I originally thought about writing about the beauty, enjoyment and details of Cartography (after all, someone once said "A map is an adventure to a man with imagination"), but then I decided to start with short prose regarding laughing and jumping off something...
What can be said about laughing then jumping off something? A common misconception of is the reasoning behind such action is purely arising from mental instability derived from many years of alcohol abuse, poor diet, lack of healthy lifestyle and moral depravity. Although these attributes may be (and possibly should be) present in many fellow pirates, we all truly know the action of laughing and jumping off something truly serves several essential pirate philosophical and psychological motivations. These can be broadly categorised into individual groupings of:
- Enabling authoritarian leadership roles through example and maintaining structure of command (none of this communal consensus decision making rubbish!)
- Establishing a belief in personal heroism and immortality through perceptual illusion used to alter belief systems in those weaker minded individuals who have been press-ganged into pirating servitude. This involves the definition of personality through the group interpretation of character through a series of actions perceived to establish both physical and mental strength and endurance beyond the norm.
- Promoting the motivational input to operate against dominant authority figures and paradigms through the perversion of self. Through example and action both from "priest-like" individuals and groups displaying alternate easily-identifiable strong sub-cultural attributes, the natural fear relating to the sense of being overwhelmed by a superior foe (which becomes internalised as self-generated sense of guilt), and the individual's conscience, which places severe limits on the normal exercise of human desire, is perverted and over-ridden by pack mentality through a complete loss of responsibility through the removal of the moral fear of reprisal.
- By specific action, competition for dominancy among the pack can be enforced and diverted to altercations among lower castes to disable dissension and destabilise the group to maintain ongoing total power.
It may sound easy --- laughing and jumping off things, but these actions must be consciously and deliberately performed and managed to attain the required effect without the risk of unexpected challenge or injury. If such a challenge does occur, laugh, jump off something and keel-haul the desenter.
Here are a few notes to consider:
There is little point letting rip the most fearful, manic howl prior to launching oneself off the poop-deck when the only person to observe the feat is your parrot. The larger the crowd, the greater the success. If it can be observed by the whole crew as well as the poor lamentable scurvy dogs of the soon to be looted ship, the more the better. But remember, with great crowds comes great risk. Mid manic guffaw is not the time to "ahem", nor is it a good thing to trip over a sheet on the foredeck, or complain how your back's been giving you hell the last couple of days.
Remember, laughing BEFORE leaping. Laughing after running through Jack Tars with your cutlass is just jim-dandy, but not after leaping from a yardarm onto your foes main deck.
Manic laughing is best. Guffawing is quite acceptable, but giggling is not. You are trying to install fear into hardened tars' hearts and strengthen the resolve of your pirate crew to succeed.
- The Leap:
Two hints here: not too low and not too high. Both tend to realise your lack of immortality.
Your action of laughing, then jumping off the banister/yardarm/plank should always promote your fearlessness in the face of untold danger. Unspoken communication becomes paramount. Generally, the process is as follows:
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips on the balustrade of the poop deck (maintain your balance, possibly by grabbing some sheets). Leer at the approaching foe, wink and suggestively gesture towards their wenches (if there are lusty wenches to be seen). Let out a fearsome, manic laugh that shoots fear into the foes' pox ridden hearts and reminds your own brigand crew of your complete commitment and lack of fear, draw you cutlass and leap into the ensuing affray. Try to land on your feet, but a roll before leaping to your feet is acceptable and may even impress. Make sure your cutlass is outstretched during the roll, or the impact of the action may be circumvented by your untimely and accidental demise.
The Cruel (pronounced "croo-well") scalawag,
---Article by Pirate Neil
Pirate Neil is currently on Australia's
most wanted list for burning down the
Great Simpson Forest and thus creating
the Great Simpson Desert. Most well known
for his fearsome laugh (promptly followed
by a well-placed jump), he has alluded
the authorities on more occasions than
anyone can remember.