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Pirates in Paradise 2009 - Key West, Fl


Photo: Mission's Collection
Chapter 4th, 12/5 Morning -Of Stynky's secrets, breakfast, what happened as a result of the storm of PiP 2009, Mission mugs, the origins of a new stupor hero (or "Mission buys a mask") and lunching with Boo.

Even though the previous night was pretty tame, I felt somewhat hung over. (Which is code for "I want some scrambled eggs." Hung over for me is just moderate ennui, accompanied by periods of light logyness and occasional listlessness.) It may just be a form of jet lag or an extension of the whole sleep-deprivation thing because I only had half of the mug of whatever the heck it was Stynky gave me. (Seemed like a rum thing with hints of cinnamon.)

It was overcast when I mounted the coaster bike this morning (which fortunately wasn't stolen) and headed for the fort. Who do I run into on the way through the gate but our own Stynky. He asked me where I was going (since it wasn't obvious) and I explained that was hoping to find some scrambled eggs somewhere in the fort. He said he hadn't seen any (which is probably a lie) and told me he hadn't had breakfast either and was headed out to buy some oil for his gun.

Photo: Mission So I volunteered to tag along as was was suggested by his pregnant pause. He drove to a place which he described as "the closest bike shop to the fort" which is actually incorrect. When I explained this, he said he'd been going there for the past few years to buy this special synthetic oil. I guess he had brought his own oil a few years back and it turned out to be defective or something. He fell in love with this synthetic stuff which he only purchases from this particular bike shop tucked among the neighborhoods of Key West (Below - the name has been badly photographed to protect the innocent.).


Photo: Mission)

Photo: Mission)
Stynky asked for "the pyrate discount" there. They were apparently gullible enough to believe there was such a thing and gave him a dollar off the stuff. (This is probably the real reason he likes to go there.) The head bike shop genius sagely counseled Stynky to apply the oil to all the moving parts regularly, which I'm sure Stynky will do.

Left: The bike shop holy of holies. Right: the bike shop expert. He's probably in so many vacation albums he's used to this by now.


Photo: Mission's Collection
Now we got to the good part, which was breakfast at some little green and yellow granola-ey place where Stynky learned that the only milk they offered was for the coffee. (And even that may have been soy milk.) We got two really good breakfast wraps with the coveted scrambled eggs and other veggies in it and coffees. Good stuff, Maynard. Sorting and recycling the remnants of the feast, we headed back to the fort where he conned one of the fort people to let him take Braze's truck into the fort. (Actually, Braze and Cascabel were loading stuff, but it's more fun to say he conned the guy.)

Right: This speaks for itself. Below, left - Are you being served? Mid - The shoes totally make this outfit. Right - Yagh! (Sorry, that was scary.)

Photo: Mission's Collection Photo: Mission's Collection Photo: Mission's Collection


Photo: Mission's Collection

Photo: Mooseworth
I returned to find the Mercury camp a hive of activity. 60 mph winds were rumored to be headed our way and the skies looked foreboding. People were packing valuables into their cars.

I asked Mooseworth if he was taking down his tent and he replied, "Nah, the worst that can happen is the wind will blow the thing over and it will wind up pasted to a car in the parking lot. Then I'll just peel it off and put it back up."

Left: The storm. Right: The nonchalant Mooseworth.

I ambled around the campsites, to take photos of the oncoming storm. It's sort of neat to have a rainstorm in Key West because you can watch it come in over the ocean. The wall of rain drops barreling down on you can often be seen in the distance when you're standing on the beach. It started barreling a little too quickly so I jogged back into the campsite seeking shelter.


Photo: Mission's Collection
Who should come to my aid, but Mary Diamond! She hollered for me and waved me over to her husband Mark's MiniCooper. At first I was a little puzzled at what she wanted because it was not yet quite raining. She had me open the little suicide door, get in the front seat and move it forward. Then she got in the back and we closed the doors.

Well. What was I doing here? Then Mark got in and we settled in for a nice bluster. I had shelter without even asking for it.

Left: one of those clever photos you take in a mirror, but try to pretend like you didn't. Uh huh.


