Posted by: Blue Lou Logan | December 13, 2011

The Pirates of Christmas


Tell me where my show is, so that I may shoot it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011.  It is a misty day in Seattle, worthy of Scotland.  The CWB, NW Seaport, and others have put together a holiday event with a maritime feel called Cookies, Crafts, and Carols.  In the Center’s Boat House, there are cards to make and cookies to decorate.  On the bottom deck of the Virginia V, our good man from Farm Boat has a few crates of winter crops, while above there is hot chocolate and a space for music.  Nearby, the Adventuress adds some tall ship flavor.  I have been called to make the usual story time piratical, cuz what quite says Christmas cheer like tales of brutal broadsides?

Scene of the action

It’s a loose gathering.  When we get there, there’s no main sense of organization–no schedule, pamphlets only available an hour into the event.  I am there with Zanne, my “captive” in her ‘royal’ costume as “Lady Pennyroyal,” and revealed handsome cabin boy “Button” Bev, in largely improvised garb except for the bodice custom-fitted (via duct tape) by Zanne.  My first task is to simply figure out what in tarnation I’m doing.  All the signs (literally, signs) point to my usual venue, the Arthur Foss, but the volunteer nominally in command in the galley has no clue of when or where.  She SAYS I am a more likely the captain of the boat…conquered without a shot fired, as it should be!  I am wondering, however, how I can coax any audience outside in this weather.  I’m sent in search of the inevitable Eldon Tam for direction, but he’s nowhere to be found.  While I’m chasing a chain of command that does not in fact exist, Zanne starts mingling.  Bev is entertained but cold.

Teamwork

After a hot coffee, one small nip of Gosling’s from my flask, and a lot of directionless running around, my crew and I land at the boathouse, and the strategy becomes natural.  Same as it ever was:  Play the crowd, drum support.  I set my own time at 2:30.  Be there and spread the word!  Now I’m back in the groove:  First ye scare ’em, then ye get down on their level, then ye speak in subtle tones, and then they’re entranced into service.  Glass-bottomed tankards couldn’t stop this press gang.  Or would that be glass-bottomed sippy cups?

The pirate and his daughter

There isn’t much to storm.  All I do is get up from our table at the Boathouse and make a short ruckus, and suddenly I’m the Pied Pirate once again.  Zanne keeps the procession moving, while Bev goes ahead.  There are too many of ’em to squish into the Foss’ galley, so it’s onto the aft deck again, wet be damned.

‘Ello up there!

I ask the crowd what they want first, Blackbeard or Santa Claus.  The call for Teach is universal, so with nary a look at my usual book it’s burning fuses, Charleston, and the battle of Ocracoke.  Zanne plays foil and commentator–improvised banter that draws laughs from the adults.  Bev sits nearby or stands in back, somewhere between sentry and part of the audience.  It’s not my best version of the Blackbeard tale, but I’ve got support; it’s a fabulous team effort.  Then I lay on ’em “The Pirate’s Night Before Christmas.”  But I’m gonna be a tease here:  I’ll post that text soon, yaharr.

Then, costume and all, the three of us embark on a quest for an Outback Steakhouse, which oddly takes miles to find.  Supersized Snow Cap, quesadilla, and comedown.  Good show, mateys.

All the professional pictures here are courtesy of Mitch Reinitz at eMeLaR Photography.  Thanks, bro, great stuff.

And the Admirable behind (nice shot, eh?)
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