Lemon County: How To Be A Pirate...
Chris Gets Swarthy...
So, as you do, She-Who-is-Adored and I, went to a Halloween party. My choice of costume is always a matter of pirate or something else, with pirate usually winning. I've been Hagrid, complete with baby dragon, the Cat in the Hat, a Beanie Baby (remember those?), Dumbledore, and a king once or twice. But nothing speaks to the inner Chris more than pirate.
I have to be honest and admit that this is not driven by a desire to deflower young maidens or pillage. (You have to wonder if they split into two teams for those particular activities - both being very tiring, in their own way. And, I’m not sure that having partaken in one that I'd be all enthused for the other.) Anyway, I'm not that kind of guy. I do, however, love any excuse for dressing up. Thus my embarrassing forays into the world of acting.
Now, my pirate has a great deal to do with Jack Sparrow and his humorous slash cool portrayal by Mr. Depp. Not Errol Flynn, or any other particular cinematic portrayal. Partly, I think, because none of them seem to have any fun being pirates and I like my pirates to have fun. Other than Johnny Depp, Gina Davis had a great time in the movie, “Cutthroat,” and Dustin Hofmann’s portrayal of Peter Pan’s nemesis in “Hook,” was a glorious mixture of depression and glee
And the clothes. Not the real, we-don't-wash-and-we-wear-stinking-rags reality, but the Hollywood fantasy, a little bit grungy, a little bit sexy, and a whole heaping helping of fun.
So that's where I went. I have a great Scottish Highland shirt with ridiculous sleeves, a long sleeveless leather(ish) duster with matching faux leather boots and, no surprise I’m sure, the tricorn hat with dredds and bits, as per Captain Jack Sparrow, courtesy of the good folks at Disneyland. Add some pirate bling: a skull ring that lights up, and some pieces of eight, and I'm ready to go.
Which brings me to why pirates don't drive cars. Aside from the ever-present fear that you'll be stopped for a moving violation and may have to stand on the side of the road illuminated by the lights of a patrol car, while passers-by say, "Why is he just standing there? He's a pirate for heavens sake, run them through with a sword and run away..." No, there are more practical issues. The flowing coat gets shut in the door. The flouncy sleeves stop you from safely gripping any of the controls, and the chunky ring means you can't put your hand into your pocket to get your keys out. All of this pales into insignificance, however, when compared to trying to drive in a big pirate hat. First it pushes your head forward into old lady driving mode, which is uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. You can’t turn your head to any useful degree and this stance makes it highly likely that you will, in fact, commit a moving traffic violation. There is no room to swash any kind of buckle in a car, and you will never feel less piratical than when driving.
(I've been on my boat in pirate gear, and that doesn't quite work either, due to my boat’s diminutive size, and me not being as svelte as I imagine myself.)
Now She-Who-Is-Adored went all pirate wench on me, and I have to say, was a stunning success, genuinely adorable and all. She has a wonderful (real) leather vest, which laces at the back, and a flouncy froth of a dress that simply gets one’s pulse racing. Her hat (one of my considerable collection - I recognize that I might need help in this area,) was decorated with lace and ribbon and pirate bling and was simply stunning. Now, She had less issues in the car than I did, but the fake skull and crossbones nails were a considerable challenge in the “doing anything with your hands” department.
Two people less likely to strike fear into coastal communities, there have never been. But, and here is the point, what incredible fun!
My evening was marred by two events, however. The first; it really is not particularly piratical to wear glasses, so I didn't (once I'd driven to the party.) Authenticity condemned me to watching a room full of colored blobs until I could get close enough to make out what they were wearing. (Plenty of fellow pirates, so that was good,) and with a little rum on board, the blob thing stopped bothering me.
The second event was a real wake up call in the pain department. The aforementioned piece of eight jewelry was heavy and attached to a less than smooth chain. The combination conspired to wrap itself around a chest hair or two, and effectively pluck them out when leaning forward. Gents, if you had an involuntary shudder at the thought, you know my pain. This happened on multiple occasions as She wanted to dance, and those movements exacerbated the problem, and thus, the pain.
(So, I was losing hairs at about the same rate as She was loosing fingernails, due to an unfair battle with poor quality double-sided tape...)
But we gamely danced on and had fun with our friends. I took the hat off for the drive home, which was better, and once home, carefully hung up our costumes so that we could don them the next day. (For the trick-or-treaters who will visit our house, you understand)
Writing about it could be sufficient reason to remain pirate through Monday, but then I'm all out of excuses,
Besides, I probably have to do a little driving, and as we all know, pirates don't drive cars....
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