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Pirate Fest, June 2012 - Put-in-Bay, OH

Chapter 2nd: The pirates have dinner out; Taking over a section of the restaurant; Some after dinner bull (seriously); Mission meets a gypsy; The arrival of the Olive girls and what followed that; An adventure on a pirate ship bar then Off to Hooligans where they hung out with the Bastard Bearded Irishmen before retiring.

Bryan, Lisa, Mary and Mission off to dinner
Photo: Mission's Camera
Since the pirate's revenge against the government had been accomplished with the deposing of Ty, it was clearly time for dinner. I toddled back to the campsite to learn the dinner plans. There I discovered the third wave had arrived which included Lisa/Cheeky/Bess and... Mary Diamond! I had been told that Mary could not come because of an upcoming funeral, but Cheeky had apparently managed to convince her to show up. It was a very nice surprise.

No one really had any ideas about where to go to dinner, although there was a looming sense of interest in going somewhere, so I suggested The Crescent Tavern which is a nice, reasonably-priced place that is close to the campsite. Upon being presented with an idea around which to coagulate, off several of us went.

There are several nice things about the Crescent. First, it is al fresco. Second, there are lots of tables, so it is not very difficult to find a place for a bunch of people to sit. And third, it has live entertainment. Well, it usually has what one would describe as being entertainment.

On this day it had two guys on pianos who were engaged in what could only be charitably described as singing. One of them was decent in his way, but the other... They explained at one point that they were here working to earn money towards college. I sincerely hope their majors were something like tax accounting and this was one of those madcap college daze experiences they would talk about with friends on cold, winter evenings as having been a lark. They did do a piano version of the hokey pokey that was massively improved by the presence of one of the many bachelorettes on the island. (The place is absolutely infested with bachelor and bachelorette parties. This has been true every time I've been there.)

Hokey Pokey girl and band 1
Photo: Mission
The hokey pokey girl and the band
Piano players and hokey pokey
Photo: Mission
The two piano players sing hokey (pokey)
Hokey Pokey girl and band 3Photo: Mission
Our dancer loses her cool

Various pirates filtered in after we had been seated. When my group arrived, Mark and Jennie Gist were already there with Marci and Bill Kroska (below left). If this would have been a Thanksgiving dinner, that would have been the adult's table where the conversation drifted towards mature and intelligent conversations. I sat with Shannon and Trish Gallatin and Michael Colosimo (below center.) In the Thanksgiving scheme, this would have been the kids table where nothing whatsoever of value was discussed and we all poked each other with left over turkey bones as the dinner started to wind down. Michael Bagley and Dan Curtis took another table where they were joined by some third wave arrivals - Jim Shipley and George aka Ken (below right). This would have been the crazy uncles table where people who always drink too much and discuss inappropriate topics during dinner sit. (In other words, the coveted pirate's table.) Lisa, Mary Diamond and Terry Smith (George's father) arrived later and took up another table. Once again, the pirates dominated a section of a restaurant. Fortunately, it was the sort of restaurant where they didn't toss you for being too obnoxious.

The adults table
Photo: Mission
The adults table
The kids tables
Photo: Mission
The two kids' tables
The outcasts tablePhoto: Lisa Dousharm
The crazy uncles table

Gypsy and her mom
Photo: Mission
Gypsy and Mission
Photo: Mission's camera
While we were waiting for our food to arrive two women came over to compliment us on our garb. It turned out that they were mother and daughter, although I either didn't get their names or I forgot them. I said that they sort of look liked gypsies and the daughter explained that this was how they chose to dress up for the Pirate Fest. (Why not?) I suppose their reason for dressing was that if you were dressed like a pirate and you went to a place that had a pirate flag on it, you got discounts or deals or something.

The daughter explained that she was from Ohio, but lately had been living in Los Angeles for reasons she didn't explain. Everyone at the kids table tried to encourage her to get involved with reenacting, but her mother put a stop to that explaining that "She didn't need to take on any other projects." Somehow I got the impression she played a musical instrument. This may have explained why they left soon after chatting with us in between sets by the Not So Fabulous Baker Boys up on stage.

Michael with the twins
Photo: Mission
Over at the pirate table, the boys had been chatting with a pair of bus girls. They had been prowling through the restaurant, spiriting away the empty glasses and bottles so that the clientele didn't accidentally (or later, possibly purposefully) smash them on the concrete floor.

