation in Canada. I was hiking through the woods and moutains and I met this guy who said, "Money is the root of all evil."

I told him I disagreed. For instance--and I've just heard this--sometimes rum can be the root of evil.

He said, "I'll prove it to you."

How is he fixing to prove it? He gave me six crates that had a total of $28 million and change in gold ingots and said, "Now we'll see what happens, you hoser."

That's exactly how it went down.

So now I'm looking for a house in California. You'd be surprised what you have to settle for less than eight digits. Poolhouses w/o bedrooms or central a/c. Helipads with rust. There's always some hassle like that. Let me know if you know of anything, shipmates.

By the way, if you've dreamed of having a Rolls Royce all your life, let me tell you something: the way those things go through gas you better make sure your house has got a Texaco station too.

P.S. Please, whatever you do, don't buy this book or tell anyone about it. I'm trying to distance myself from my pirate associations in my past. I think I'd like to find work as a philanthropist. Let me know if you see any help wanted ads for that. I'm real interested in women's causes.

Posted by Nelson Cooke at 10:42 PM ADT | Post Comment | View Comments (9529) | Permalink
Updated: Thursday, 4 August 2005 10:59 PM ADT
Friday, 24 June 2005
Vacation Memo
I—Nelson Cooke the reformed pirate—’m weighing anchor for summer vacation. Some of you may have heard I’m planning to fly down to the Caribbean isle of St. Kitts, wrangle me a crew at that notorious pirate hangout, the Blowfish, use a fast boat to seize a nearly-as-fast superyacht, hit Dealer Dan’s Illegal Munitions Plus and outfit her with howitzers, then go after a cargo ship transporting silver ingots, among other stuff, to Argentina. These plans were posted on the internet by Stupid George. Well, George is—and I don’t expect this’ll shock anybody—wrong. He’s confusing fact with fiction—see, I write a book of pirate fiction. Also, George only read to page six (oddly, he started on page eight).

What I’m doing is this: I’m renting a secluded cabin in Canada, which, yeah, would be a really good alibi if I was going pirating, but I am not. I will in fact be going for hikes and stuff like that.

Happy sails to all of you, shipmates, and may your ’powder always stay dry.

P.S. Click this link for a swell summer piratic reading book if you miss me. Below is a scrimshaw of the Blowfish, a place I won’t be.

Posted by Nelson Cooke at 8:54 AM ADT | Post Comment | View Comments (6941) | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 24 June 2005 8:55 AM ADT
Monday, 20 June 2005
Thar she is, Miss Pyrat 2005
The Runners-Up (who become Miss Pyrat if the current Miss Pyrat gets killed) are 1. Bastardess and 2. Catalina Kate. The winner of the 2005 Miss Pyrat crown…

Trish Cavendish. Huzzah for Trish!

Trish hails from California. Trish’s interests include “reading, travel, and plundering Spanish merchantmen laden with gold,” though the last has been slow going of late. “I have been trying to find a good full-time pirate job, but haven’t had much luck as my resume has mostly office work.” If resumes included pictures that’d be another story. Trish’s skills include poetry and being the subject of a scrimshaw.

Nelson by Miss Pyrat 2005 Trish Cavendish

There once was a pyrat named Cooke
Who hired a stooge to help write his book.
The crew also had Flarq the harpooner,
Who doubled as scrimshawer and cartooner
And George, who served as ship’s shnook

pirate mythtory part 1 by Miss Pyrat 2005 Runner-Up Bastardess

Hale! All ye pirates, blargmates and brigands I have a story to tell of fine lands. This yarn is rich with ancient lore and dates back to the beginning of pirate history when even Christ himself was not yet a man.

Though commonly perceived as thieving, unscrupulous drunkards manning treacherous ships at sea, pirates are also great men of adventure, bravery and uncommon wisdom. They are revolutionaries, rebels, leaders, independent thinkers and above all nonconformists. The annals of piracy, mythology, and mankind itself will attest.

Odysseus, the great King of Ithaca is a fine example of this type of pirate. A swashbuckler so brilliant he managed to outwit death, and Hades, king of the underworld. Ulysses, as he was also known was, like any good pirate king, a military strategist. He earned his first pirate stripe when he masterminded the Trojan horse and thus made the Greek siege of Troy possible. He cemented his title after ten years at the helm, banished by Poseidon to endure his great odyssey, as portrayed by Homer. Forced to visit many a strange land and faced with cannibals, witches, sirens and nymphs, Odysseus became a great hero by demonstrating his courage, strength and honour throughout his journey.

