Saturday, June 27, 2009

Was a Pirate’s life as Romantic as we believe?

Well, let’s start with their injury insurance program. What, you say? Pirates didn’t have insurance back then. Ah ha, but they did…not much of one, but they did. If a pirate lost his eye or a finger in battle, he would get an extra one hundred pieces of eight for the loss. But if you really wanted to make out with the insurance program – you had to lose your “right arm”. In doing so, you’d be compensated with a big whopping six hundred pieces of eight! Now that should last you a life time shouldn’t it?

Just so you know; a piece of eight was worth about one American dollar. They called it a piece of eight because an eight piece was worth eight reals. A reals is equal to about twelve and a half cents. You could cut this coin into eight pieces to make a reals, hence the name Piece of Eight.

If the pirate lost his right leg or left arm all he got was five hundred pieces of eight…now I don’t know about you guys…but I’m just as attached to my left arm as I am to my right. I wouldn’t be happy with this arrangement. Maybe that’s because I’m ambidextrous, so I would consider my left arm as priceless as my right one. I don’t know, but I sure wouldn’t be happy with only six hundred dollars compensation, so you can imagine how much screamin’ I’d be doin’ if the Captain offered me five. And I’d have to argue the worth of my right leg…I think it’s even more valuable than my right arm…I need legs to walk. I can manage with one arm but one leg…I don’t know about that. Have you ever tried your balance on a peg?

And get this! Your left leg was only worth four hundred pieces of eight! Man, they really had something against the left side of your body back then! Well, that got me curious Irish brain a thinkin’ and me research showed it was because the custom was “by law” you could only use your left hand to clean up “whip your butt” after the business…and since they didn’t believe in washing your hands afterwards, you weren’t allowed to eat with the left hand either. Nor were you allowed to talk or blow on hot soup at a dinner table because bad breath was offensive while others were trying to eat.
{8-O !!!

Not sure I’d want to eat after hearing this.

Most pirates suffered with Trench Mouth because they ate from wooden trenchers that were considered “washed” when you ran a piece of bread over the wood to clean off any residue seen to the eye. The unwashed wooden plates were then stacked until the next meal…during which time cockroaches and worms would have their dinner from the trenchers, leaving bacteria that caused Trench Mouth. Well, isn’t that nice!

Yeah, I’m going on a permanent diet! Especially after reading pirates usually ate very salty rancid meats and stale bread, which was so moldy it was slimy.

Isn’t that appetizing to think about? Who suggested I write this article…he should be flogged at this point!

When the preserved meats and bread became too uneatable, it is told they’d capture the rats scurrying aboard the ship and eat those. And on a good day, if you were lucky, the quartermaster of the ship would allow someone to fish for shark to eat….not bad when you think the shark really was the only food that was fresh and actually safe to eat.

But what I found most interesting is the role of the Captain…we’ve romanticized it so much, most of us believe his role was one of power and authority. It really wasn’t. The Captain of a pirate ship actually had fewer rights than his crew. Oh, he got the main stateroom to sleep in BUT his crew could come in there whenever they pleased, eat his food and drink his wine with few objections from the Captain. They could come in ranting and cussing at him and there was really little he could do about it….mutiny was always a danger waiting to happen and that was never a good thing for a Captain.

Really, the only time a Captain had any control of his crew was during a pursuit for bounty, running from attackers and while overtaking another ship. BUT BEWARE all that cussing at him in frustration and taking of the Captain’s food and wine during good times could come back at you.
During or after a battle the Captain could murder you. As long as he was smart enough to claim you had refuse to follow his orders. No crew member during times of attack, chase or defense, were allowed to disregard a Captain’s orders…if they did, the Captain had the power to shoot, stab, stake, or strike the offender.

The only other thing a Captain was actually in charge of was the fate of any captives. The captured ship and its contents were in the hands of the crew, not the Captain. Based on what I’ve researched, it would seem the Quartermaster had more power than a Captain. It was his job to settled arguments and take care of things on a daily basis. Hummmm, so why would anyone want to be a Captain of a pirate ship?

After thinking about all these true facts of a pirates life….would you really want to be a wench captured by a sexy…SEXY meaning, unwashed, trench mouthed, worm eating, sexually transmitted diseased ridden, usually poor, drunken, quarrelsome and powerless Captain of a pirate ship?

Ah…let me think on this…nope! No time warp jumping for me back to those days…I’m staying right here where I can romanticize a pirates life instead of giving the honest facts of their horrible existence. It makes me wonder how humanity survived long enough to make it into the future.

So, what say you? Do you want to be a pirate captured wench?
ROTFLOL – I can’t wait to hear these answers!

Hawk

15 comments:

Blodeuedd said...

