* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.


14 April 2003
George has a big beard


(Or possibly - Aaaarrruughgh!!! The pronunciation isn't sufficiently clarified in the book)

Gather closer my young sea pups, for herein lies a terrible tale. Deceit and plunder; gold, rubies and heartbreak. The bones of dead men never lie, as Peg-knee Mike used to say before he fell to his watery death. Aaarrrr. Aaargggugh. Arck.

I'm sorry, I can feel the phlegm rising in my throat. My aaarrrring was never that good at the best of times, despite all those hours of practice on the deck; and my yo-ho-hoing positively stinks. Still, my red polka-dotted head-kerchief is always freshly ironed and my stolen gold earrings buffed and polished. On the deck of the Foam Stallion at daybreak, I look every inch the plundering hoardette. And my hot rum toddies are bitching.

We registered the Foam Stallion in the High Seas Book of Theft, Buggery and Piracy before she'd even tasted the waves. Big Sal always made sure that we did things by the book. She'd described the hideous embarrassment of being interrupted in the middle of a plank walk. Some spoilt duke, his meaty rump prodded by the cutlasses of the crew, was about to have tea with Uncle Shark, when a suited type from the High Seas Commission called a halt to the proceedings. Big Sal hadn't registered her additional crew members that quarter, and was subsequently fined thirty gold doubloons. All of this in front of the boys, the sea dogs.

That was the end of her career on that ship, and Big Sal nearly gave up the ocean going life for one of nursery nursing. But the scent of the salty brine and the sound of seagulls screaming was too much to hold away from, and within six months she'd placed the advert and scoured the seedy dives of Portsmouth, Brighton and Falmouth and assembled her new boys. Us.

Our initial missions were primarily gold-oriented, with a minor focus on rubies, diamonds, sapphires, and cutlery (silver). There are more ocean-going vessels bearing such goods than one might imagine, nearly all holding insurance premiums against pirates. On one of our early missions Dorset Jo was asked, by one of the men he'd tied up, to please find and sign the policy that they'd taken out. Big Sal has explained it to us - without piracy there'd be no insurers, and without insurers there'd be no goods vessels. So we all supported each other. I definitely think that we got the best deal; insurance shanties are nothing to write home about.

She keeps us well-trained too. The Foam Stallion's drunken rendition of "Thirty Men on a Dead Man's Chest", complete with co-ordinated high kicks and spittings is "one of the United Kingdom's , if not the sea-faring world's, most impressive displays of hedonism" (Jolly Roger, 19 March 2003, pp17). The requisite two-thirds of the crew have contracted scurvy at some stage or another on our roamings. I've already mentioned the success of my rum beverages.

Listening back to what I've said, I must apologise - there isn't really that much deceit or heartbreak to be told. Some of the buxom wenches that we've brought aboard have grown rather more attached to the crew than they ought; a pirate's life is not compatible with monogamy, and it's mostly ended in tears. I was rather upset that Big Sal wouldn't allow me time off to attend the "Pirate Vs Ninja" conference at the ICA in London. - my argument being that pirates are far better as we have bawdy songs, dances and fabulous jewellery - but I've since submitted some articles on this matter to various journals, and will hopefully soon be published. But practice makes perfect, and my vocal speech skills can always be bettered. My long-winded memories and patronising jokes to small children ("Tell us about the time you were a pirate, Unkie George!") do need work. I'm enormously happy and satisfied in my work, and it's a good life if you don't weaken.

So, from the top. This time a brief interlude into the island on the Indo-China sea with the silver crabs and belly-dancing ladyboys.

Aaarrrrr!!! Aaaarrruughgh!!!


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
10 November 2003. George writes: Dead beat
20 October 2003. George writes: Shortening
29 September 2003. George writes: Manhattanites are Cleavage-Starved
11 September 2003. George writes: How to Bring Us in Line With the Future
18 August 2003. George writes: Slashtastic
28 July 2003. George writes: Underground Independent Small Press Comic Fight Club
7 July 2003. George writes: Careering
16 June 2003. George writes: Choose your own adventure
26 May 2003. George writes: Revelations
8 May 2003. George writes: Picture Perfect
14 April 2003. George writes: MetaPirate
24 March 2003. George writes: Preparation X
3 March 2003. George writes: F of x
13 February 2003. George writes: Three is the magic number
23 January 2003. George writes: Recorded Delivery
30 December 2002. George writes: Meat Bingo or Death
12 December 2002. George writes: Royal Inquisitor
21 November 2002. George writes: This Clown is Cancelled
28 October 2002. George writes: Shopping with God
3 October 2002. George writes: SaferSpoony
16 September 2002. George writes: Supercalanthropomorphicexpealidocious
26 August 2002. George writes: The deformed animal menagerie
5 August 2002. George writes: Plaice that Funky Music, Whitebait
15 July 2002. George writes: Safe as Houses
24 June 2002. George writes: Two Lions (DB/DS)
30 May 2002. George writes: Series 8
9 May 2002. George writes: Market Stall
11 April 2002. George writes: I, the Enlargened, Crunchy Product
18 March 2002. George writes: Cakexterminator
21 February 2002. George writes: Fiction Suit
28 January 2002. George writes: Spunk Gunk
31 December 2001. George writes: Fairytale of New Pork
10 December 2001. George writes: Circular
15 November 2001. George writes: A Man With No Ass Is No Man At All
22 October 2001. George writes: One Night in Heaven
27 September 2001. George writes: Uncut
3 September 2001. George writes: Porn Pants
9 August 2001. George writes: Names of the Roses
19 July 2001. George writes: No Fun Here
21 June 2001. George writes: All Your Elections are Belong to Us
28 May 2001. George writes: Pierced as Fuck
3 May 2001. George writes: My Lovely Horse
9 April 2001. George writes: Eight Hundred and Forty-Three
12 March 2001. George writes: Kill 'Em All
19 February 2001. George writes: Formal
25 January 2001. George writes: Sticks and stones
11 January 2001. George writes: A Thought on Morality
11 December 2000. George writes: You can't put that into a soufflé
13 November 2000. George writes: Lyrical Genius
19 October 2000. George writes: Wet wet wet wet wet
25 September 2000. George writes: Built on an Indian burial ground
31 August 2000. George writes: This Way
31 July 2000. George writes: Runt of the Litter

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