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Pirates in Paradise 2009 - Key West, Fl

The Rum Barrel Key West Chapter 2nd, 12/4, Day -Containing all the breathless details of lunch, dinnerand buying socks. It's fascinating stuff, to be sure. Also including various stories about some wonderful PiP family veterans as well as several about new PiP family members. (The PiP family expands every year - a good thing.)

Having not eaten anything but a banana for breakfast, corn and seafood chowder from the Rum Barrel was definitely on the menu for your humble surgeon. Curiously, I was seated next to someone in period pirate garb whom I did not recognize. I thought I should say hello, but I was still in my introvert bubble and just wanted to enjoy my chowder and read my book (Pirate Latitudes by Crichton – which turned out to be enh, ok.) I later learned that this mystery man was our own madPete.

Fayma and Lob
Photo: Bagley's Photos
PiP '09 Pog
Photo: Mission
Lunch was followed by a leisurely stroll through the Truman Annex to the fort. I had missed the Friday battle. Since it was my plan to miss it, this was all well and good.

Arriving at the gate, I got charged a gate fee because the lady there claimed she didn't have a list of participants. (I don't mind giving money to the fort, but that wasn't part of the deal.) So I found Fayma Callahan, who gave me a wooden pog allowing free access and egress. She also gave me a loaner mug which she made me promise not to let Stynky see. In fact, Stynky was there, so I wished him Happy Birthday and he pretended to be delighted to see me, probably because he figured my wallet was full of $20s.

Left: Since there is no actual picture of what I described, here's a gratuitous photo of Fayma with Lob the monkey. We love Fayma. (Lob & I, that is.) Right: the magical mystery pog - now with stains and teeth marks!


Vendor extraordinairre Greg Hudson
Photo: Mission's Collection
My first mission (heh) was to find some socks because I had apparently decided my socks would be safest with my hotel information back in Michigan. You can never be too cautious. However, since I couldn't get dressed without socks -unless I wanted to look (more) like a dork - this was a situation that demanded remedying, tout suite. (Fortunately I did have my cool Indiana Jones brown leather document pouch to stuff all my period clothing into for the trip to the Rum Barrel and through the Annex. Curiously, I was at a circa 17th century event, starting in 1940s mode. I guess you just gotta' ease into these things.) Anyhow, I bought some socks from Greg of the Weeping Heart Trading Company.

This is sort of sounding like you're reading my "to do" list, isn't it? Sorry about that.

Left: Greg of the Weeping Heart Trading Company. You can't quite read the sign he has there, but it says, "The merchant is on Auto Seller. Please leave your money."

Michael dressing Jessi
Photo: Bagley's Photos
At the Mercury camp, I found Michael dressing Red Jessi. (I think he was doing this mostly because it's difficult to lace up those bodices or mantuas or whatever the heck you call thems. That and she is his second-wife.) Thinking three o'clock was pretty late to be getting dressed, I made what was no doubt some amazingly acerbic comment on this and was informed that it was because the female cannon crew members decided to disguise themselves as men to fire the cannon. Me, I'd probably skip the firing if I had to go to that much trouble.

I must say I was disappointed by this because the All Girl Cannon Crew was one of the most awesomest cool things about the battles last year. The "All Girls Dressed Like Boys Cannon Crew" just doesn't have quite the same ring. However, the girls had decided as a group that it would be better and safer to wear pants for the firing. So the whole thing was quite democratic. On the plus side, they also decided to do a photo shoot in their dresses with the cannon. Rats served as photographer and I understand that he views his role as taking as many pictures as possible in a short time frame. I was told he took at least 300 photos of them, Austin Powers style.

All Girl's Cannon Crew posing Photo: Rats Going Crazy with Kate Bagley's Camera) Grace posing on the cannon Photo: Rats Going Crazy with Kate Bagley's Camera

The All Girls Cannon Crew Glamour Shots, courtesy of Rats. Above left, the crew from front to back: Rusty Nell, Red Jessi, Kate Bagley and Madam Grace. Above right, crew captain Madam Grace - Cannon Ahoy! Below left, Red Jessi gives us a leggy pose. Below right, Jessi and Kate preparing the cannon in drawers during the actual Friday battle. (Did cannoneers really wear socks like that?)