Noooooooo!!!!
Keep those disgusting worm ridden pirates away from me.
I think that being rescued by a pirate would be one of the worst things to happen

great article!

Carol Henry said...

I love sailing. On cruise ships. Now those chaptains are worth sitting down to dinner with. As for Pirates? I'll keep the romantic fantasy alive and pretend I never read your post. Which was great, BTW. Thanks for giving us food (ugh) for thought.

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Hey Blodeuedd!

What? You don't like green teeth, bad breath guys breathing all over you?

ROTFLOL...I agree with you. I don't think I'd want to be captured by them and if I was I'd gladly walk the plank to escape, teeheehee, hopefully into the arms of one of Judi Fennell's white toothed mermans.
Everything they eat would be ocean fresh and naturally washed. LOL

hugs Hawk

Houston A.W. Knight said...

CAROL, hey my Sweetie!!!!

Thanks for letting me know I wrote whip instead of wipe...it was late when I wrote it and it got past me in the editing. :-( too late to change it, but I hope the girls will know what I meant.

I make this a public reply to a pivate e about this so that the correction is noted for the readers that are questioning my whip! LOL {;-) Thanks Carol

YES!!! I think all of us girl should pretend we didn't read (or write) this article about pirates...it has spoiled the romantic image of them for sure...some times research isn't such a good thing but I can't help myself...

I do know one thing, when the Gods tell me I have to reincarnate into another life....I won't being picking to come back as a pirate.

"Food" for thought!
{:-O ???
ROTFLOL {{{:-D You're so funny! Teehehehehehehe

Hugs
Hawk

Liza said...

I really think I need to read this article before each meal. I would seriously lose some weight. We have romanticized pirates for so long, but now I'm pretty sure I'll never look at Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow the same again.

BTW, I'm with Blodeuedd aobut keeping those disgusting worm ridden pirates away from me. Gross!

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Liza!

OMG...I didn't mean to be the cause of a major anorexia nervosa break out! {;-0 (((gulp)))

Oh no...poor Johnny Depp, and he was coming to dinner tonight. I thought I'd sit you next to him. LOL, so I guess that means you won't be coming? And I was cooking Johnny's favorite...rat stew. ROTFLOL!!!!

Oh, I'm sorry hon...'tis me Irish sense of humor! ;-) I was just teasing you! xoxo

Hugs
Hawk

Liza said...

Hawk,

I like food too much, so no worries on the anorexia front.

Sorry to miss out on dinner with Johnny, but that just means there will be even more rat stew for you. However, make sure you give Johnny my love...

Liza ;)

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Liza,

Girl, you make me laugh!

Johnny Depp was a wee bit disappointed you couldn't make it to for dinner...after hearing how much you like food... Jhonny felt so bad about your missing dinner with us, he insisted he'd have his best friend Captain Jack Sparrow ("Sexy" pirate) drop by your place and bring you a doggy bag....
enjoy the stew! ;-) ROTFLOL

cyber hugs
Hawk

Liza said...

LMAO! Thanks for sending Jack over with dinner. Luckily he was really hungry on the way over and finished all the stew. We had to settle for going to Ben & Jerry's for some ice cream.

Hugs,
Liza

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Hawk!

Well, this isn't surprising, now is it?

But, the wenches that pirates had weren't like you or me, they were mostly women of disrepute. Equipped with their own set of infectious diseases, oozing sores, and sexually ickies. I mean, women got to eat after the men. Can you image eating off a wooden slab after some pirate had their disgusting tongue licking it clean (on top of the roaches and rats - gross - I'm joining the dieters at this point) and talk about dental hygiene, I can't image the nasties crawling around in there.

And the royals stupid enough to trust a sea captain to save them from the murderous pirates - TSFW!

LOL! Too much fun Hawk! I want the romanticized pirates please, the crusty ones can stayed buried in the historical past. Oh, I did read somewhere that pirates covered one eye for two reasons:

1. Wearing a patch on one eye kept one eye used to the dark, therefore, no stumbling around a dark hold of their own ship or a pirated one.

2. Constant peering up at the sun for time, direction, weather could cause that eye to be blinded temporarily or permanently after years of abuse (close one to focus more closely). Easier to cover the blinded eye than to have double vision.

Thanks Hawk!

Dottie :)

Houston A.W. Knight said...

LIZA!

LMAS, ROTFLOL and SH (screaming hysterically) YOU GOT ME WITH THE BEN AND JERRY'S!!!!

Ya' out done this Irish Lass...I concede, and bow to you graciously!

Ben and Jerry's....lol


Hugs Darlin'
Hawk

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Dottie!

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!? (((hugs))))

Dottie said - Well, this isn't surprising, now is it?

