How To Avoid Pirate Curses
By Eric Bower
As a writer of fiction for young people, the question I’m asked most often is: How do I avoid pirate curses?
And as a general rule, I find the most effective response to be: Stay away from pirates.
But for those of us who don’t have that luxury, for those of us ordinary folk who live what is commonly known as a “pirate-adjacent lifestyle”, that is neither practical advice, nor useful. So I’d like to take this opportunity to provide some much needed help to those in danger of pirate curses. Here are my three simple rules on the subject.
- BE POLITE TO PIRATES
It seems as though this would go without saying, but there’s a reason why pirates (particularly pirate ghosts) are typically loud, boisterous, mean, and violent: they’re very sensitive people who don’t deal well with constructive criticism. You might think your comment about the way they should be pillaging and plundering is helpful, but they will not take it this way, and will likely make you walk the plank (hitting you with a pirate curse as you sink to your watery grave). So the next time you see a pirate, just be polite. Compliment them on their latest tattoo, or feed their parrot a cracker, or tell them you didn’t even notice their hook-hand due to their fetching new hairstyle. They might still make you walk the plank, but at least they’ll do it with chuffed smiles on their faces!
- DON’T DISTURB AN OLD PIRATE BURIAL GROUND
I admit, I still mess this rule up from time to time. It’s not that I want to desecrate old pirate burial grounds, it’s just that I sometimes have no other options. Sometimes there’s bad traffic on the freeway, so I’m forced to take a shortcut through a sandy beach that’s covered in old wooden signs with skulls and crossbones painted on them. And yes, sometimes I might not avoid those pirate grave markers as well as I could. And sometimes I might stop and blow my nose on any hanging pirate flags. Sometimes I’ll even dig up one of their skeletons and play the ribcage like a xylophone; I’m not perfect. And I don’t expect you to be either. But do what you can.
- REMEMBER, CURSES DON’T LAST FOREVER
This rule is really more of a word of comfort to those who either ignored rules one and two, or found themselves inexplicably cursed anyway. Look, I know it might seem rough right now, whether you’re being forced to haunt an old abandoned ship, or guard an ancient pirate treasure, or if you’re simply serving as an eternal crew member on a voyage of the darned. But look on the bright side, it’s never too late to pick up a hobby! Learn a new language. Teach yourself to tap dance. Learn how to prune Bonsai trees. Many people who’ve been hit with vicious pirate curses have actually used it as an opportunity to better themselves. I knew a fellow once (I believe he was cursed to moan in the belly of an immortal Great White Shark for a century or two) who used his time being cursed to reconnect with his parents. But no matter what, you should remember that pirate curses don’t last forever. There’s always some schmuck who’ll come around and allow you to trick him into taking your place.
Thank you, and good luck!
Preorder The Splendid Baron Submarine now on Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, Amazon, or through any of your local bookstores.