Jessi on the cannon Photo: Kate Bagley's Camera Jessi and Kate Bagley preparing the cannon Photo: Kate Bagley's Camera

All Girl's Cannon Crew 1
Photo: Kate Bagley's Camera
All Girl's Cannon Crew 2
Photo: Kate Bagley's Camera
Oh, and before I get back on track, I did want to note that I had been told there is going to be a new ride next year at PiP called Sit & Speak. It involves sitting on a cannon and having someone speak down the barrel. The charge for this ride will depend on how long and loud the person speaking has to continue. (More than this I cannot say. There were about a dozen stories I heard this weekend that I cannot tell without offending half the readers out there. Sorry! :P)


William and Kim
Photo: Mary Diamond (sort of)
William Red Wake in his new Coat
Photo: Kate & Michael Bagley
Upon emerging in garb, I was greeted by none other than our Quartermaster William Brand. Yes, it turns out that William arranged to hitch a ride on a black ops helicopter to Key West thanks to his previous involvement with several clandestine operations in the Philippines. Just like Kim Possible. (The hitching a ride part, not the William part. I don't think William is much like Kim Possible. Well, other than they both have red hair.) We spent some time catching up and I must say that it was grand to see him here in his new coat.

Left: William & Kim on the fort beach (to allow for better comparison).
Right: William in his new coat.

Mission assembling cage
Photo: Mission's Collection
Michael asked me if I could put Becky, my piratess, into her gibbet. Since he had thoughtfully traveled over 1300 miles with this corpse in his car, I figured it was the least I could do. (No one should ever say that I didn't make it a point to do the least I could possibly do.) So I put Becky's gibbet together, which elicited all sorts of inappropriate comments that people who were not stuck putting Becky's gibbet together found amusing. Once assembled, I wanted to see her and the gibbet hung in the fort next to Bucky, her partner for life. Er, partner for death. Red Jessi agreed to help me haul Becky and gibbet over to the fort. This was to be one of several dozen such trips - although it was the only I made while hauling a body. (Well, the only one I'll mention publicly.)

We stopped to visit the skeleton sculpture on the path along the way, where the site of Becky the hot corpse, caused one of the skeletons to lose his head. (Rim shot.) Arriving at the fort, it turned out that no one actually knew where Bucky even was, but they promised to hang Becky and possibly Bucky up at the first convenient opportunity. (This was code for, "next year.") So she remained laying on the ground next to Bawdy Bee's Place for the duration of the event.

Photo: Mission's Collection Jessi and Mission carrying Becky Photo: Mission's Collection Becky and her peeps Photo: Mission's Collection

Above left - "Live, damn you, live!" Above center - "Bring out your dead!" Hauling Becky's carcass down to the fort with Red Jessi. (She kept having to stop to let me rest.) Above right - Becky visits the neighbors, who can't be bothered to look up from their gardening. Below left, after arriving at the fort, Captain Spike attempted to, um, raise the dead. Ahem. Below right, Becky's final resting place this year.

Spike kissing Becky Photo: Mission's Collection Becky by Bawdy Bee's Photo: Mission's Collection)


Photo: Mission's Collection
I was delighted to learn that Boogater was here. Some of you will remember Boo from the 2007 Surgeon's Journal. Boo and I chatted for awhile. It seems he is building a Model A car from parts he discovered on a piece of land he owns in Florida. Once finished, he plans to send it out west and tour in it. Boo is a McGuyver kind of guy, you see. He also explained that he recently finished building a house boat which he and his friend "the Captain" are going to sail around southern Florida on a fishing expedition. He can do this because he retired in 1987 (or something) despite the fact that he is only 30. (OK, he's a little older than that.)

We agreed to miss the Saturday battle for a trip to B.O.s Fish Wagon to enjoy conch fritters while admiring the ambiance of "restaurant assembled from remnants of the last hurricane."