It turned out that they were twins from Bulgaria. Michael got the only solo photo with them (left), because he was the only one brave enough to ask if they would pose for a photo. Once the ice was broken by Michael, several of the single chickens guys jumped up and leapt several chairs just to get into the next set of photos (right).

The boys with the twins
Photo: Mission

Lisa actually talked with them - something the single guys never even thought of doing - and, as a result, got their contact info and names: Maria and Sofia. (What is it about parents of twins that makes them rhyme their names like that? I wonder what would happen if you named your twins Winifred and Beulah? Would the Twins Police come and haul you off and correct the error?) Lisa told me that they were actually very Twins laughing with boys
Photo: Mission
Someone suggested they be named 'Prudence' & 'Gertrude'
excited to be in photos with pirates and even gave her something called a 'European kiss.' (Is that when you kiss someone on both cheeks or what? If so, I thought that was something that was only done in bad 60s TV shows.)

Since Lisa got the info, she shared Maria's email address with me. I sent her a bunch of questions (mostly about what Bulgarians in the home country would think of people who dressed up like pirates and ran around that way on purpose), but she never responded to me. Ah, well. I can always fill space around such photos with other nonsense. (Or what if you named 'em Clotilde and Hortense? The Twins Police would be on you like that, I'm tellin' ya'...)

Following dinner, we had the floor show, and that ain't no bull. Actually, it was mostly bull. Cheeky had promised to ride the mechanical bull after dinner and I meant to hold her to that promise. There is nothing quite like a bucking mechanical contraption to aid your digestion. (Other than an emetic, of course.)

Lob commentating
Photo: Sos Boss
Lob, our bull commentator at work
By way of a treat, we are joining our special guest commentator, Lob, who will explain what happened.

"Me commentaitz gud on rocky bull!" (Er, just a second.) "Him iz called bull cuz he full of bullsh- *SMACK!* [Sound of monkey falling on the ground. Sound of trombone gobble as monkey shakes his head. Clears his throat.]

"Er, yes. Quite so. Where was I at in the presentation of this fascinating sequence of events? But of course. The bull in question is actually a mechanical contraption that our dear friend Lisa aka Bess aka Cheeky chose to ride for the gaiety and amusement of the assemblage."

"We must first note how our subject mounts the bovine substitute in a manner that is rather... ah... shall I say 'unique' to give it that certain quality that would otherwise escape offensive verbiage? I think so, yes. Quite. It was something that we might, if we were to resort to the vernacular, refer to as a 'boun-cee jump.' As if she were a gazelle leaping to escape the slavering jaws of the greedy wolf. I can't quite determine how I might describe her landing on the creature's back, however. As she has managed to right herself, we shall just have to say that it was a successful mounting, shan't we?"

"Oho! The creature stirs and our proud mistress looks a trifle perturbed. Yes, just a trifle. One can see the tiniest gleam of concern. Only that, a jot of anxiety, nothing more. Now she is eyeing the horns as she was advised by various members of hoi polloi. 'Keep your eyes firmly on the bull's horns and you shall remain affixed to the beast's back,' is how they put it."

Cheeky mounting the bull
Photo: Mission
Cheeky mounts the bull
Cheeky on the bull
Photo: Mission
Cheeky on top at last
Cheeky fiesty as bull starts
Photo: Michael Colosimo
Getting ready to ride that bull

Lob commentating
Photo: Sos Boss
Lob, looking in on the subject
"Yes, yes. The animatronic creature seems to be gaining a bit of spirit. One might possibly refer to it as 'spunk 'if one were so incline not to refer to one's self in the third person and be veddy, veddy proper. Now we shall see something special, surely."

"Oh my. The creature seems to be twisting and bucking, both at the same time. Most unforeseen. Lisa is gamely holding on, however. Putting her back into it, I see. Giving it that old college try. Now she's hunching over the creature slightly. Ever so slightly while the black monster writhes and turns. He is writhing and turning. Turning and writhing. Now he's bucking. Now he's writhing. Now he's..." [Oh, for God's sake. *SMACK!* Fall. Trombone gobble.]

"What?! Why for mean man hits Lob! Lob no like him mean man. Fling poo at him! Get his... What is crazy woman doing on bull for! Hee hee hee. Bull is funny. Shake and wiggle like fresh poo! Go bull! Hee hee hee. Throw womans off into red stuff. Bull is Lob's friend!"

