Saturday, May 21, 2011 | By: Brianna

Pirates or Ninjas?

Q:  So.  Pirates or ninjas?

A:  Okay, so.  Back in the day when Pirates of the Caribbean first came out, I couldn't care less about pirates.  I knew about the whole skull and crossed bones thing, the raid, pillage and plunder thing, the wooden leg, eyepatch and parrot thing, but that was about it.  I had been on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney Land a couple times, and that's still about it.

I didn't even want to see the movie because I thought that it would be super creepy.  I'm not really a fan of scary movies, and when I saw the trailer while at the theatre for another movie, the whole "not really dead" skeleton thing was a little much.  I was pretty much convinced that I would have nightmares if I saw the movie.  Somehow, that must have passed, because I went to see the movie in theatres.  And I pretty much fell in love with it.  When I met one of my best friends from high school, I learned that falling in love wasn't nearly as crazy as you could get when it came to Pirates.  She had dressed up as Jack Sparrow for Halloween, owned multiple t-shirts sporting skulls, wore hoop earrings every now and again, and planned on getting an Aztec gold coin someday if her brother could swing the cost to purchase a replica.

Being around her made me a lot more excited about pirates in general.  So I picked up books that were about pirates or had pirates in them.  I'm pretty sure I read about half a dozen books about pirates during that phase of my life.  All fictional, of course.  But I also Google searched so I could learn about the Jolly Roger and other pirate flags.  (Did you know that each pirate captain had his own signature flag?  But they didn't fly their colors unless they were about to take a ship.)  I took quizzes which told me what my pirate name would be.  And I anxiously awaited the second movie after it was announced.  I did not, however, go to see The Pirate Queen when it came to town, I drew the line there.  Even though it looked like a decent show, I was iffy about it, but I digress.

In short, all through high school, I would answer your question with "pirate."  Actually, up until this year, I would unabashedly answer with "pirate."  This year, however, one of my residents is training me to be a ninja. I suspect that she hopes to convert me from piracy, but pirate is in my blood, mate, and she'll have to square with that some day.  Perhaps on the day when I advance to full ninja level, my true pirate nature will reveal itself.  Or hopefully not.  Because if it doesn't, I can use those ninja secrets so I might become a pinja.  Or a nirate.

The short answer is "pirate."  Because I know even less about ninjas.  I haven't read anything about ninjas, and yes, they're pretty amazing, but I'm not impressed.  Ninjas are assassins, if I'm understanding this correctly, but pirates are the rebels of their time.  Sure, a good deal of them died out from scurvy or were run through with a rusty cutlass, but they dedicated their lives to the sea.  Sometimes the sea took their lives, but it just sounds so romantic.  Yes, dirty, icky, bearded men sailing around the open sea is romantic, get used to it.  I just don't see the romance in ninjas.

Thank you, Google, for helping me find this.
Fun fact, this is actually the flag of John Rackham or Calico Jack.

P.S. I apologize for neglecting Poetry Friday, yesterday was a really hectic day what with class and my friend coming in to visit, and a staff meeting, etc.  So I might make it up this weekend, elsewise there just won't be a poem read this week.

"Pirates could happen to anyone."
- Tom Stoppard


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