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Pirates in Paradise 2009 - Key West, Fl

Photo: Mission's Collection
The masked man with the hat is back...
Introduction - The 2009 Journal of the Dread Surgeon Mission, who traveled to the wilds (and boy were they wild wilds this year) of Key West to allegedly act as surgeon on the Mercury vessel, although, to be perfectly frank on this point, the only thing he really got out was the clyster syringe which was all but useless except for posing for stupid pictures that only he would find funny. But I digress.

Chapter 1st, 12/4 -Travel, arrival, missing battle & other drivel.

My Patrick Hand original hat was the highlight of my trip for every single security person in Detroit. "Wow! What a cool hat!" "Where did you get that?" "I'll bet it would be good for keeping out the sun off you." "Where can I buy one?" I think they imported security people from several other airport security posts to discuss my hat. I expect my next trip through Detroit Airport security to be very interesting with a gaggle of planter's-hatted security folks. (Patrick, there's a whole market in Detroit calling your name.)

Photo: Mission)

Photo: Mission
The trip from Miasmi was mostly uneventful. I sat next to a girl who was going to be a bridesmaid in her friend's wedding. She was afraid of the plane as evidenced by burying her face in her jacket on takeoff. She told me that this was because it had propellers, which I thought was odd. "What's so much better about jet engines?" "It seems like most of the airplane wrecks are small planes, so they must have propellers." Not being able to argue in the face of such logic, I replied, "Yeah, but it's cool...like flying in the 40s."

She told me she was born in Orlando but moved to Minnesota to take a finance position with a company which makes plastic bottles for drug companies. Since anyone who would do that must be clinically insane, we got along fine. It turns out she was one of 12 bridesmaids. I asked her if her friends were picking her up from the airport, but she said they had texted her to say that they were all too hung over. On the plus side, the voodoo gods helped to prove my old maxim, "When I arrive in Miasmi to crappy weather, the sun will be shining in Key West." I'm certain my new bridesmaid friend was suitably impressed when we arrived to find my predication had come true.

Photo: Kate & Michael Bagley's Photos
Kate Bagley was supposed to pick me up at the airport, but she welshed on that promise to play cannon crew with Red Jessi, Madam Grace & Rusty Nell. Michael was thus charged with the duty of carting my butt from the airport to the hotel. He is apparently psychic because he was actually pulling into the airport driveway when I called him from the tarmac. He arrived with several other pirates in his van among whom were Matty Bottles, Callenish Gunner and Israel Cross. I was touched by this short bus load of well-wishers, but it turns out that they just tagged along so that they could make (by my count) 300 separate stops on the way back to the hotel. (Imagining the scene when Michael was preparing to leave Fort Zachary Taylor, I had a vision of the scene in Animal House where Flounder gets his brother's car and the rest of the group starts chanting "Food King! Food King! Food King!" and starts piling into the car.)

Left: The All Girl's Cannon Crew. Now, honestly, does this look like more fun that picking me up at the airport?

Photo: Best not said

Among the desired stops was Ben Franklin local craft store. My understanding was that Israel wanted some fabric. (PC fabric? From a craft store? Really?) However, my understanding was apparently a misunderstanding about what really happened. Matty said that he had suggested the stop, because he hadn't brought a blanket or someone conned him out of it or something he was hoping to "get two yards of something warm to sleep under" along with some cotton fabric tape to use on a hat he had bought. Cross heard about this decided to tag along. ("Food King! Food King!") As Matty explained on the Pyracy Pub, "…our original destination was an actual fabric store, not a craft store, but it turned out the fabric store was out of business. That was the second or first strip mall after the bank, if you'll recall. Or not recall. It's cool. Anyway, obstinate as we are, Israel and I were going to a fabric store of one kind or another."

Really Crappy Photo by: I ain't sayin'
However, it turned out that no one had a clue where Ben Franklin's was actually located, so we spent the better part of this trip driving through every strip mall in New Town looking for the place. (This is a Key West activity which is definitely to be missed by one and all.) We'd go in one strip mall all excited and then, "Aww..." Callenish would then say, "It's in the next one!" So we'd go in the next one and then, "Aww..." etc., ad infinitum.

I finally spotted it and, lo and behold, they had nothing like period fabrics or cotton tape. I mean zip, nada, zilch. As Matty noted, "they not only claimed to have never heard of cotton tape, but said it in a tone of voice that suggested maybe I had made it up."

