George the Active Listener

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
He was a good active listener, though.
Active listening is different from passive listening, because you’re not just saying “Uh huh” and nodding your head.
You’re repeating back key phrases and showing an interest in what they’re saying, prompting for more.
The other pirates would tell George their problems, and he’d listen, and keep the conversation moving forward.
Pretty soon, George learned a lot about his fellow shipmates and their lives.
He came to realize that they were all scallawags, brigands, and thieves.
You know, because they were pirates.

Into a story

Recently, I went to Disneyland, and I stayed at a hotel that allowed early access to the park.
It was a Thursday morning, and the crowds hadn’t built up just yet.
I went all the way back to New Orleans Square, and instead of the usual forty-minute serpentine lines for Pirates of the Caribbean, I practically walked all the way up to the gate and boarded the boat.
Floating by the fishing shack, banjo playing, mist and fireflies.
The story washes over me, all around me.
I raise my arms and laugh as the boat plunges down into the past.

Davy Jones

Davy Jones was the lead vocalist for the band The Monkees.
When people said that his locker is at the bottom of the sea, he’d shrug and smile and say:
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Maybe it belong to David Bowie? After all, his name was David Jones before he changed it to David Bowie.
You know, because he didn’t want to be confused with Davy Jones.
He’d also shrug and smile and say “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I guess neither wanted to have to explain why there were so many dead sailors in it.

George The Pirate – Fingers

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
You know the knife game, where a person puts their hand on a table, spreads out their fingers, and rapidly stabs a knife in between the fingers?
George managed to stab himself in the leg when he played it.
This is despite the fact that he was sitting at a table, and his legs were under the table.
And he didn’t stab his leg through the table. George wasn’t that strong.
No, he somehow stabbed his leg under the table.
At least he didn’t cut off any fingers, right?

George The Pirate – Bullet

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
He spent a lot of time reading books. He liked to read.
He always carried a small book in his shirt pocket.
“Put that book away, George,” said the captain.
“This might one day block a bullet,” he said. “I’ve read stories where someone shoots someone else in the heart, and the bullet gets blocked by a book in their pocket.”
George smiled and sat down.
On his flintlock pistol.
“Ouch,” said George. “Help?”
George read his book while the ship’s surgeon removed the bullet from his ass.

George the Monk

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
After he was suspended for pooping on the swab deck, he tried being a Buddhist monk.
They shaved his head, gave him robes, and asked him to chant all day and night.
He got pretty good at it.
It was when they handed him chalk and asked him to make mandalas that George ran into trouble.
Instead of scraping the chalk to make beautiful patterns, he drew dirty pictures on the temple’s floor and walls.
Rubbing his hand through the stubble on his scalp, he returned to his ship.

George’s Mentor

Fred was a pirate, and he was a very good pirate.
Unlike George, who wasn’t a very good pirate.
The captain asked Fred to coach George.
So, Fred and George worked out a set of goals.
And they held weekly progress meetings.
Fred ran George through a series of drills, and then practice exercises to apply what he’d learned.
“I think I’m getting the hang of this,” said George.
And he ran Fred through with his cutlass.
“Oops,” said George.
George tried to bury Fred at sea.
Despite being moored at the port.
Fred’s bloody corpse flopped on the dock.

George the Drugged Pirate

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
This caused him a lot of anxiety and stress, so he went to see a therapist.
The therapist asked George why he was a pirate, and if there was anything else he wanted to be.
“I just want to be a pirate,” said George. “There’s nothing else I want to be.”
The therapist prescribed some anti-anxiety medication, and it helped with George’s stress and anxiety.
But he was still a mediocre pirate. He just didn’t care that he was mediocre.
And he did a half-assed job happily ever after.

George the Pirate Sails

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
Sure, he could spot ships from miles away, but they weren’t treasure ships.
They were heavily-armed frigates, fellow pirate ships, or other worthless or dangerous targets.
“It’s not like they’re going to fly flags that say WE HAVE TREASURE or something like that,” said George.
So, George sewed some flags that said WE DON’T HAVE TREASURE to offered to every ship they’d meet.
“It’s reverse psychology,” said George. “Whoever buys one is trying to hide the fact that they have treasure.”
“Where did our sails go?” asked The Captain.

George the Birthday Pirate

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
If you saw him standing there, you’d think he was a good pirate.
But looks can be deceiving.
George didn’t go on pillaging raids.
Instead, he performed at childrens’ birthday parties.
He’d tie up the birthday boy or girl and hold them for ransom.
The ransom would be cake and ice cream for everyone.
He and the kids would sing pirate songs. Wave their plastic cutlasses around.
George was really good at that. And it was really fun.
And he got all the cake and ice cream he wanted.