An actual Macau Ferry that may or may not be the type
that Mark mentioned. (KP could hitch a ride on one, tho'.)
The storm reminded Mark of their trip in a ferry going to Macau (I believe it was Macau), Hong Kong . I guess the boat trip there was pretty regular, but on the trip back they went through what they described as hurricane-like weather. The ship was designed to do this because it apparently happened regularly. Mary noted that on the trip back, everything was smooth coming out of the harbor, but as soon as they left its safety, the waves started. It eventually became a roller coaster ride; one that lasted an hour. She said that people were actually yelling "Woooo!" and putting their arms above their heads during the first few minutes of the waves as the ship would climb one side of a wave and then tumble down the other. She said that many people who were conversing during the trip would calmly pause to throw up and then continue their conversation as if nothing had happened.

The small gale outside the car let up and we all got out of our courageous little Mini (below left). Fortunately, Michael Bagley was on-hand to see that everyone safely egressed from the automobiles (below right.). I can still hear him saying, "Remain calm! All is well!" (Note: this is yet another Animal House reference for those of you who are counting. It is also an unmitigated fabrication.)

Photo: Mission's Collection Photo: Kate & Michael Bagley's Photos


Photo: Mission's Collection

Photo: Mission's Collection
The three of us wandered over to the Archangel camp to survey the damage. Actually there was no damage, other than an utter soaking of Captain Sterling (who had a 'quizzing glass'...I think that's what he called it. It doesn't matter because it's irrelevant and will never be brought up again in this account. I just like the term "quizzing glass" and wanted to see it in print.) Sterling, William Red Wake Edward O'Keefe, Mary, Mark and I stood on the beach and admired the greenish blue glow of the ocean as the storm clouds continued to roll across it.

Left: Action shot of Captain Sterling braving the storm to show off how waterproof his beaverskin hat is. Right: CS holding his quizzing glass. Quizzing glass, quizzing glass.

Below left: Edward O'Keefe, Mercury QM William Brand, Archangel Captain Sterling and Mark go to look at the water after the downpour. Below center: Edward said something about a sponge bath that I thought was ill-advised, but who am I to say? Below right: the storm returns, bringing green water with it.

Photo: Mission's Collection Photo: Mission Photo: Mission's Collection


Photo: Mission's Collection
As the rain began to pick up again, I trotted towards the welcoming shelter of Callenish's tent. A whole army of people were hanging out there. It was like the house on the block where all the kids play from the Kool Aid commercial. (Does anyone else remember this commercial or did I just make it up? Nobody there knew what I was talking about.) Shay of the Keys arrived with some sort of delicious fruit bread and we all chatted and ate as light rain fell harmlessly, making white puddles all over the place. Those would be good for upping the humidity once the sun returns.

I never saw what looked like 60 mph winds, though. I later overheard Florida-native Boo describing it this way: "Not bad. It was five minutes of wind and a half hour of rain." Whatever it was, it led to the cancellation of the second battle, so I couldn't intentionally miss it by going to B.O.s. It took some of the "hookey" fun out of the whole venture, you know?



Photo: Mission's Collection
After the rain let up, Stynky and I went back over to the fort. I wanted to check out the vendors a bit better. It turns out that there were vendors tucked back into the recesses of the fort - mostly artists and sellers of little nick-nacks. I wasn't brave enough to go into the casements all by myself, but Red Jessi fortunately appeared. She wanted to check out the shops as well, so with her as protection, I got a better tour and certainly in much better company.

The White Pavilion Clothiers was one of the shops on the main drag. Jessi led me in there (below). The owner admired Jessi's outfit and asked about it, while totally ignoring Mission. (This was for the best since Jessi could explain her outfit, the stitching and the material of which it was made, where as I probably couldn't successfully identify the colors I was wearing in three guesses.)