Cheeky rides again!
Photo: Michael Colosimo
She rode a blazing saddle! She wore a shining star. Her job to offer battle-
Cheeky Falls
Photo: Mission
-till the bull threw her real far!

OK, that's more than enough from our special guest commentator. Someone stuff him in their pocket. Convincing M.A. d'Dogge to ride the bull
Photo: Sos Boss
Michael's other idea about a candidate for bull riding
"No! Lob is wantingz- *mffh*" Lisa gamely mounted the bull a second time and managed to get thrown off a second time. It turns out that the guy at the controls actually has a joystick that he uses to control the thing, so you're pretty much at his mercy throughout your time on the bull. You have to give her credit, though. She rode the bull, even on a full stomach.

After that, Michael got it into his head that he wanted to put Lob onto the bull. *Mffh mffff mhhhff!" Some random guy sitting by the bull said the operator wouldn't allow Lob to be put on the bull unless he was paid for, so Michael started up a collection to which I gladly contributed. (Although I was pretty sure that guy didn't know what the heck he was talking about.) When Michael had managed to collect $5 (the price of the bull ride), he got another idea about who would be a good candidate for bull riding. *Mfffhhth!"

Clint patting the bull
Photo: Sos Boss
"Good bull. You wouldn't hurt ole MD, would you?"
M.A. d'Dogge is the kind of guy who is game for a session of mechanical bull riding, so he agreed to do it. Nevertheless, he looked a bit nervous as he approached his robotic steed as you can see at right. He patted the bull, as if to reassure the contraption that he would be nice to it if it would be nice to him. (He really should have patted the operator at the joystick, although I'm not sure this would necessarily have had the desired effect. I had the vague impression the bull operator doubled as the doorman when required.)

Mr. d'Dogge had the same sort of trouble getting on the bull as Cheeky did. Those bright red air cushions are apparently not quite firm enough to allow one to sling their leg gracefully over the steer. He actually bounced right over it on one try as I recall. But he eventually got on it and the game was afoot.

I estimate he lasted about 3 seconds, a bit less than Cheeky. (She hooted at him that she was the better rider, although she should really have thanked the operator, and not boasted about her mechanical bull-riding skills. He was definitely rougher with the big, burly, bearded pirate than he was on Bess.) You can see his results below. If you roll your mouse over the center photo, you can see a bit of crappy two picture animation.

M.A. d'Dogge made a second attempt and fared just about as badly as he did the first time. I noticed that he limped a bit as he left the bull riding area. This is why we surgeons hate landfall. The sailors do stupid things like this and then expect us to fix their ills. This is also why I have that huge enema syringe.

Clint rides the bull
Photo: Mission
On the bull.
M.A. d'Dogge bull ride animation
Photo: Mike Colosimo
M.A. d'Dogge rides the bull! Roll your mouse over this photo!
MD falls
Photo: Mike Colosimo
And off he goes!

But that was only part one of the Crescent Tavern entertainment. Part two showed up in the form of two sets of three living, breathing advertisements for Three Olives Vodka. (I would link that to their website for you, but they're about to get a whole section of free advertising here so if you want to go see their web page, you have to take the last step.)

The first set of olive girls
Photo: Mission
The crew with the first set of Olive girls. (One is missing here.)
The second set of olive girls
Photo: Mission
The crew with the second set of Olive girls

The three Three Olive girl sets were wandering around the tavern in teams, pushing their product in different ways. The first set was doing it by handing out drinks. I am on a year-long sobriety kick, so I had to pass on this particular freebee. (Nothing is free anyhow. Someone told me the drink tasted like cough syrup. Although I am supposing that this meant that it was sweet rather than cough syrupy and the person telling me didn't like sweet drinks. Drinks that taste like cough syrup are bad for business.)

For some reason, M.A. d'Dogge and Cheeky thought that licking one of the Olive girls would be tremendously funny. I must confess, I didn't quite get the humor in this. Who licks olives? When you find them in your drink, you either ignore them or eat them. (Ignoring these olives was pretty much impossible at this point and eating them... well, that probably violates some priggish local ordinance concerning cannibalism.) However, the Olive girl put on her smiling game face. You can't help but wonder how she describes this job on her resume.

