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Santa Maria Pirate Weekend, May 2010 - Columbus, OH

Girl in Patrick Hand hat with drink
(Photo: Mission's Collection)
The new character redesign for Mission the Surgeon,
based on focus group feedback from the Surgeon's
Journal target demographic of 18-34 year old males. 
Introduction: Of the events that occurred while the Mercury ship's surgeon Mission was in Columbus, Ohio attempting to raise funds for the upkeep of the good ship Santa Maria which lay in the Scioto River. Including the details of the absolutely bizarre, offensive and kinky... Hey! Has anyone else noticed that the "Mercury" ship's surgeon has never been shown aboard the actual "Mercury" ship in any of these journals? Don't you find that peculiar? Even more peculiar is the fact that there are now three journals recounting Mission's adventures on the Santa Maria. To wit: The Talk Like a Pirate Day 2008 adventure, the Talk Like a Pirate Day 2009 adventure and now this one. I also have it on good authority* that on the Santa Maria in May of 2009. But the Summer High Tea Aboard the Mercury journal? Never saw it. The Mercury Pre-Christmas Pillage in Poughkeepsie? Nary a word. There wasn't even a page giving the broad outlines of the Mercury May Marauding and Mauling in Borough of Mantoloking. I mean, what gives? You know? Maybe we should just call Mission the Santa Maria's ship's surgeon from now on (if we ignore the historical ramifications, that is.) All in favor? Opposed?

*Santa Maria Surgeon's Journal, May 2009: The Missing Journal.

Police building
(Photo: Someone With More Foresight Than Me)
Chapter 1st. Detailing your surgeon's rather confused and distrait arrival, meeting the early birds, checking into the hotel and really wanting to use a Bond line, spending the evening dining with Ivan Henry and Chris and of what entertaining occurred.

The trip began rather inauspiciously for your ship's surgeon. Oh, I've made the journey several times and I could do that without missing a turn, even while practicing Pimsleur Spanish 3 CD (Lessons 25 & 26). But I am not used to driving in downtown Columbus during rush hour. I am used to the 'windows shuttered, lights turned off and normal folks gone home' Columbus of Saturdays and Sundays. Friday 4pm was a shock. I spent a hectic hour driving every single street within 2 miles of the Santa Maria (as near as I could tell), trying to locate my hotel amidst the construction barrels. If that wasn't bad enough, I nearly ran down a cop in a cross walk. Seriously. I was making a right in front of the Police HQ (at right). Cop: "You know that was wrong, right?" (Even I know the answer to that question.) No ticket. Phew!

People waiting at the Santa Maria ticket booth
(Photo: Karen Jones Arnold)
I finally gave up all hope of finding my hotel - I really need a Susan. Instead, I went to the one place I had been trained to find: the city parking lot at the end of Gay Street. I was fortunate in that I had wasted an entire hour driving around the area trying to find my hotel because the city parking lot was unattended and I could park for free. I scooted in, nabbed a free spot and never moved the truck again!

Michael Bagley and Thomas Alleman were pulling in right in front of me, so I went down to the dock with them. Kate Bagley was there, frustrated at having missed the Santa Maria office folks.This meant that the ship was locked up and we had to sit and wait (left) until someone showed up with the keys so we could get aboard. Another hour...yep... "So...how about those Clippers this year?"

Michael Bagley
(Photo: Karen Jones Arnold)
Richard from Put-in-Bay
(Photo: Karen Jones Arnold)
While the rest of us stumbled over small talk, Michael was constantly on guard (left), awaiting new arrivals - as well he had to - there were over 30 pirates around for the event this weekend; a slight increase over the first event's 11!

While I was milling about, attempting to be amusing, Richard W. (right) arrived. Richard lives in Put-in-Bay which is a fun little island near Sandusky, Ohio. It is the site of a Pirate Fest (June 25-8, 2010), which I plan to attend this year.

Hyatt Capitol Square
(Photo: Hyatt Inc. They won't complain; it's free publicity. )
When Mark Gist arrived the ship was opened. Thinking on it a bit, I decided to check in to my hotel before the drinking started so as not to repeat what happened at Searle's. (You can go read that for yourself if you're curious.) So I decided it was high time I actually located my hotel. Fortunately I had discovered the location of the place was, so I grabbed my wheely-bag (Phydeaux) from the truck and walked there. (Thus avoiding hotel parking charges. Your ship's surgeon is nothing, if not cheap. Remember that when you want medical care.)

I was still wearing street clothes, so no one really took any special notice of me, except to avoid tripping over Phydeax. ("Heel, Phydeux! Good wheely-bag!") Thanks to my previous adventure with the cop, I knew that I could go through the crosswalks as a pedestrian with impunity, so the trip was a pleasant one. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a sign informing me that I must use the revolving door. Naturally, the door attempted to eat Phydeax. (Why do fancy hotels do these things to us?)


