Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I am the Pirate Who Has Done Lots of Things

Carpe Banana over at Carpe Banana (I know she has a name but I always think of her as Carpe Banana) wrote a fun blog titled “A Piratey Theme” where she posted the lyrics to “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” and identified which things in the song she has and has not accomplished. I thoroughly enjoyed her blog, in particular because that song holds a special place in our house. The singing of that song led to the following letter that I mailed to Phil Vischer, formerly the Big Tomato at Big Ideas. Some of you may remember it:

Dear Mr. Vischer:

I realize that you are a very busy man; however, I need your assistance on a very serious issue in our house. I am having an on-going argument with my seven-year-old son and I am hoping that you can settle it. It is rather embarrassing to admit that a grown man is having an on-going argument with his seven year old son (and losing). You could help solve this problem and bring peace to our household by sending us a copy of the lyrics to “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.”

Ever since we bought The Ultimate Silly Song Countdown our family members have been wandering around the house, merrily singing silly songs, enthusiastically imitating our favorite characters. General Mayhem frequently launches into the refrain from “The Pirates” and ends his segment by singing “and I’ve never been to Boston in Nepal.”

“Boston in the fall,” I gently corrected.

“The what?”

“The fall. The line is ‘I’ve never been to Boston in the fall,” I explained.

“No it isn’t, Dad. It’s Nepal,” the General insisted.

We pulled out an atlas and looked up the country of Nepal. After a detailed search I demonstrated to him that there is no city in Nepal called Boston.

Not one to be corrected, he took a fresh aim at the lyrics.

“I’ve never been to Boston in the ‘poo-al.’ Pa Grape says ‘poo-al,’ dad. There could be a swimming pool in Boston.”

“A swimming pool?” I asked, somewhat surprised.

“Yeah dad,” he impatiently explained. “You know, pirates? Swimming pools? Water?”

Gosh, how could I have missed the obvious?

“It could be ‘I’ve never been to Boston in the hall’,” he continued. “There might be a town hall in Boston.”


No amount of explaining about the seasons, leaves changing colors, or the popularity of a New England fall could persuade this young man from his firm belief that “I’ve never been to Boston in the fall” is just plain silly and not worthy of serious consideration.

So, this tired dad is appealing to a higher authority, namely the creator of this madness, for help in solving our dilemma before we have a minor vegetarian war break out.



Mr. Vischer, being the class act that he is, returned the following reply:

But in keeping with Carpe Banana’s post, I have done everything in green.

we are the pirates who don't do anything
we just stay at home, and lie around
and if you ask us, to do anything
we'll just tell you, we don't do anything

well I've never been to Greenland
and I've never been to Denver
and I've never buried treasure in St Louie or St Paul (Okay, so I haven't buried treasure there.  But, I've been there!)
and I've never been to Moscow (not even Idaho)
and I've never been to Tampa (several times)
and I've never been to Boston in the fall (I’ve been to Boston twice, once in the spring, and once…some other time…maybe in the fall…does that count?)

and I've never hoist the main sail
and I've never swabbed the poop deck (can you believe it?)
and I've never veered starboard (and I was in the Navy for FIVE YEARS!)
'cause I've never sailed at all (but I have driven a submarine)
and I've never walked the gang plank
and I've never owned a parrot
andI've never been to Boston in the fall (but I have been there)

I've never plucked a rooster (Believe it or not, I’ve done this. I’ve clipped their flight wings, too.)
and I am not too good at ping-pong (Honestly, is anyone really good at ping pong? Anyone besides some really short Asians who can zing a ping pong ball at roughly the speed of sound?)
(With apologies to all of my Honkasian-American readers.)
and I've never thrown my mashed potatoes up against the wall
and I've never kissed a chipmunk,
and I've never gotten head lice
and I have never been to Boston in the fall

I've never licked a spark-plug
and I've never sniffed a stink bug
and I've never painted Daisies on a big red rubber ball
and I've never bathed in yogurt
and I don't look good in leggings (Ahem…it’s not that I look good in leggings, but that I know that I don’t look good in leggings.) (Long story)

and I've never been to Boston in the fall
we are the pirates we don't do anything
we just stay at home, and lie around
and if you ask us, to do anything
we'll just tell you, we don't do anythingin the fall

What have you done?


CrossView said...

I remember the letter. But you actually got a response??!! Now that's just awesome! And not to be mean or anything but his name is way cool! ;o)

Kathleen said...

Apology accepted. And I stink at ping-pong. Why is that. Perhaps my height, which is average, not short like a good Asian's height should be. Perhaps the caucasian is what makes me taller than short.

Kellie said...

You have three children and have taught in the public school system and have never gotten head lice? Lucky...

Teacher Mommy said...

You absolutely crack me up. Thank you so, so much for that!

And seriously, I want to hear the long story about the leggings. I have a feeling it will give me more than a chuckle or two.

Twisted said...

Arby, how about letter-boxing in St. Louis or St. Paul? That's burying treasure (sort of).
I have been to Boston in the fall (1985)- lucky I can remember it.

Michelle said...

So, what's the story with the leggings?

The_Kid said...

Arg Matey. Where's mi parrot ?!

TobyBo said...

I am feeling honored to have inspired so much Deep Thinking.

And we all want the legging story.

And I take it the General is really named Phil or Bob or Larry or Mr Luntz.

Linda said...

That is soooo cool!

Timothy Power said...

Um... I note you have highlighted the bit about spark-plug licking in green. You've actually licked the spark plug? Was it plugged into anything at the time? THATs the story I want to hear.

I suppose we guys are just fascinated by pain. Especially when it's someone else's...