The Poopdeck

The Talk Like A Pirate Day Newsletter
Published now and again
Ol' Chumbucket, ed.
ISSUE NO. 79, Feb. 18, 2010
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213 Days Until Talk Like a Pirate Day!!

In this issue:

Congratulations to the Devil’s Dozen!

For those of you marooned on a remote island for the last six months, Pirate Magazine has been holding a contest to determine the members of the Order of Leviathan, also known as the Devil’s Dozen. The finest freebooters in the land, as chosen by the readers of the magazine.

Well, the winners have been announced and we’re pleased that several of our old pirate pals have been honored. Our heartiest congratulations to all 12.

The winners are: The MacKay (Jeff MacKay of Cap’n Jack’s Pirate Hats,) Matt Stone (of Sea Wolf Clothing,) Captain Morrigan Quicksilver, Margot La Mechante de Marseilles, Michael MacLeod and Captain Jamie Bellows ¬– all old friends and true – plus a handful of freebooters we haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet but couldn’t be happier for, Captain Charles W. Black, Captain Jonah Micagie Greene, Captain John Sterling, Captain Willoughby Caught, Cascabel, and the marvelously monikered Stynky Tudor.

The winners will take the oath of the Order of Leviathan (penned by a particularly fine writer who shall here go nameless) at the Fells Point Privateer Days celebration April 9-10 in Baltimore.

Learn more about the contest at the Pirates Magazine Web site, which you can find on our links page at Learn all about the Fells Point event by going to

Congratulations again to the 12, and have fun in Baltimore!

Follow Cap’n Slappy’s Tweets

Don’t forget to follow Cap’n Slappy’s adventures on Twitter! The co-founder of International Talk Like a Pirate Day and my piratey partner is tweeting as thecapnslappy and he writes ‘em as if he’s sending the messages from a Golden Age pirate ship. It’s a lot of fun, and certainly more entertaining that reading the latest self-aggrandizing blurb from some vacuous Hollywood twitternaut!

Ol’ Chumbucket’s Book Club

“Once a Spy,” by Keith Thomson, to be published by Doubleday. Tentative release date, March 10.

Good news! Keith Thomson has a new book coming out!

“Once a Spy” is not a pirate novel by any stretch of the definition, even though the bad guys are bad enough and the good guys are such outsiders that both could qualify. But it’s a spy novel, so what’s it doing here in Ol’ Chumbucket’s Bookclub?

As you may recall, Thomson is also the author of “Pirates of Pensacola,” the funniest novel I’ve ever read and one of my three favorite pirate books. He also wrote “Gus Openshaw’s Whale Killing Journal,” a quirky, not to say bizarre, maritime novel that was never short on hilarity.

Thomson has brought that same offbeat humor to the spy genre with “Once a Spy.” It stands the classic spy formula on its head. The main character, Charlie Clark, couldn’t be less James Bond. He’s a down-on-his-luck horse player who owes big money to the Russian mob. He gets called away from the track to take care of his father, who has wandered away from home. It turns out Drummond Clark’s Alzheimer’s is the least of Charlie’s troubles. Seems Dad wasn’t the dull appliance salesman Charlie always thought he was. He’s a former super spy, who in his moments of lucidity can hot wire a car, fly a helicopter, shoot like a marksman and kill a guy with a bottle of Gatorade. Unfortunately, in his increasingly non-lucid moments dad could spill a secret that would threaten the free world. That makes him a liability and he and Charlie become targets of pretty much every spy agency you’ve ever heard of and a few you haven’t.

“Once a Spy” is loaded with non-stop, madcap action, a wealth of details about spy stuff (you know they’re listening to you every time you make a phone call, right?) and enough chases, shootouts, twists and surprises to fill a circus-full of spies. Of course the adventure brings the estranged father and son closer together than they’ve ever been. If only they can stay alive.

And bits of it take place in the Caribbean, so there you go, pirates.

If you liked “Pirates of Pensacola” – and I’m sure you did if you read it – then you’ll want to give “Once a Spy” a read. I’ll give it five full tankards of rum, with a sprinkle of gunpowder! I assure you that any freebooter who picks it up will enjoy it.

That’s all for now. Until next time, keep spreading the word … and the word is “Aarrr!”

-- Ol' Chumbucket, editor

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