A complete set of Olive girls
Photo: Mission
The complete set
Olive girls 1 handing out free drinks
Photo: Mission
"There are good ships, and there are wood ships..."
Licking an Olive girl
Photo: Michael Colosimo
M.A. d'Dogge & Cheeky lick the Olive girl

'The other set of Olive girls was a whole different matter. Well, they were at least as far as I was concerned. They were handing out capes! I wanted a cape. It would go really well with my Dread Surgeon Mission mask! In fact, had I know someone would be handing out free capes, I would have brought the Dread Surgeon Mission mask with me. Oh well, next time... Anyhow, I sprinted over to see that tall, auburn-haired girl to look into this. There was a price to pay, naturally. (I told you nothing was free.) You had to like them on FaceBook if you had a smart phone. I have no such phone, but Michael did and he generously paid the price for me. So I earned my cape! (Well, Michael earned my cape for me.)

Mission earns his cape
Photo: Mission's Camera
Mission gets his Stupendous Man cape
Michael pays for the cape
Photo: Mission
Michael pays for Mission's cape
Mission in cape
Photo: Mission's Camera
Stupendous man!

Shortly after that, Mary Diamond, who love to see just how far she can push your ship's surgeon's comfort zone, decided to have the Olive girls holding Mission up as he 'flew through the air.' I am assuming this was some ill-conceived idea to play off the cape I had just received. So Mary scooted one of the wobbly, backless net-fabric seat bars stools out into the open area and told me to lie on it. I protested. I knew that thing wasn't big enough to hold me. Everyone said it was and that I should just "trust the Olive girls." Of course, 'everyone' had all had a shot of something with Three Olives in it, not to mention pre- and after-dinner drinks and I was sober. Certainly sober enough to realize this was a stupid plan.

Nevertheless, I let Mary talk me into it and did my best to look happy to be "flying" while I was actually worried about going ass over teakettle because the raven-haired girl was definitely not to be 'trusted.' She was a wee slip of a girl, you see. Someone then convinced Mary to pose for a shot seated on the bar stool, but it's not the same when you don't have to worry about cracking your skull on the concrete of the dining area. (Concrete that probably had all sorts of glass fragments embedded in it from the bottles which the twins weren't able to grab in time during previous evenings.)

Mission as Olive Man
Photo: Sos Boss
Olive Man!
Mission 'flying'
Photo: Jim Shipley
Mission supposedly flying
Olive girls and Mary
Photo: Mission
Olive girls and Mary Diamond

The Flaming Skull emblem
Photo: Sos Boss
The Flaming Skull's emblem
When Michael and I had met up with Bryan earlier for lunch he had talked quite a bit about a pirate boat bar he had seen that set back from the main drag. He said it was a replica of the Black Pearl (which it wasn't really - it was more a hodgepodge of every pirate galleon in every movie ever made.) Bryan strongly felt we should visit it since - well - we were pirates! So that was on our list since it was on the way to Hooligan's Irish Pub. (All roads lead to Hooligan's when we are on the island.)

Pirate Bar ship
Photo: Mission
The bar ship
We walked down the sidewalk, receiving dozens, possibly hundreds of comment that went along the lines of "Pirates! ARRRR!" 'Arrr!' is apparently what every half-drunk tourist thinks is appropriate when they come across someone dressed like a pirate. Finally, we spotted the ship. Following a long alleyway, we ended up at a brick wall. A bit of further research uncovered an opening in the brick wall and -Viola!- we found ourselves at the Islander Inn, home of the pirate ship bar, aka. The Flaming Skull. So we boarded.

We had been told that the Islander was not a supporter of the Pirate Fest weekend, despite the fact that their motif definitely fit the bill. Decorated as it was, the bar made a great backdrop for pirate photos as you see below.

Guy at pirate bar flashing peace
Photo: Sos Boss
Some guy I said would be here
That guy at left...I don't know what to say about him, other than he was very shiny. I was trying to get a shot of Jim Shipley and Michael talking with the bar manager and he decided to flash a peace sign for some reason. I told him the photo was for an on-line journal and that he was now going to be in it even though he messed up my photo. He said, and I quote, 'Cool.'

Back on point, the bar didn't have any lights, which was something of a sore point among the three women sitting Lob with the bar manager
Photo: Sos Boss
The bar manageress & Lob
at the bar discussing this fact. They did have some Christmas lights on the ship, but they didn't work properly, something which Michael learned when he overheard the bar manageress (or some title like that) talking with two of her friends. We asked them where they worked and they rather bashfully admitted they also worked for the Islander. The lighting limitation meant they had to shut the bar down when it got dark, which I think the manageress didn't like much.