Photo: Mission's Collection

Photo: Mission's Collection
In addition to a nice mix of period clothes, they had dread Pirate Wesley masks for $5 which gave me new appreciation for the shop. Red Jessi said I looked like "the Dread Surgeon Mission," so henceforth, you can address me as such, thanks to my stylin' new kerchief (right). Oh, and being the Dread Surgeon Mission (or possibly Zorro Mission), I henceforth intend to leave my mark on all my patients by cutting an M-shaped scar into all my surgical work. I am so magnanimous that I don't even plan to charge for this extra service.


Photo: Mission's Collection
Across the way from Greg's Weeping Heart store was Hawkin's place, At the Sign of the White Rose. He's a really nice guy - he didn't even comment on my dread pirate Wesley mask. OK, he actually didn't recognize me, so it must be a very fine disguise. However, everyone else who saw me in it laughed, so maybe not. Tony (aka. Papa Ratzi) commented, "You know, Mission, most people can't really carry something like that off, but on you..." and then he rolled his eyes and walked away.

Following that, Stynky accidentally revealed to me the true depths of the Mission mug forgeries. But this story has a long lead-in, so let's start at the very beginning - a very good place to start.


Photo: Mission's Collection
Above: The two mugs that Stynky stole that were most definitely not mine.
He knew this, because I described mine quite well, but this didn't stop him
from sending these to me - one at a time.
This all began because someone asked Stynky to clean up some mugs left over on the Monday following PiP '08. Stynky, being Stynky, decided that rather than clean the mugs, he would just take them since the people who hadn't cleaned them clearly deserved punishing for their breach of etiquette. Meanwhile, I found my mug and packed it into the box of surgical equipment, which Harry was kindly sending to me via a pre-paid UPS sticker. Because I was spending much of the rest of that and the next day with Red Jessi, I promptly forgot all about this. When I got home, Stynky announced on the pub that he had three mugs. Not finding mine in my bag, I replied "Stynky, let me just say, from the bottom of heart, with all due sincerity and large Bambi-like eyes: you suck... Does one of those tankards have a glass bottom and a dent near the top? If so, you doubly suck."


Photo: Mission's Collection
So Stynky agreed to send me a mug. Of course, he sent me a wooden mug, nothing like what I described (above, on the left). In the mean time, my actual mug arrived with my surgical gear. I told Stynky he had sent me the wrong mug and that mine had actually arrived safely, so he could call off the dogs. He pretended to be stupid...well...and said he was sending my a mug right away. I told him not to and of course, he continued to be, I mean, continued to play dumb and sent me another wooden mug (on the right above.)

Realizing I now had two other poor unfortunate souls' mugs because I was caught in Stynky's twisting web, I decided to be kind to those missing their beloved mugs and post the photos of them on the Pyracy.com website. Willie Wobble claimed the barrel mug, so I sent it to him. Nobody claimed the other mug. Finally, Harry said he thought it was Deadeye Rick's mug. Of course DR has no way of knowing about this since he doesn't go on the internet (he can't read the screen because his eyes are so bad.) So I kept it all year, intending to bring it to him this year. Unlike Stynky, I wouldn't willingly inconvenience someone who is technically legally blind.

Now you may be wondering what happened to the third mug that Stynky claimed to have. It must have been a pewter one because a few months later, this video showed up on MySpace. It supposedly featured my mug being shot by Braze and Cascabel. (Worst of all, they claim to have no knowledge of who 'Mission' even is, which cuts deeper than any alleged mug shooting. It wounds, it does.)

So this is where it stood pre-PiP '09. Stynky gave an alleged Mission Mug to Josh (whom you'll recall from last year's journal is rapidly taking the low road by becoming Stynky's protégé). Josh sold this to Fayma for the princely sum of $20, as mentioned on a previous page. If only this woeful tale of deceit had ended there.

Several of my shipmates, and alleged "friends" then appeared around the camp holding the alleged Mission mug (below left and center). The curious thing about this was that they each believed they had bought the original Mission mug as featured in the faked video. I even caught Josh trying to mock up a photo of me holding one of these forgeries (below right.)

