Pirate Hierarchy


Captain: The captain of a pirate ship was responsible for organizing the ship as a whole. His word was final, unless he said that his word was not final… if so, you’d better have listened because his word was final (pirates were more than capable of creating paradoxes). He also dealt out wisdom in the form of adages like “Dead men tell no tales”, “To keep a secret between three people, kill two of them and then kill yourself” and “I’m killing the guys who just buried my treasure”. He normally told these gems to the first mate who would publish them in a quarterly literary journal along with some of his own poetry.

It was desirable that a pirate captain be missing at least one body part—a visible one. Preferably an eye or a leg or maybe a hand. It gave him “sea cred”…

First Mate: The first mate was responsible for executing the captain’s orders and for explaining everyone’s health insurance options at the beginning of each year. He would deliver lesser orders to the lower mates. He was also responsible for keelhauling prisoners at the captain’s command because he was the only one who knew how to keelhaul…

2nd, 3rd… nth Mate: These men were the ones who dealt with the day to day management of the bulk of the pirate crew. They were responsible for stopping any mutinies that were in progress; or, for starting mutinies when there weren’t any active ones. They dressed like the crew and looked like the crew; however, their name tags designated them as middle management.

Pirates: These guys performed the day-to-day tasks on an hour-by-hour basis and reported minute-by-minute to the mates, who doled out hyphens as necessary. Jobs included swabbing the deck, messing up the deck, drinking and bursting into laughing suddenly en masse. They were also responsible for swinging from a rope onto an enemy ship with their knives in their teeth because sheathes wouldn’t be invented until a thousand years before that.

Rats: Rats were responsible for eating the ship’s food, splashing around in the bilge-water and spreading plague to exotic lands. Rats were desirable on a pirate ship because they kept the cat population in check…

Sub-Pirates: When a pirate got too old to do his pirating, too toothless to eat normal food and knew all the captains amoralistic adages by heart, he lived at the bottom of the hull with the rats. His responsibilities included, laughing like a gibbering idiot, gibbering like a giggling imbecile and KNOWING secrets that the captain thought he had a lid on. Note: A sub-pirate could be voted out of the hull by a majority of rats which would force him to sleep in the crow’s nest… until voted out by a majority of crows…

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