The wife wanted to go, not me. I've dealt with these bastards more than once in my life. They're pretty much the same group of drunken jackasses, regardless of what city they sail from. But I went. It was either go with or let my gal be subjected to some of the most vile vermin that Seattle knows, the Seafair Pirates.
We found ourselves meeting at Baranof Bar and Grill after work, perhaps Seattle's grittiest dive. This is a joint where Pirates drink, cuss, grope and dwell every year after the Greenwood parade. For that fact, you can expect to find all sorts of pirates in Baranof year around, but these would be real pirates, not the ones who like to dress the part once a year and ride around town blowing the horn and such at every person they see.
Like I said, Baranof's a dive, a proud dive at that. And it carries the old fishermen theme like no other bar in Seattle. It only makes sense that these clowns chose this joint to pillage many years before I showed up. I'm sure their heavy pour might have been a factor in their decision, it certainly was mine when we decided to be invaded that evening.
I warned of bad things to come before we agreed to meet. I'm talking about trouble, perhaps bodily harm, or even worse, incarceration. That's a pirate's life, and I'm a pirate, even without the costume and goofy car. And like I said, I've fought these bastards before in other lands. I didn't expect this bunch to be any different, even if they do hail from Seattle.
I must reiterate the point that I went for the wife, but I also fancied the notion that a pirate can't be judged by his costume nor his brother's actions. I wanted my 'ol whiskey-filled gut to be proven wrong. I thought it had been until I walked out of the bathroom behind a pirate. He passed a mate of his dancing with a friend's gal, which was fun for me, the pirates and her. But this jackass caught his buddy by the shoulder and said, "all these fucking bitches love us." I don't believe he noticed that I was behind him, nor that I was eavesdropping on his conversation.
Whatever, I thought. But as he paused again, I did also. Then his face scanned the crowd, looking for something. I followed his head, wondering what he was searching for. As our heads stopped, I realized we were both looking at my wife, sitting alone by the jukebox. As the memories of past pirate experiences rattled my brain, I found myself two steps behind this fucker.
I don't think he expected my pal to jump in the seat beside her when he landed upon the table; neither did I. My friend Rick isn't the biggest nor toughest looking cat in any alley, but he must have a set of balls worth his weight in gold. "Balls" is when you decide to steal a seat from a man bigger than you as he approaches a friend's wife, surrounded by numerous friends who call themselves "pirates". "Balls" is when you sit in that seat and casually answer his invasion, "Is this your woman?" by saying, "No, his." Man, that's fucking balls.
I had placed myself behind this fucker, just incase things went pirate. He never knew I had been behind him, heard his thoughts, nor that this was my woman. He quickly knew I'd fight tooth-n-nail for her if need be. He stepped back and realized I was ready to strike, not just him but his couple of buddies looking our way. "This is your woman?", he asked. I let him know that she was my "wife", not woman. He responded with, "well you better take care of her, or us pirates will." I stepped back, and asked, "what the fuck did you just say to me?" "That's a compliment, mate", was his reply.
A compliment, I wondered. NO! I don't think I can eat that fish. Instead of swallowing with a smile, I chose to say, "How would you feel if I came into your bar, approached your 'woman', then told you that you'd better take care of her or us tattoo freaks would." I had this fucker rattled, but his mates decided to go back to business as usual, drinking, cussing, groping, dwelling.
"I owe you an apology", he said. "No. You owe her one," was my next choice of words. "Let me buy you two a drink", he said. I told the bartender, "make that two double Wild Turkeys, please." Terri's eyes stumbled back, and I said, "it's on him." She then laughed, not because I was sticking this shit-head for a double priced top-shelf drink, but because she knows that only a fool orders a double at Baranof. Or someone making a fool of someone else.
As we waited for our Turkeys, the conversation went to lands I never thought I'd see. He offered to nominate me to be a pirate, or whatever the term is to become one. "I'm a real fucking pirate. I don't need to dress up a few times a year in costume to make that point", I quickly explained. I wanted to say other reasons for not wanting to be a pirate, but I held those words back, because those sentiments are in regard to a few pirates, like this jackass and the ones that grabbed my ex-girlfriend's ass when she asked for a group photo down in Tampa, Fla. I told those fuckers we were asking for a photo, not a groping.
Now let me finish by saying that most of these cats who call themselves "Pirates" in this city, and every other, do a lot of good work for charity. They also make every kid and family smile when they the take the time out to wave and blow their horn. Nor is this an attack on the pirates, just a conversation experienced. So watch what you say or you just may find yourself eavesdropped on too....