Wednesday, September 19, 2007


It's that time of year again ...

That's right, it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

I think the reason I like this day is that it's premise is so benign. No one is being an apologist for the social ills that created pirates or that the freebooters, and privateers engendered.

It is just what it says it is.

One of my internet friends, Mary Elizabeth Williams, announced the day on her blog, and invited those of us reading it to "Shake your booty accordingly." To which I had to respond ...

The large, burly, bearded man looked quizzically at the canvas-covered wooden sea-chest at his feet. He used the tip of his peg-leg to raise the thick lid. Inside he could see the gleam of doubloons, pieces of eight, Spanish dollars ... even the occasional sparkle of a gem.

He withdrew the peg letting the lid fall with a thump. He nudged the box. It didn't move. He leant down, grabbed the rope handles and heaved on them.

"Arrrrgh," he yelled painfully as several internal organs tried to displace themselves.

He stood, turned, and sat on the lid. He looked over at the beautiful woman, resplendent in her velvet Victorian gown.

"You'd best belay that order, Mary-Beth," he said. "I'm too old, my booty's too heavy, and if I try to shake it ... " he waved his peg, "I'll be shiverin' me timber."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Where's "intelligent design" when I need it?

You may be interested to know that I, like Dave Barry and Gene Weingarten, have an oosik. It is about 18" long excluding the half inch ivory caps on each end, and sits on my desk near the monitor.

I'm a little shy about showing it to you, but here's a link to an entry on Dave Barry's blog where you will find a picture of Gene holding his with a firm and proprietary grip.

There is a poem, unfortunately unattributed, that explains what an oosik is.


Strange things have been done in the Midnight Sun,
   and the story books are full---
But the strangest tale concerns the male,
   magnificent walrus bull!

I know it's rude, quite common and crude,
   Perhaps it is grossly unkind;
But with first glance at least, this bewhiskered beast,
   is as ugly in front as behind.

Look once again, take a second look -- then
   you'll see he's not ugly or vile --
There's a hint of a grin, in that blubbery chin --
   and the eyes have a shy secret smile.

How can this be, this clandestine glee
   that exudes from the walrus like music?
He knows, there inside, beneath blubber and hide
   lies a splendid contrivance -- the Oosik!

"Oosik" you say -- and quite well you may,
    I'll explain if you keep it between us;
In the simplest truth, though rather uncouth
   "Oosik" is, in fact, his penis!

Now the size alone of this walrus bone,
   would indeed arouse envious thinking --
It is also a fact, documented and backed,
   There is never a softening or shrinking!

This, then, is why the smile is so sly,
   the walrus is rightfully proud.
Though the climate is frigid, the walrus is rigid,
   Pray, why, is not man so endowed?

Added to this, is a smile you might miss ---
   Though the bull is entitled to bow --
The one to out-smile our bull by a mile
    is the satisfied walrus cow!


It's interesting to imagine how much the spam in my email would abate if humans had been designed with oosiks.