Because You’re Worth It

Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “colours”….


Men should not dye their hair.

Edward Teach believed that passionately.Yet now he found himself alone in his cabin, staring at the bowl of dye in front of him.

His problem was that no-one was afraid of a pirate called Gingerbeard.

Oh, he carried the cutlasses, he wore the eyepatch (though he had both eyes), and he even slid one hand up his sleeve and held a hook in it, but all to no avail. The cry “ship ahoy!” would ring out, the Jolly Roger would be raised and he and the crew of the Sinking (it was supposed to have been Sin King, there had been a bit of a misunderstanding) would board their prey and confront its hapless crew. But once this crew saw who was in charge they would become a bit more hap. Threats would be met with laughter. Demands to hand over booty would be met with a hail of boots. One crew had fired him out of a cannon back onto the Sinking, where he had landed with a force that had certainly shivered its timbers.

His own crew, he knew, would have mutinied long ago had he not fed them a steady diet of dark rum and grog (it’s a porridge-like stodge). His parrot, when placed upon his shoulder, would offer a contemptuous opinion of him, usually when he was on the poop-deck.

At this moment the parrot was perched in the corner of the cabin, muttering “who’s a pretty boy, then?” Teach knew that the parrot wasn’t talking about itself.

He had seen “adverts” (short messages performed during the scene changes in plays) whenever he was in port, and had watched ridiculously unlikely tales of how men who touch up the grey in their hair instantly get treated more respectfully at work, find they are more attractive to women, and somehow do not end up with hat linings the colour of cowpats. Edward sneered at such cosmetic trickery, it would be like a woman wearing high heels on her shoes. Yet he was desperate.

He began to apply the dye to his beard.

The stench was appalling, mainly because black dye in those days was made by pouring melted molasses over crushed weevils. But he stuck manfully at it until he looked as if he had fallen face-first into his dark-rum-and-grog. He waited for it all to dry and then looked in the mirror.

The face that looked back at him was fierce, forceful and fearsome. He ripped off his eyepatch and dropped the fake hook. He had no need of such props now. He walked – no, strutted – from his cabin. The crew stared at him in astonishment and, he noticed, respect.

Just then the cry of “ship ahoy!” came from the crow’s nest.

“Are we going to attack, Cap’n?” asked the ship’s mate.

Teach took his two cutlasses from his belt. Unbidden, his parrot flew from the cabin and settled, continently, upon his shoulder.

“Arrr,” said Blackbeard.

10 thoughts on “Because You’re Worth It

  1. Emm

    Great post 🙂
    Why not write one tomorrow about, say, a guy who’s going to feed fertility drugs to rabbits and plans to corner the world lettuce market.
    You could start at Heathrow at nine o’clock.


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