Mooseworth, Kelly and campsite
Photo: Mission's Collection
Mooseworth's wife Elizabeth aka. Kelly appeared and took pics of Boo, Mooseworth and me in front of Boo's cool bamboo tent set up. If I am remembering what she told me correctly, she and Mr. Mooseworth (probably not the name he gave her or they'd have never married) met in Key West and hit it off so well that he decided to quit his job as a the president of General Motors and move down here to pack hand-rolled Cuban cigars. Or maybe I'm confusing some of the stories I've heard. I'd had a lot of wine when I was writing that part. Anyhow, he moved down to Florida to be with her which strikes me as pretty romantic and stuff. Nice folks, well met. The three of them were planning an excursion to the pub crawl this evening. They weren't sure when it was starting, but, as I told Elizabeth, when it comes to Duvall pirate pub crawls, you just pick a bar on Duvall and then sit there and drink until you see a bunch of pirates coming into the bar. Follow them and you're in a pub crawl.


I espied Papa Ratzi shooting dusk pics at the water's edge, so I decided to go down and shoot some as well, just so everyone could compare my work to Papa's and see just how inadequate my photography skills are. There I met (and wound up having to hug) a dozen people, several of whom I don't think I actually knew. This was a weird experience for your typically "no touch" ship's surgeon. I have run into several people who weren't here last year, including Master Sully (below center), who told me outrageous lies about Patrick Hand being extraordinarily drunk the night before. I guess it rained, which jumbled Patrick's compass.

Below, some non-Papa Sunset photos. From left: madPete of the Mercury crew scans the horizon. Center: Master Sully of the Pirates of the Coast. Right: Sansanee.

madPete Photo: Kate & Michael Bagley Sully Photo: Mission's Collection

Sansanee on the rocks Photo: Mission's Collection

Patrick Hand Boucaineer Front
Photo: Mission's Collection
Patrick Hand Boucaineer Back
Photo: Mission's Collection)
Actually, I heard several stories about Patrick's doings on Thursday night. One person, who shall remain nameless because I don't remember who it was, told me that at one point Mr. Hand was wandering around the camp at 1am looking for his pants, proclaiming loudly that they contained everything he owned. Shay of the Keys told me that Patrick's hammock fell down or he fell out of it after it started raining. This caused Patrick to start swearing loudly. After a bit of this, he fell asleep in the puddle for about five minutes, then woke up again and started swearing like a sailor. (Which only makes sense.) Then asleep in the puddle. Then awake and swearing. Rinse and repeat for best effect. Patrick told me only his back got wet and that he was mad because his back hurt.

Mission and Jessi at Cafe Sole
Photo: Mission's Collection
Red Jessi and I agreed to have dinner at the splendid, magnificent and wonderful Cafe Solé in town. We invited Michael and Kate Souris along and (thanks to my keen directional skills) got lost looking for it. Fortunately, I had a vague idea where it was ("Is that the cemetery AGAIN?") and we eventually stumbled across it. It's hard to find. Seriously. Honest and for true. Once safely inside and seated, I began to regale them with the best Cafe Sole experience I had had to date (including last year's dinner with Jessi) and nearly all of the things I mentioned occurred that night. I am seriously psychic (or maybe just psychotic) this trip. Sensing this, I then predicted that we would find a Spanish Treasure ship. (You heard it here first.)

So what, exactly did I talk about that came true? Well, I mentioned that it was my favorite restaurant in the whole world and they had the best food anywhere. Kate and Michael (below left), who had never been to CS, agreed that it was indeed some of the best food they had had. (Jessie already knew.) I also explained that in some of my previous experiences, the owner had come around and chatted with me because I went there so often when I was in town. The owner did indeed appear. In fact, he spent quite a bit of time chatting with us. (Below right.) I also had told them that during a few special trips, he actually invited me to share in some yummy port wine, which isn't on the menu. After chatting with our foursome, he asked if we would like some port. Psychic, I'm telling ya. (Spanish treasure ship. Ommmmmm...)

Kate & Michael at Cafe Sole Photo: Mission's Collection Mission and Cafe Sole owner Photo: Mission's Collection

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