(Photo: Ansel Adams before he hit upon the concept of photographing landscapes )
Based on a recommendation at the Pyracy Pub, I decided to use Priceline to book a room for $50 a night. (See? Cheap!) Despite the fact that William Shatner is their spokesman, it worked well. On entering, I slung Phydeaux on the bed and got into garb. The room was nice. So much so that they put photos of the bathroom on their website (left). Alas, it also came with the the sounds of raucous sibling rivalry next door. While fine at 6pm, it occurred to me that it might not be quite so fine at 6am. I wanted to call the front desk and say in my best Connery: "This is Mr. Mission here... I'm afraid the room won't do. The bed's too small." Instead I repacked Phydeaux and trooped back to the front desk. No problem. (She liked my hat.)


The Bagleymobile on the dock
(Photo: Mission's Collection)
The trip back to the ship from the hotel was uneventful, so I won't mention that here. Forget you read this. I was in garb, but I was not feeling social, so I set the huge brim of my Patrick Hand original hat so that I wouldn't make eye contact with the business people and joggers.

Several other people had arrived while I was gone, all apparently bearing gifts of fruit. The Bagleymobile was now on the sidewalk in front of the boat. There's some sort of secret way to do this. (The sidewalk in front of the boat is a good twenty or thirty feet below street level.) When I arrived, Kate was trying to coral people to go and harass a sorority reunion. They were having a Treasure Island-themed event and thought real pirates would be nice touch. I had wanted to go, but was still feeling a bit out of sorts at having almost run down a cop in the crosswalk. So, Thomas Alleman, Joshua Bradshaw, Richard W., Karen Jones Arnold, Kate and (of course) ladies-monkey Lob went. The aforementioned piled into the van. It was so entertaining watching Kate try to maneuver the Bagleymobile around the poles, planters and people to head off for the event that I took a photo of it. (Right.)

As I have explained, I was not there for the actual sorority harassment per se, but Karen was with them so there were several amusing pictures. I can't resist including (and commenting on) amusing pictures even when I have no flipping clue what was actually going on in them. (Regular Surgeon's Journal readers will recognize this as SOP. The rest of you can just wonder how I do it.) (On second thought, why keep you in suspense? I'll just tell you: I make stuff up.)

Our pirates arrived at what is obviously the Alice in Wonderland hotel (below left). They were a little thrown by the giant dice and playing cards, and a lot thrown by the Queen of Hearts who kept saying something about "Off with their heads!" (She's just to the right of the photo below.) Deciding to ignore the Queen, our stealthy pirates Joshua, Richard and Thomas listened at the door to wait for the opportune moment. Unfortunately the door was locked and they couldn't execute their plan. So Thomas and Joshua decided to tunnel in (below right) which may explain why they were gone so long.

Josh, Richard and Thos. outside the pirate party door (Photo: Karen Jones Arnold) Josh and Thos taking up the carpet or something (Photo: Karen Jones Arnold)

Thinking that this stuff about 'tunneling in' sounded like a lot of work, Richard wandered in the direction of the hotel bar with the Cheshire Cat. There they might some charming young women (below left), which was much more jolly than burrowing through the concrete floor of the hotel. (What IS that girl holding? Is burlap the latest trend in purse fabrics these days?) Meanwhile, days passed while Joshua and Thomas burrowed. They eventually broke through, only to discover that the sorority gig was over and it was now Saturday. So they harassed whatever group that had booked the room for Saturday, which happened to be the Paranoid Schizophrenia Recovery Group. Its' members kept looking stiffly at each other and saying, "I don't see any pirates coming up through the floor...do you?" and "I think it's time for my meds..." (Below right)

(Photo: Mission's Collection) Josh harassing the women at the head table (Photo: Karen Jones Arnold)

Hmm. Maybe I took that too far. Ok, rewind tape and let's just say our fearless pirates entered the sorority party and proceeded to threaten everyone. Except, of course, Richard, who was in the hotel bar with the Cheshire Cat. Seriously. I have it on the best authority.

Josh and woman 1 (Photo: Karen Jones Arnold) Josh and woman 2 (Photo: Karen Jones Arnold) Josh and woman 3 (Photo: Karen Jones Arnold)

Josh and woman 4
(Photo: Karen Jones Arnold)
Josh and a group of women
(Photo: Karen Jones Arnold)
Joshua appears to have turned out to be just the sort of guy you need to come and harangue a reunion of sorority members who are celebrating with a Treasure Island theme. He can be seen threatening a variety of women with his pistol, which probably wasn't loaded (above and at left). He may have bitten off a bit more than he could chew with when he took on a whole group of women (right). Note that he looks a little concerned...as he should. I guess this shook his pirate confidence badly enough that he was taken by one of the sorority's most venerable members (below left). Having lost the battle, he appears to have decided it would be advisable to hang out with Karen and Lob. (Below right)

Josh and woman 6 (Photo: Karen Jones Arnold) Josh and Karen (Photo: Karen Jones Arnold)

Thomas also caused a stir by carrying Lob around the event in a hat with a starfish and the 7 of Parrots soldier card. (Below) Either that or he was panhandling and using Lob as an excuse. ("Donate now or I'll throttle the monkey!") It's difficult to say which. That's all I have on the Sorority gig, so let's return to the ship...