Photo: Mission's Collection Photo: Mission's Collection Photo: Mission's Collection

While I was wandering around the fort, I happened across Stynky's tent, where I photographed him carefully tucking away a box (below left). Sensing I had caught the thieving dastard (no, that is not spelled incorrectly - look it up) at his own game, I confronted him. He, of course, being Stynky, tried to sell me the supposed original Mission mug, even though there were several others on hand (below right). No conscience whatsoever. He did at least stop trying to pawn them off on people using Josh, much to Josh's chagrin. Turns out the little stinker had made $60 selling authentic Mission mugs. The lad clearly has a bright future in the used car or insurance industry ahead of him.

Photo: Mission's Collection Photo: Mission's Collection

Back at the camp, Deadeye Rick happened along. I had given the mug I had kept all year to Callenish, who returned it to poor Rick. Rick told me he had long given up hope on ever getting it back. He had borrowed money from his poor starving mother to purchase another one last year. Finding the original was still around, he was delighted. He sentimentally pointed out a scratch on it where he had fallen upon it during a battle. He eventually hung it on his belt right next to the new one.

If Josh had any conscious at all, he'd give the ill-gotten $60 to Deadeye's poor, debilitated mother so she can buy her insulin this month. And Stynky should just give himself up for his inevitable hanging for crimes against humanity, God and country..

Photo: Mission's Collection Photo: Mission's Collection Photo: Mission


Photo: Mission's Collection
I had run across Boo in the fort, He accused me of blowing him off that afternoon. I explained that I had had a late breakfast, but since it was getting on 2pm, we should definitely go for cracked conch at B.O.s. Of course, he disappeared immediately after that. So Stynky and I headed back to the campsite and found him talking to another guy who was a sort of amateur treasure hunter. I listened to him talk about one of his searches that turned up a 1750 something silver coin, but not much else. It was the kind of conversation where you just sit there and listen in wonderment.


Photo: Mission's Collection

Photo: Mission's Collection
Boo eventually spotted me and suggested we ride our bikes over to B.O.s which suited me, even though I had to walk back to the fort again to get my bike, which I had left there when I met Stynky coming into the gate that morning. Back to the fort I went. (This is the real reason you have to break in your shoes and wear gel inserts. As Indiana Jones so sagely noted, 'It's not the years, it's the miles.')

It turns out Boo rides in a style that can only be described as 'suicidal.' He had to frequently slow down to let me catch up with him because I didn't really want to attempt some of his daredevil traffic stunts. If he wanted to make a left and he was in the right lane, why... he made a left. In front of three cars! He later told me his wife refused to ride with him.


Photo: Mission's Collection
Upon a rival at B.O.s we were greeted by hoots of "Arrr!" from a table of four very drunk women, who I suspect would actually appreciate being labeled 'wenches' (left). Of course, such responses are not entirely uncommon when you wander Key West dressed in period garb; you actually hear them repeatedly when traveling Duvall. (At least they aren't calling me 'Quaker Oats guy' or 'Colonial Boy'.)


Photo: Mission's Collection
Over lunch, Boo regaled me with more of the wonderful tales of his life. He hinted that he knew where three wrecked ships were, although two of them had since been discovered by other treasure hunters who had worked them. He explained that he knew where the third was because the poop deck of a ship had washed up on shore and he and a buddy had found some other indicative things around the area. Another friend of his claimed he had seen glistening goldish items in the water on one trip in the area, but he couldn't dive because of some medical problem. It sounded like a fish story to me, but a fishy treasure hunting story is better than no treasure hunting stories.

He also talked about being a 'cow hunter' awhile back while living in northern-central Florida. As he explained it to me, they were called cow hunters rather than cowboys, because the cows tended to get lost in the overgrowth of central Florida and the cowboys spent most of their time hunting for them. There is a thriving cattle industry in central Florida, something I did not know.


Photo: Mission's Collection
Boo also noted that he was really disappointed that they weren't doing the pub in the fort again this year, telling me that it was one of the big reasons he had wanted to come back to the event this year. He told dozens of other interesting tales, most of which I don't remember well enough to relate, but I spent a fascinating two hours with him.

On the way back I wound up walking my bike along Duvall because it was so crowded. A young couple spotted me and insisted I pose for a pic with them. Since turnabout is fair play, I insisted they pose for a pic with me (left).

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