Bran, the prince of Irish mythology, back in the eight century BC set sail to the Island of Joy and the Land of Women. Bran sought for centuries, but when he and his men tired and were ready to go home they were warned that if they set foot on Irish shore they would age accordingly and turn to dust. With proof of this grim fate, and no chance of returning to human society, Bran set off to find a place where misery, sickness and death were unknown. The Voyage of Bran is pre-dated by the tale of Maeldun who sets out to find his father?s killers and avenge his death. Blown off course by a storm Maeldun visits islands inhabited by strange creatures and is witness to bizarre natural phenomena. After bathing in a natural lake his youth is renewed and upon finding his father?s killers grants them clemency.

It is through such adventures, and by the integrity of their approach to these challenges that brave men become heroes. These leaders, to whom we once turned for guidance, have now themselves joined the pantheon of the gods as imparters of wisdom and truth. Piracy, it would seem, is synonymous with the quest. And of course no decent buccaneer would purport to be one without a plan to discover the uncharted world, and the treasure that lies beyond the boundary of what is commonly accepted.

P.S. Want to be Miss Pyrat 2006? Get some tips from this book.

Posted by Nelson Cooke at 12:01 AM ADT | Post Comment | View Comments (8900) | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 21 June 2005 11:10 AM ADT
Thursday, 16 June 2005
Today, the actual, historical pirate anthem. We didn't make any of it up, no rum was involved, nothing like that:

To the mast nail our flag it is dark as the grave,
Or the death which it bears while it sweeps o'er the wave;
Let our deck clear for action, our guns be prepared;
Be the boarding-axe sharpened, the scimetar bared:
Set the canisters ready, and then bring to me,
For the last of my duties, the powder-room key.
It shall never be lowered, the black flag we bear;
If the sea be denied us, we sweep through the air.
Unshared have we left our last victory's prey;
It is mine to divide it, and yours to obey:
There are shawls that might suit a sultana's white neck,
And pearls that are fair as the arms they will deck;
There are flasks which, unseal them, the air will disclose
Diametta's fair summers, the home of the rose.
I claim not a portion: I ask but as mine--
'Tis to drink to our victory--one cup of red wine.
Some fight, 'tis for riches--some fight, 'tis for fame:
The first I despise, and the last is a name.
I fight, 'tis for vengeance! I love to see flow,
At the stroke of my sabre, the life of my foe.
I strike for the memory of long-vanished years;
I only shed blood where another shed tears,
I come, as the lightning comes red from above,
O'er the race that I loathe, to the battle I love.

P.S. Click here for a novel in which this song gets sung, sort of (rum is involved).

P.P.S. Got a pirate song of your own? Wanna make one up? Send it on it to

Posted by Nelson Cooke at 12:01 AM ADT | Post Comment | View Comments (16242) | Permalink
Updated: Thursday, 16 June 2005 7:59 PM ADT
Friday, 10 June 2005
Dead Pirate of the Week: Calico Jack
One of the most famous pirates of the 18th Century was a handsome, rich daredevil named John Rackham, but known worldwide as “Calico Jack.” Why? The material of his shirts of all things. Calico sailcloth.

During a brief—four years—run--he and his crew were in league leaders in plunder and havoc in the Caribbean and the West Indies.
His greatest prize was the hand of the notorious female pirate Anne Bonny (along with Ching Shih, one of the three well-known women on the account—the third being Mary Reade), whose great beauty was surpassed by her courage.

On their honeymoon, Jack and Anne were attacked by an armed sloop which had been sent after them by the Governor of Jamaica. Anne drew her sword and fought gallantly. To her mortification, her new husband hid below deck. She managed to avoid capture. He did not. On the day he was to be executed in 1720, Calico Jack obtained the right to a farewell meeting with his wife. She didn’t show. All he got was an unsympathetic note in which she wrote:

“If ye’d fought like a man, ye need not have been hang’d like a dog.”

Our regular scrimshaw guy Flarq is off at his Harpooners’ Club Dagger Fight and Pizza Night, so I’ve got to post this old illustration of Jack.

P.S. A descendant of Jack’s is a prominent character in the book "Pirates of Pensacola". Do you know who, and why he doesn’t wear calico shirts?

P.P.S. Bard Sinisters?s right answer to the sneakyratbastard trivia quiz quesstion #7: What are the Seven Seas: The "Seven Seas" is a term used for all of the oceans of the world. Pirates really only stuck to the traditional Seven Seas in the early days. Also pirates are no good at mapography and are seldom sober enough (assuming they know how at all) to count past seven.

