Dear Giant Squid,
Garrrr, I be haven another question for ye, the smartest being in he known world. This time my crew mutinied me—threw me off into the sea to be devoured by the sharks. But I survived, and stole me a new ship—a little sloop—fast but not as good as me old ship. Now, should I start from the bottom and work me way up again, or take my revenge on the traitors who left me for dead?
Anonymous the Pirate
As always, sweet buccaneer, it is lovely to hear from you. When your bottled messages wash upon our electronic shores, all in the office do gather about and partake in the ceremonial uncorking. My lab assistant, Rob, purchases rum. Our head mechanic, Devo, provides drinking mugs carved of pineapples. Lan Head Molly wears an eyepatch and swaggers, about waving of her plasticine cutlass in a most menacing fashion, although it is clear that her heart is hardly in it. She, in the least, does try, and this I appreciate.
Suffice it to say that such an occasion is, in short, a to-do.
We all were sorry to read of your travails. Mutiny is a terrible affliction of the seas, not unlike scurvy, keel-hauling, and explosive decompression. But all who call the great sea their lover, their mistress, their kissing cousin, their wife, or their down-low bro, must suffer such occasional maladies,. As you have so astutely noted, the key here, dear Pirate Prince, is to move past and claim these troubles as your own, then to calculate the precise breadth and trajectory of your next confident stride.
Possible courses of action:
- Option Prime: One could choose to discard the past—for she is, indeed, passed—and sail with a new crew. Start anew, with a new name and swagger, a new wardrobe and gender—start anew as the lowest rung on the headless totem pole. Your miserable, grunting life would consist of scrubbing decks, swabbing cannons, shampooing the rigging, and polishing the cannon's enormous and weighty balls—all whilst wearing high heels and star-spangled gowns, and answering to the name "Deadly Gerome." But as you are an experienced pirateer, one can assume you have spent your fair share of time with cannons and balls. Remove thy spyglass from your puffy coat, dear pirate. Whip out your sextent, or even hexatant. Set your sights higher! Stare not at the sea (except to negotiate reefs, atolls, wide regions of sargasso, and to fish her bountiful waters) but cast your gaze toward the pitiless, searing Eye of the Sun (although not for an extended period without proper protections). The bottom of the ladder is not for those who have already climbed so high.
- Option Megatron: Betrayal can not be tolerated. You will note there is a period at the end of that sentence. When I was dictating this column to my scribe-gopher-handyboy Jarwaun, our exchange went as such:
Squid: THE SECOND LIST ITEM SHALL READ, "OPTION SECONDO" AND THEN A COLON, THEN "BETRAYAL CANNOT BE TOLERATED" AND THEN A PERIOD, AND THEN "PERIOD."
Jarwaun: I ain't gonna type that. That's bad grammar. We learned all about that in grade five.
Squid: NO, LITTLE ONE, A PERIOD, AND THEN "PERIOD."
Jarwaun: We learned that more punctuation don't make a thing more. If you got a question, one question mark is good enough. Adding more doesn't it make it more important.
Jarwaun: Two periods don't make it more.
We did go on this way for sometime. He still will not type what I asked and has been sent home without being allowed to play of the Xbox in the Boom Room.
Let us tack back onto course. Betrayal must be dealt with swiftly and harshly. None may be allowed to question your wisdom and edicts. Witness my terrible and mighty wrath as I send Jarwaun home with no playing of the "Calling Of Duty For Once More, Normandy!" Your shipmates have tossed you from their ranks, undoubtedly lead by a scurrilous second in command. How will you get your revenge? Creep with stealth in your feet and knives in your teeth upon the ship in the midst of night and kill until your thirst is slated? No. For then who will follow your orders when all are dead?
- Option "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better": What is clear from the above two answers is this: A third option is needed. Use your vast captaining skills to gather to you a new ship under your command. Crew it with misfits and cast-offs. Find the ronin, the caitiff, the mutant, and the morlock. At first this crew will fumble and drop anchors through the deck. They will buck authority as the summer sun beats down upon your sensitive pate. Acquire a hat. Captain on, unabated. When all is nearly lost a well-timed speech and an accidental death (Poor Jenkins. He will have had such capers in his soul. To that moment he will have been the most gentle and kindest of all the scurvy scalawags. Your crew, in their sorrow, will seethe that his death must have to have meant something.) will draw you all together into a fighting team. You must then compete against your former crew in a tense race. All of your unique foibles will come into play during this race, and many a deficit prove an asset. The ronin will fight ninjas hidden in rapids. The caitiff will engage in a dance-off versus a crew of poplocking pirates. The mutants will use their strength, eye-lasers, and healing factors to defeat prejudice itself. And the Morlocks, those cheering fanged creatures, will be called upon to devour a faster ship piloted by angel-like Eloi.
You shall win, dear pirate. By winning you shall show them your captainship is greater than that of the traitors. Then, by force, you will take back to your old, salt deck. Afore the disco ball swirls and the music rises thumpluciously, you shall choose among your old, well-warn crew, now hungering for your steady hand and ball-polishing skills. Select all, none, or some—to the rest is the lash, the knot, and the Deep Blue Sea—then re-conjoin with your new, misfit crew, they humming with excitement and loyalty. In either event, you will most certainly be dressed for the occasion.
I wish you luck, dear fantastic pirate, in this difficult passage.
Your GIant Squid