Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A brief history of pirates

In light of recent comments suggesting that I send all pirate-related comments down the gang plank, I thought it might be appropriate to elaborate on the history of pirates in The Chief's Corner. I'll probably regret this.

Pirates first invaded my blog in March of 2008. If you read comments, you've probably noticed that the pirate theme seems to surface every now and then--often from left field. It's annoyingly sophomoric, and I have been tempted on many occasions to exile the pirates. Just about the time I intend to do so, however, somebody will post one that is actually clever. A handful of these have been stupid enough to be in the same category as the The Naked Gun 2½: you don't want to laugh, you know you shouldn't, but you can't help it.

One pirate-poster in particular, whose blogger profile name is arrrrg!!!!, seems to be particularly adept at relating anything whatsoever to pirates. This guy could find a web link that somehow connects pirates to tennis, turtles, or tutus. You have to put up with a lot of mediocre to get to his (or her?) occasional gem, though.

Just where did all this start? I told the story back on May 13th, in response to a question from another reader. Here's the reprint of that exchange:
Anonymous said...

Please let the rest of us in on the pirate thing, I dont get it.

May 13, 2008 2:11 PM

Tom Casady said...

I'm not sure I understand it, either, but I know how it started. Back in March, I wrote a post, Testing the iCrime theory. The second comment was from a reader named Chris. He had posted a message on an Apple forum about my blog post. I checked the thread, and found that someone else had posted a link to a graph implying a relationship between global warming and the demise of pirates. The graph is making fun of the tendency of some research to confuse correlation with causation--sort of the same point I was making in my post.

From there, the pirate thing took on a life of its own. One or more regular readers of The Chief's Corner figured out a way to work pirates into about all of his, her, or their comments. The humor wore off a long time ago, but I have to admit that I was laughing out loud when I looked at the pirate keyboard somebody linked in their comment in Tulips up.

In summation, a rather sophisticated intellectual discussion about research methods devolved into moronic Junior High humor. Come to think of it, I'm not sure which is preferable.


Anonymous said...

Is that like launching water balloons off of parking garages?

Anonymous said...

That small pirate keyboard with the "avast" key was pure comedic genius. In any case, piracy, and I mean real on-the-water piracy, is a very real law enforcement concern in some areas; the Eastern coast of the African continent just off Somalia and the Strait of Malacca in the South China Sea are two of the hotspots.

Personally, I believe that these real-life sea pirates should all be fish food. This might be betraying my age, but here's an example of how we used to handle pirates back in the old days. Repel boarders! I'm too old for that kind of stuff anymore.

Anonymous said...

Or a window while directing traffic at a football game?

ARRRRG!!!! said...

I don't know whether this is a challenge or a set-up, but here goes.... 'This guy could find a web link that somehow connects pirates to tennis, turtles, or tutus.'

Really not all that difficult thanks to Google.

BTW, the Naked Gun series is one of my favorites.

Don't drink and drive.

Anonymous said...

Its safe to assume your pirate readers are boys. None of your female readers are that immature.

Anonymous said...


podunk said...

It might also be important to note that September 19th is International Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day.

You can read all about it here.

Anonymous said...

wow LPD just just crashed chasing a bicycle in high speed chase $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$4

Tom Casady said...


It was not water balloons, and the statute of limitations expired in 1979.


That is an absolutely, positvely false (but presitent) rumor. Never happened.

arrrrg!!! -

What took so long?

10:29 -

Stand by your news radio program for the rest of the story. Very nice police work.

Kendra said...

I think the whole "Pirate" thing may have stemmed from the "suspicious person" call that came in from Von Maur on 3-18-08. (A8-024715) A man came in to Von Maur with a large knife. After the tragedy at Von Maur in Omaha, everyone wanted to make sure that this wasn't a similar situation. I think somewhere on your blog after that event, someone was mentioning that LPD may have over-reacted, since the individual was simply walking through the store, holding the knife in his hand, not gripping it between his teeth and shouting "Arrgh!". I don't know for sure, but I remember reading something similar to this. Just food for thought. :)

Tom Casady said...


You've got a great memory. The pirate theme resurfaced in the comments for the second time on the day after the Von Maur incident, on March 19--in the comments, about 7 up from the bottom. But that was two weeks after the first invasion, on March 5, 2008.

Anonymous said...

to ANON 10:29-
You must be a sensationalist. A "HIGH SPEED CHASE" involving a bicycle..... I'm sure the "chase" reached breakneck speeds of 15 mph, thus endangering all creatures great and small. C'mon.... $$$$$$$$?????

Anonymous said...

It is more like "Ughh" than "Arrrrg" when another lame joke is posted.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

to anon 11:35 pm

Here's the sophomoric part.