Thomas offer Lob to women in a hat
(Photo: Karen Jones Arnold)
Lob with a cheshire grin
(Photo: Karen Jones Arnold

GB Brewery
(Photo: Stolen from GB site )
After the Bagleymobile left, Ivan Henry and his friend Christopher headed out for dinner and beer. I wanted Michael to come with us, but he had to meet and greet incoming re-enactors. (I still feel bad about leaving him there.) While we walked, I mentioned the choice Bond quote opportunity I missed. Ivan informed me that Chris was a huge Bond fan and could probably name the movie. He guessed Dr. No. Close, but no shaken, not stirred vodka martini. Turns out Ivan had been uncovering interesting places to drink since Thursday (apparently an on-going hobby of his), so he led us to the Arena District. This happens to bethe area where we had several adventures last fall hanging out at the R Bar for Talk Like a Pirate Day. We didn't far into the area before being asked to pose for photos with tourists. Ivan explained that ever since reading about my idea of trading photos with tourists, he insists that when tourists ask for a photo, they must reciprocate by posing for one with us. So there are a bunch of odd photos with us posing with tourists for me to include here. (It livens the text up.) We soon arrived at our destination - the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant (Right).

Mission and Ivan with two women in GB
(Photo: Mission's Collection)
We plopped ourselves down at the bar and proceeded to order beers, based on Mr. Henry's suggestions. (He having been here and being well-informed on the subject of beers.) Upon receipt of the menus we discovered the drawback with Gordon's place: the mood lighting was too moody. Chris, Ivan and I are all about the same age, which means that we've reached the point in life that requires one to use reading glasses. (Except for Chris.) Not having any, Ivan and I peered at the menus in the gloom...er, mood lighting until we gave it up as a bad job. Chris tried reading the menu to us, but that was just embarrassing. So Ivan and I trooped to the nearest bright window area, which happened to be near a table of women. One of them said she had noticed us holding the menus out at arm's length at the bar and thought it was hilarious. She loaned us her reading glasses, which Ivan refused to put on, noting he had "a wide head." They then asked for photos, so...reciprocation! (Left: my camera appears to have wanted to leave me in the dark.)

Christopher gettin cozy with his pal
(Photo: Mission's Collection)
Having sorted all that nonsense out and placed our orders, Ivan Henry surreptitiously ordered me another beer. (He excels at doing this - I must amuse him when I'm drunk and silly.)

I learned that he and Christopher had been friends since they were young boys in West Virginia. While Ivan had moved Florida to marry Kelly Elisabeth, Chris had stayed in West Virginia to do whatever it is that people do in West Virginia. (Sing John Denver songs, as you will later discover.) It also turns out that Chris was the "pretty boy" from the Kelly asking Ivan Henry to dance story.* Ivan assured me that he and Chris were still together after all these years, and that I should note that Chris was definitely the pretty boy. (Uh, right. So noted.)

* For details, see SJ: Searle's Raid of 1668, Chapter 2nd, 3/'10)

We had an excellent repast. (I had Lobster bisque and salad, which IH declared was "...not a real meal." Apparently he hasn't discovered that along with hardening corneas you have to watch what you eat as you age to some degree...although lobster bisque is hardly to that degree.) We left and headed over to the R-Bar at my suggestion. Chris and IH headed straight for the rest room (No, I don't want to ask why) while I occupied a small table and ordered a drink. On returning they suggested we go over to an Irish bar until they noticed that I had a drink. So they ordered one which lead (inevitably) to people asking for photographs which lead to more reciprocal photos! (Below.)

3 Amigos (Photo: Mission's Collection)
The three amigos -Chris, Mission and IH - hanging out
at the R-Bar, enjoying a beer .
3 Amigos and a guy in a pink sweater (Photo: Mission's Collection)
A 4th amigo attempts to insert himself. (Ya' gotta' lose
the pink sweater if you want to be a pirate, pal.)

Mission with a couple of tourists
(Photo: Mission's Collection)
Some guy with the Patrick Hand hat
(Photo: Mission's Collection)
Finishing with those beers and tourists, we decided to seek other beers and other tourists. IH lead the way to O'Shaughnessy's Irish Pub. There we learned that the Arena District had been the place where the Irish fled to during the great famine in the 1800s. This definitely called for a beer.

The tourists quickly found us and started asking questions like "Why are you dressed like that?" (IH: "Because it's Friday!") and "Can we get a picture with you?" This led to reciprocation, which you are probably tired of now, but it's all I got for this section, so you'll just have to deal.

Mission and a girl who he allegedly picked up
(Photo: Mission's Collection)
A group showed up which contained a young lady who decided that I looked like Bill Murray. I have actually been told this before, so it was not news to me, but IH and Chris seemed to find this most amusing. Realizing this might be important to the rest of the weekend, I insisted the young lady have her photo taken with me. She suggested that I was just going to tell everyone that I picked her up, which led to my making a really goofy face to prove otherwise (left - what would Bill Murray do?)

However, to avoid disappointing the young lady, let me just say to all you readers - I picked her up. (If you know her, tell all her friends.) Then I set her down again. Following one more round, we left. Chris and IH were staying together nearby. I was further out, but got back to the Hyatt without incident, despite IH's concerns otherwise.

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