25 Sep 2013
This past Saturday we celebrated the 9th edition of the PiratePalooza™ Pubcrawl and Pubsing by invading the City of Decatarrrr and challenging the ghost of Commodore Stephen Decatur yet again (it’s a pirate tradition). As the clock ticked out the final 24 hours leading to the invasion I had to accept the hard truth that the Curse of the Rumbullion had come true and that we were more than likely to spend the entire day in and out of torrential rainstorms and that the concert at the end of the day was going to be cancelled.
But there’s no canceling PiratePalooza™!
As I walked into Mister Twain’s Tavern I was greeted by a 6 foot tall banana named Rick, who offered me a beer.
Ever since the Great Cantaloupe Mystery of 1932 it has been my unswerving policy that I will ALWAYS accept a free drink from tall fruit – it’s just safer that way. A motion picture camera operator from Local 600 walked into the pub to give me a bag full of pirate clothes. My dancing wench Sarah showed up, resplendent in her D-cups. Just a regular old Saturday afternoon! We were running late and glory of glories, as we stepped outside the rain let up, so I read the marching orders…
…and away we went, with Tobbias Short out front waving his brand new PiratePalooza™ flag to let the lubbers know that the pirates were coming. There were only 20 or 25 of us at that point, so nobody plunged their autocarriages into the yogurt shop straight from fright, but I could tell they was worried all the same.
Rick the Banana paced himself. Mister Foley and Israel Hands sang shanties to give us pace. Several of the pirate wenches chanced expose their upper bosoms to the light sprinkle. I chatted with pedestrians and tried not to wander off as we turned a few corners before plunging into that wretched hive of really good Belgian beer, The Brick Store. We took the ladder up to the Belgian bar and set about plotting our next move.
Photognome showed up and showed us a neat new app for his phone…
In short order I had a wench on either side (I think one of them had forgotten the bottom to her outfit). Another wench (Pam) approached my table waving a jar of something called “Tiger”. Let me tell you something: if a drink is made in the mountains and is named after the town it’s made in, you had best take tiny little sips (if you intend to lead a bunch of pirates on the search for a treasure map, a task that I’d forgotten what with all the rain – but more on that later).
In the Belgian Bar the lads sang some more shanties…
…and I joined in along with them…
We met a lovely woman sitting with Thor, the god of Thunder (who I begged not to hit me on several occasions). It was a tremendous gathering and one of my favorite portions of the crawl… and it was over far too soon, but we had to move.
As we left the dry haven of the Belgian Bar I was surprised to find that the rain had lessened quite a bit, and there were already a great number gathered upon the plaza near Commodore Stephen Decatur’s haunted bust. I suddenly spied Admiral Edmund Vainglory the 3rd, lounging about as if he belonged with us…
That old fraud fooled me last year by pretending to be my friend when he was really out to steal the treasure map I was looking for. I was so mad at him that I whipped out the secret piece of paper that told me where to look for the map and waved it under his nose. The next thing I knew, one of my gauntlets had been wrested from my hand and slammed across my handsome left cheek!! I grabbed it from the hands of that double-dealer and whacked him a good one across his mug. He grabbed it back and slapped me again!!! In short order we were having a slap fight (you know, in a manly sort of way).
By the time Israel Hands could pull us apart I’d somehow been entered into a dance-off for my secret note… you know, the note that I didn’t have to tell ANYBODY about in the first place (I think it was the Tiger that made me do such a foolish thing).
The pirate minstrels warmed up…
We lined up into two big lines: the Admiral had one, I had the other. After Israel ran through the dance moves for the newcomers I and my dance wench Sarah led our team in earnest competition against that snake, Vainglory.
We danced for all we were worth. Sure, some of the people on my team had 8 left feet, but they was trying… and we were within moments of completing the reel first, but Edmund’s bunch won and my secret scrap of paper was his!! I swear he must have cheated somehow.
With nothing left to live for, we crawled down the stairs to Mister Mac McGee’s Irish Pub to drown our sorrows.
We were in there for awhile, with Foley and Israel trying to lift up our spirits with their signature shanty, “Mary Kay”…
I dragged around saying my hellos and whatnots here and there…
…but finally went outside to clear my head. Much to my surprise I saw some hullaballoo over toward where we’d been dancing just a bit earlier. I wandered over to see what the fracas was all about when I spied a newlywed couple surrounded by my crew brandishing their weapons!!
I was OUTRAGED!!!
Instead of taking these two hostage for the dowry, my lads were posing with them for daguerreotypes!! All sorts of photos.
Heck, I even got in on the act! It were kind of fun!!
The lad was named Francesco, his new lady Anne-Kathrin, and they seemed genuinely happy to see us and we all paid them a good long visit, but soon it was time to move on to our last stop: the Harbour Bar & Fish House.
So we mounted up our drunk and our dead and dragged them back down toward the shore. I hadn’t noticed that it wasn’t raining anymore, so as we climbed the stairs to the restaurant I hesitantly asked about where we could go… and the feller running the entrance announced that we could go inside OR to the backyard. At that moment I finally realized that the Pubsing was ACTUALLY going to happen OUTSIDE, as is tradition!! My fears for the day had been washed away – it was going to be a beautiful night! (I wandered around for the rest of the night telling no one in particular, “I cant believe it stopped raining!”)