Posted by Nelson Cooke at 12:01 AM ADT | Post Comment | View Comments (6092) | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 10 June 2005 1:25 AM ADT
Tuesday, 7 June 2005
You're Invited To Join a Cult
Our shipmates at Tripod have started a new reading-and-writing-orientated online club called Book Cult. You get to meet authors every month, hear their yarns, and ask them questions, try to convince them to invest in your brother-in-law’s invention, stuff like that. Plus there’s contests almost as good as the Miss Pyrat Pageant.

The Book Cult’s first author is none other than my writing stooge, Keith Thomson. The action’s going down at and I think you’ll dig it. Just a reminder: I, Nelson Cooke really wrote the novel Pirates of Pensacola, but needed a writer-type-guy to help with grammar and serve as a front man as I’m still wanted by the law for a trumped-up charge or three. But that business is between us, of course, so please play along with Keith.

Today?s scrimshaw by Flarq ought to have been of Keith, but I decided this entry’d work better with another look at Miss Pyrat 2005 contestant Deb.

Posted by Nelson Cooke at 12:01 AM ADT | Post Comment | View Comments (4252) | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 7 June 2005 12:42 PM ADT
Monday, 6 June 2005
Call Me Captain Trivia
Shipmates, I want to get accepted into this one pirate writers’ club—not to hit on the lovely women there, but to have frank discourses about literature with them. Below are some of the questions from the application. It’s not that I didn’t know the answers or anything. I just thought some of them would make a fun game for you, my online shipmates. So the first of you to send me the correct answers to the questions below wins a super-special color scrimshaw by Flarq.

1. Who found the treasure in “Treasure Island”?
2. Why is Ben Franklin modern pirates’ favorite US President?
3. What was the name of Blackbeard’s last brig?
4. What was the reason pirates in olden days flew the flag of the hourglass?
5. What in the heck does then name “Jolly Roger” come from?
6. "Bud" is to "Budweiser" as "rum" is to _________?
7. What are the Seven Seas?

Type up your answers and send them to me at Runners-Up will win beer.

Word has it you can find some clues here.

UPDATE 6/7 or whatever today is: The fair Bard Sinister was the first to answer all seven of these questions right. She was also the only one to get #7 right. Details to follow. See if you can be like Bard and figure out #7 the meantime. Hint: Who the heck said anything about the Ancient World?

Posted by Nelson Cooke at 10:43 PM ADT | Post Comment | View Comments (6949) | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 7 June 2005 5:46 PM ADT
Friday, 3 June 2005
Stooge News
As you probably know, I, Nelson Cooke the pirate really wrote the novel Pirates of Pensacola, but needed a writer-type-guy to help with grammer and minor stuff like that, plus serve as a front man as I’m still wanted by the law for a trumped-up charge or three.

Now, assuming the pirates there don’t use the poor writerly bastard as a cannon target, the stooge will be signing copies of the book this Saturday, June 4th, in the market area at the Blackbeard Festival in Hampton in some place in the state of Virginia (now what in the heck is the origin of the name of that state?!).

P.S.: Some old thoughts the Blackbeard Festival.

P.P.S: This here?s not a scrimshaw of Blackbeard. Flarq, our regular scrimshaw guy, is out whaling. We do have a file scrimshaw of a bloak with a black beard. It?ll just have to do:

Posted by Nelson Cooke at 12:01 AM ADT | Post Comment | View Comments (4513) | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 3 June 2005 12:38 AM ADT
Wednesday, 1 June 2005
Thanks to Capt. Petunia for this informative piece for pirate monkeys and aspiring pirate monkeys among our readers...

If you're going to be a pirate monkey, you'll need to know how to fight like one. Pirate monkeys usually try to avoid physical confrontation, instead choosing to intimidate their opponents with devastatingly witty insults or with booger jokes, depending on the intellectual level of the individual pirate monkey. In case you do find yourself in a street brawl, here are some handy tips:

1. Never fight fair.
2. If your opponent thinks they've won and turns around to leave, get up and kick them in the butt. Then run away.
3. Keep some extra weapons concealed on your body - for example, a dagger in your boot or a flamethrower in your hat.
4. Have some accomplices standing by in case the fight isn't going your way.

Here is what to do if you get into various sticky situations.

P.S. Click here for a novel about (non-monkey) pirates.

Posted by Nelson Cooke at 12:01 AM ADT | Post Comment | View Comments (10206) | Permalink
Updated: Thursday, 2 June 2005 11:30 AM ADT

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