31 May 2009
While interest in piracy has skyrocketed in the last five years, the traditional pirate challenge game “Salt Slug Foot” was nearly lost to history until marine archaeologists working at the Walter Elias Marine Conservatory in Beaufort, South Carolina, raised the remains of what is believed to be the dreaded pirate ship “Farquand’s Glory” and rediscovered the original rules for the game. Though the ship contained no treasure, and much of the iron hardware had rusted away, a series of carvings was found in what is believed to have been the crew quarters belowdecks.
Shown above is a marine archaeologist’s recreation of the original art, which depicted a shaker of salt, a slug, and a foot. (Note: this is an illustration of the original artwork, not a photo of the actual carving, which was deemed too photosensitive for flash photography, or detailed observation by trained professionals)
Nonetheless, coordinating with their peers at Edam’s Underwater Exploratory College of Literature, the team was able to track the carved symbols to an account buried in a private collection, outlining the rules of this game, which was transcribed as “Salte, Flugge, Foote” (a ridiculously antiquated spelling of Salt, Slug, Foot).
It has been suggested that this game might have been used as a challenge between pirates, who were largely uneducated and grew quite bored during long months spent at sea.
The rules, in their original English:
“Salte is a cawstic substance which art moste fynne for killing flugges and making foode taste goode, yet a cask of salte may best be crushed by an booted foote upon the decke”
“An flugge is an wicked beastie of ichor which may cling undesirably to an foote, for to make a man cry aloud as if seized by demons, yet all do know that the lowly flugge may be stopped by an cask of salte which dost make it scriven into an crinkle”
“While the foote is unprotected from affault by the devious and gruesomme flugge, it is rightly shaped apurpose for sundering an cask of salte”
Key Research Scientist Gary Flobbanov asserts that “Salt, Slug, Foot” is likely to become immensely popular among modern pirates, saying “Just wait and see, Jim m’lad.”