I did find a really neat tropical print with pink flamingos in the Ben Franklin store which I plan to have Michael turn into a pair of slops for me. The surgeon dude abides. If they actually get made, I will wear them at PiP next year. In fact, I'll pose in them for a pic with Hawkins and Captain Sterling, since I know they'll want that as a keepsake of my fine taste in authentic period wear. We'll tell them that it's a batik print or something. (I can already hear Hawkins growling in the back of this throat the way he does when we stretch period to the breaking point...)

There's actually a story here, and since I have some space to fill ...what the heck. Long ago, I decided to make myself a pair of pink flamingo jams because I couldn't find any to buy. (Jams were cool at this time - it was the 80s - but I guess pink flamingo jams weren't cool.) So I bought the "Jams" pattern at JoAnne Fabric resulting in something so horrifying that I have never been able to face the needle and cloth since. (Needle and flesh, yes. Needle and cloth no.)

Since the hunt for Ben Franklin's had gone so badly, I decided it was my turn to divert the trip in a long lost hunt for my hotel. I had wisely printed out all the necessary info about the hotel for the trip. I then decided to make sure it was safe from the rigors of travel by leaving it at home. To be extra cautious, I specifically forgot the name of the place. "I know it's on Duvall!" I announced confidently. So we went cruising down Duvall. Someone would see a hotel and then, "Aww... That's not it." Someone would see another hotel and… "Aww." I finally decided to break out my laptop in the forlorn hope that the data was saved in the computer's memory.

Photo: Mission's Collection
This was going very badly when someone jokingly said, "Hey it's the Pegasus Hotel!" It was sort of pinkish and goofy and they all though that was funny. If you guessed that this was exactly where I was staying, you win a free emetic from your ship's surgeon. It was an auspicious start to the trip. The Pegasus is a very European-style hotel (translation: rooms with small bathrooms) although they do have a fridge in case you happen to be bringing insulin with you. (And who isn't?) It's right down the street from the fort entrance and the prices are quite reasonable for Key West. So I do recommend this place to those of you not staying long enough to get a condo.

Oh, along the way I saw a baby jumper in one of the lurid Key West T-shirt shops that read, "All mommy wanted was a back rub..." :lol:

Many discussions took place during the trip to the hotel; there were probably more than two dozen individual discussions about acts of perversion so profound and disgusting that decorum prohibits listing them here. But I did learn that our own M.A. d'Dogge had once again come up with a routine that allowed him to win an unprecedented third Walk the Plank Contest. Mr. Threepeat. He did it by wearing a dress. (Wait, this is exceptional? I guess the WtP folks don't know him very well, do they?) Below are some of the photos of that happening.

Photo: Mary Diamond Photo: Mary Diamond Photo: Mary Diamond Photo: Mary Diamond's Photos

Lest you believe the whole event was about M.A. d'Dogge, let us talk of him no further. Well, maybe a little further...see, there was this whole discussion about how it wasn't a dress, but rather, as he claimed, "a 17th century 'Bathing Gown'...complete with hair snood and beard snood...to keep the hair from getting unruly..." Anyhow, in addition to one last photo of a wet Dogge, let me share some photos of the other Pyracy Pub competitors for you edification. From left (below) d'Dogge,Fionntan Murtaugh (center left), Madam Grace (someone should be saving Grace - center right) and Michael Bagley in a dramatic leap (right).

Photo: madPete's Collection
Photo: Mary Diamond
Photo: Mary Diamond Photo: Nicole Andreyko's Photos

I also learned that there was some cable Food Show down here filming an episode for a show that puts a professional cook in the middle of some weird situation and gives him a limited amount of time to prepare a meal for a large group. For comedy relief, he is given the assistance of 3 or 4 untrained helpers. M.A. d'Dogge and Edward O'Keefe were two of his assistants. I understand Mr. d'Dogge kept correcting the cook's pirate terminology and Edward kept sneaking drinks from the cooking sherry. (Sorry, not having TV reception I didn't recognize the name of the show, so I leave it to the cognoscente to determine that.) Below from left: M.A. d'Dogge and Edward cooking; Scarlett Jai and Edward with his mug that I guess he was sneaking drinks from; M.A. d'Dogge, the Chef and Edward posing.

Photo: Michelle Murillo Photo: M.A. d'Dogge's Collection Photo: M.A. d'Dogge's Collection

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