Michael and I chatted with the her for awhile until she had to leave for some reason. One of her friends then did us a favor which you will hear about in a later chapter. I also learned that the bar had formerly had a skeleton that would have been located just over my right shoulder in the photo below left. The skeleton was stolen, however, and if the criminals are ever caught, I vote that they hang him from the yard arm by his ankles and let people sitting at the swimming pool surrounding the ship throw suntan oil-slathered rotten fruit at him all day.

Mission and his team of superheroes
Photo: Sos Boss
The caped Dread Surgeon Mission and his team of Pirate Avengers!
The crew talking about serious stuff
Photo: Jim Shipley
The crew discuss weighty matters - like who pays the tab

The Bastard Bearded Irishmen Performing
Photo: Mission
The Bastard Bearded Irishmen performing at Hooligans
From there, we took a shortcut told to us by the manageress at the Flaming Skull bar and walked right over to Hooligans, avoiding all the street crowds. Once inside, we were greeted with the raucous sounds of our favorite Put-in-Bay band, the Bastard Bearded Irishmen. Someone, I believe it was M.A. d'Dogge, had contacted them late last year or early this year and recommended they try and get on to Hooligans for the Pirate Fest weekend. Whether that actually had anything whatsoever to do with their being there is irrelevant, because it makes for a good story.

Photo: Mission
George aka Ken, enjoying a drink
Being pirates, the first place everyone headed was for the bar. They were packed two deep at the bar, but - being pirates - people forced their way in and procured drinks. I had promised George I would get him a shot of Glenlivit on his sworn promise that he would sip it and enjoy it rather than doing it like a shot. Which he did. His father told me that George (whom he calls Ken for some reason) doesn't really like most alcohols, but he appreciates a good scotch.

As for your ship's surgeon, I stuck with diet soda due to being midway through that year of decided alcohol abstinence I mentioned previously. I knew that Put-in-Bay would put this little promise to the test, but I was quite surprised to find that I had an exceptionally good time this weekend, even without the addition of alcohol.

Hooligans is a great place for our crew to hang out. There's all kinds of things to do there and since I took lots of photos, I may as well show you in addition to telling you. First of course, there was drinking and dancing...

Bill Kroska enjoying a beer
Photo: Mission
A good Irish stout, no doubt
Cheeky Dancing with Michael
Photo: Jim Shipley
Cheeky dances with one Michael...
Cheeky Dancing with another Michael
Photo: Mission
...then with another. A Michael rivalry?

...as well as enjoying in a pipe and comparing the lengths and realism of their beards... Plus, of course, indulging in the unrivalled pleasure of springing your goofy skunk puppet on unsuspecting young coeds.

Pirates smoking
Photo: Mission
Billy & Jim Shipley indulge in a pipe
Pirates compare beards
Photo: Marci Kroski
M.A. d'Dogge & Billie give much-needed beard advice
Billie and his skunk
Photo: Jim Shipley
Billie & his skunk

Of course, ultimately, it's all about the kids. Actually, that's not true, it's all about hanging out together in your pirate clothes, drinking, dancing, smoking, being beardos and showing off your skunk puppet to young coeds after the kids have gone. But sometimes there are kids at Hooligan's and then we can say it's all about them because it's good PR and, well, there they are! Besides, they do love pirates so. Someone gave the young lad below left one of those crappy, plastic Chinese-made pieces of eight and then the kid's poor mother was tasked with explaining why it wasn't real money. So it was a teachable moment.

Eventually your ol' ship's surgeon's feet started revolting against the rope sandals he'd been in since early afternoon and his head started to throb a bit, what with all the time spent in the sun that day, the smoke wafting in the door and the fug in the place. So I bid my adieus and toddled off to the Park Hotel for the evening. It seems appropriate to close this chapter with two things you find on this island. First, a recip photo taken at the bar. And second, a word: ARRRRR!

(Rustling from a pocket...) "Now, really, is that incorrect and entirely meaningless word truly necessary? Do go on with yourself and your foolish prattling about nonsense words, would you please? I mean it's not as if- [*SMACK!* Fall. Trombone gobble.] "Lob has being-" [Pocket] "Mffhhh!"

Explaining pieces of eight
Photo: Mission
Explaining why you shouldn't trust pirate money
A crew recip photo
Photo: Mission's Camera
A recip photo with the crew at Hooligans and a young coed

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