Hawk says - It's not? Well, I knew the people weren't as clean as we are today...but I really didn't think they were that...icky. I mean before "them" there were the Roman's with all their health standards of bathing, exercise, clean homes & yards, physical wellness as well as spiritual health... heck they were as clean or nearly as clean, or more clean than modern man is today....how those that followed them got to be so unclean is a surprise to me.

ignoring the question, Dottie said - But, the wenches that pirates had weren't like you or me, they were mostly women of disrepute. Equipped with their own set of infectious diseases, oozing sores, and sexually ickies.
Hawk cringes and says - OMG, they sound worse than the men.
OOZING SORES??? Ickies??? Disrepute???
Can you see my lip curling in disgust?

Dottie continues, but Hawk notices a devil's light in her eyes - "I mean, women got to eat after the men," she said.
Hawk says - OMG!!! Now I'm going to be sick!

Dottie giggles, it seemed laced with an evil tone. She then smiles and says - Can you image eating off a wooden slab after some pirate had their disgusting tongue licking it clean (on top of the roaches and rats - gross -
Hawk cries - Stop! I'm now totally grossed out! Dottie your words are too picturesque for me!

Dottie added, even after my plea - (I'm joining the dieters at this point) and talk about dental hygiene, I can't image the nasties crawling around in there.
Hawk visualizes more worms...crawling around her teeth, sneaking between the gums and under her tongue! and a odd feeling flips in my stomach....my throat tightens....I'm really grossed out.

Dottie continues - And the royals stupid enough to trust a sea captain to save them from the murderous pirates - TSFW!
{8-O <-- Hawk's reaction to Dottie. {{;-D and this is the sweetest woman! She believes in Tinker Bell... and she's saying all of this!
ROTFLOL!

Dottie joins in - LOL! Too much fun Hawk! I want the romanticized pirates please,
Hawk reacts - well, yeah!

Dottie says - the crusty ones can stayed buried in the historical past.
Hawk says - I'll agree with this. Stomach feeling a wee bit better now that Dottie stopped with the graphic descriptions.
Hawk leans over and whispers to Liza...Guess I should have sent Captain Jack Sparrow over to Dottie's last night! She needed some Ben and Jerry's or something.

Dottie continues - Oh, I did read somewhere that pirates covered one eye for two reasons:
Hawk praying -

1. Wearing a patch on one eye kept one eye used to the dark, therefore, no stumbling around a dark hold of their own ship or a pirated one.

2. Constant peering up at the sun for time, direction, weather could cause that eye to be blinded temporarily or permanently after years of abuse (close one to focus more closely). Easier to cover the blinded eye than to have double vision.

ROTFLOL...DOTTIE! Where do you find this stuff? Between you and Liza this morning my sides are hurting from too much laughter!

Love and hugs to you both!
Hawk

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Hawk!

I'm with Liza on this one, keep Captain Jack Sparrow with his kohl made up eyes, his scraggly beard, yellowing teeth, and questionable hygiene and send over the pampered and perfumed Johnny Depp. I'll have a double order of him please, served fresh. DAMN, the man is hot! LOL Sexy smoldering eyes, sweet lips... I can dream, can't I? (If you can't tell, I might have a thing for Captain Jack Sparrow's true persona.) And I only have Ben & Jerry's if I can have Cherry Garcia... a whole other story. OMG, just imaged Johnny Depp's sweet lips eating Cherry Garcia.... completely undone now..... can almost taste it.... and it's yummy! Loosing train of thought.... what was the post about, oh right, pirates.

Always been a big fan of pirates myself....clearing throat.... obviously still considering the Cherry Garcia....sweet lips....

Well, see now I wanna watch a marathon of Pirates of the Caribbean. (If I had to choose a pirate from this movie, it would be young Will Turner - not the disgusting sea creepy Boot Strap Turner mind you - but Orlando Bloom's sweet rendition of the swash buckling lad. I especially like the black clad young man at the end of the third movie. Again, extremely high on the yum factor.)

Sorry I haven't been around much, having computer problems, have to use the kids' computer before they get up in the morning and take over internet time. I'm to try to answer emails today, but hubs is on vacation...not sure how much free time I'm going to have.

Dottie :)

Houston A.W. Knight said...

OMG, Dottie!

You hit me spot when you said, Orlando Bloom ... I love his look in Lord of The Rings - his blond hair O la la! Which is usually not me flavor. I usually like the black haired "40ish (before the illness)Elvis Presley sexy type of man"

But how can any woman resist Orlando with that sexy faerie look? Oh, to dream is right Dottie!

Sweetie, I hope you get the computer fixed soon...I miss your comments that make me laugh!

Hugs
Hawk

Anonymous said...

Hey,

Love the article and the subject...PIRATES! You've got to love a Hollywood Pirate, don't you? Now a real...NOT ME!!!

Jes