And what a beautiful night it was, filled with music….
The Guy Behind the Camera has published high-resolution photos to Flickr.com!!
Follow this link: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjJMwCAk
Despite all odds the 9th year of our event was a tremendous success!
The entertainment was extraordinary and I have SO many people to thank.
First off, thanks to Scurvy Pete for providing us with the big beefy sound system – without it we wouldn’t have heard a thing.
Thanks to Curvy and Purvy for helping Scurvy get it all set up right.
Here are all the players, listed by band in alphabetical order:
Curvy, Scurvy & Purvy
Carl Kyle F. & Bettina, Angela Pearl
Rivka Levin, Becky Cormier Finch
Steve Wright, Ed Rigel
Andy Womack, Becky Cormier Finch, Wade Finch
Tommy Morfoot, Joseph Davis
Mike Quigley, Ariel Kristen Kasten, Tara Maurer
Linda Hoopes, Ian O’Donnell and Julia Campbell
Wine, Woman & Song
Charles Baugh, Fiona Leonard, Alton Leonard
Each and every one of these singers have inspired me at some point with their talent, their generosity and how much they love the community which supports them. I try to buy most every new album that these bands produce, because their music keeps me a young space pirate and I never want them to stop performing (as their music literally keeps me from shriveling up and turning into a neutron star). Unfortunately, it wasn’t until late in the evening that I was able to settle down to listen to the concert, so I apparently missed the point at which a conga line and limbo broke out (??!!)…
…and I fear that I missed several other special moments (you must tell me what I missed!!).
Thanks to Israel Hands (aka Tommy Morfoot) for calling the
Virginia Pirate Reel for us again this year. He makes it seem so effortless and we’d be lost without him!!
Additionally, this was the inaugural year for the PiratePalooza™ Scavenger Hunt & Booty Chase. This multiplayer online photographic art project would NEVER have happened if not for Thomas Kerns and Lindsay Giordano.
Not only did these two run the event, they participated materially!! In the course of that participation Thomas created the very first real flag featuring the PiratePalooza™ star skull sigil (a very significant event in the history of PiratePalooza™). They also provided the participants of the Scavenger Hunt with certificates and introduced a new Scavenger Hunt Loving Cup that will become as important to pirates one day as the Stanley is to toothless Canadians now. I pray that they’ll be able to return to run the event next year and so MANY thanks to everyone on the teams who participated, you were VERY creative and you entertained the stitches out of us!
Huge thanks to Michelle and Timmy O’Brien for handling the shirt sales for me this year – they were the most organized shirt crew yet!! And thanks to Miss Dea for parading around in her pirate panties to make sure that people who might not have been thinking about our shirts could suddenly think of nothing else.
Thanks to the Florida Crew (“Team AARRRR”), Lori, April, John and Juli for bringing me a priceless signed original portrait of me made from pasta (I will keep it with the uneaten Captain Drew cookie they made for me 4 years ago) and thanks to them for the AWESOME gift of a bottle of “Drew Brew Honey Mead”. You should be so lucky as to have such wonderful people on your crew!
Congratulations to Mr. Cody Dowdy who endured a PiratePalooza™ style hazing to welcome him to the world of piracy via a naming ceremony…
While he’s free to choose his own pirate name now, the name “Simon Buck” seems pretty good (and memorable) to me!
Thanks to the cardboard crew who thought to ask me the wereabouts of my treasure map, which I’d clean forgotten about!! I took them on a whirlwind adventure back up to the square to track the map down, much to the amazement of the patrons of a bar which shall remain nameless. It was such an exciting quest that Nicholas Cage may already be making “National Treasure: PiratePalooza™”.
Thanks to the folks at Twain’s, the Brick Store, Mac McGee’s and the Harbour Bar. We hope that you’ll look eagerly for us (or at least our money) for many Septembarrrrs to come.
Thanks to our longtime sponsors at Onyx Consulting for your support of PiratePalooza™ and for the Onyx Consulting Foundation and its mission to provide consistent and significant funding for organizations assisting women & children in crisis.
Thanks to our sponsor Guy Behind the Camera and to Dean Ansley, who documented this year’s event in tremendously entertaining photographic detail. There are plenty more photos on our Flickr page.
Thanks to our sponsor Oz Publishing, publishers of Film & Television Sourcebooks throughout the southeastern United States and enabler of Captain Drew.
Thanks to our newest sponsor, Joeprops Inc., always hoping to make your world just a little bit stickier.
Thanks to all of YOU PIRATES who bring your energy, your enthusiasm, your sense of the absurd and your seemingly endless supply of rum. You’re what brings the one true PiratePalooza™ to life every year! And thanks to whoever was looking out for us upstairs for turning off the waterworks and letting us enjoy the Best PiratePalooza™ yet!!!!
Let’s do it all over again at the 10th Annual PiratePalooza™, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 20th, 2014!!