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Santa Maria Pirate Weekend, May 2008 - Columbus, OH

Mission at the Surgeon's Table
(Photo: Michael Bagley)
Mission the surgeon at table on the Santa Maria.
Being the not-very-medical journal of the surgeon Mission who went to Columbus, Ohio for The Day After the Talk Like a Pirate Day celebration, enlisting in the new pirate crew of the full-size replica of Columbus' ship the Santa Maria. Containing a full and ludicrous description of the many things Columbus-area seen. Particularly focusing on the results of Hurricane Ike ("I don't like Ike!" is the new Columbus motto); the remnants of Bucky's new old clothing and his first hanging of what will no doubt be a career of hangings; the relating of encounters with his most Ohioan Majesty's great tangled and complicated bureaucracy, the revering of the lovely replica of Columbus's largest ship the Santa Maria with many representations thereof; the regaling of various presentations and sundry battles shipboard by a dozen scorbutic pirates; the ridicule the author received at the hands of the denizens of the art festival taking place on the other side of the river; the resulting fires that broke out on the water of there, the relinquishing of the dream of climbing to the top of the foremast; and the releasing of the reader from this long semi-colon demarcated run-on sentence that is typical of period journals.

Chapter 1st - Friday & Saturday Morning - An account of all things occurring before actually arriving at the site of the re-enactment - both interesting and not. In particular the full relating of the discovery by your ship's surgeon of a potential new religion to displace the inane Flying Spaghetti Monster drivel, the state of Bucky's and your ship's surgeon's raiment, what happened to KreIger's non-period ship, the results thereof, traffic conditions downtown & c.

Bucket trucks with their buckets in the air
(Photo: Some guy you'll most likely never meet
A moving monument to the deity Ike.
I arrived at my hotel and found all sorts of white utility trucks in the parking lot. At first I thought it was some sort of convention, but it occurred to me that no self-respecting convention of people who drove white trucks would occur on the weekend. Business conventions are best reserved for working days. Finally the slow workings of my grey matter put that odd bits together and I realized that all the rangy, oft-smoking guys hanging around in the lobby where they to repair the damage that Hurricane Ike inflicted on Columbus; something Kate had called to warn me about earlier in the week. (I understand Michael was sewing by candle-light during this time. Dedicated, our Michael. Crazy, too.) I wouldn't even bring this up except that, upon returning to my hotel, I found all these huge white utility trucks parked side-by-side, ten or fifteen across with their cranes and buckets raised. If all humanity were to have disappeared at that moment, aliens visiting in the future would no doubt be sure these trucks were some sort of complicated religious monument to the god(s) of the sky.

Bucky the skeleton in period clothes on the floor
(Photo: Kate & Michael Bagley)
I wandered over to Michael's (or "Micky's") and Jessica's ("Kate's" (but not "Minnie's")) apartment where we spent the evening discussing several things including : 1) Their strange new neighbor who was obsessed with the theft of her lawn furniture, 2) Michael's 37 co-running projects which included some nifty leather water bottles, 3) My (or Mission's) new clothes and 4) The condition of Bucky's (or Skeleton's) clothes.

A fine new coat and shirt were awaiting completed me, which I subsequently modeled. (Pirate re-enacting: It's Mostly About the Clothes.) I was particularly happy with the new coat, as it made me look somewhat military. (I don't know what it is about military clothes, but I've always liked them. Maybe because they make me sit up straighter or something). Michael was singularly proud of the type of stitch he had used which I understood was very correct and not a little hard to do. Naturally, it was as pearls before swine in my case as I have had no valid conception of proper sewing technique since that tragic attempt at making pink flamingo jams decades ago.

At right: Bucky in pre-stressed repose.

Michael had also made up a swell get-up for ol' Bucky, but we were all quite concerned with the condition of his clothes. Michael and his friend Kreiger (or "Kreiger") had made sincere attempts to dirty them up. (Not to mention shoot them to produce powder burns – an experiment that I can imagine was probably more successful in alarming the missing-deck-chair sorts of neighbors than it was in producing actual powder burns. Alas.) So we hemmed and hawed (which probably sounded funny) about how to fix Bucky's duds properly. Finally genius struck Kate (fortunately she recovered) resulting in the use of aging ink, sandpaper and a file to give the clothing and shoes (generously sent to me by Mary Diamond (or Donna)) a rough ride. Bucky probably couldn't have been more pleased had he been able to express anything more than his usual vapid grin. (Pirate re-enacting: It's Mostly About the Clothes) That being done, I returned to the hotel and paid homage to the Bucket-Armed God(s) of the Skies monument and then went to bed.

The next day, I left the hotel an hour earlier than I had intended. This was not entirely my fault. OK, it was entirely my fault, but I feel comfortable shifting the blame to an unavoidable lack of awareness. For some odd reason, the alarm clock in the room was not set when I arrived so I set it using my insulin pump clock which I have only just this weekend learned was never set for daylight savings time. (This revelation was not useful, however. Seeing as the change back is imminent, I see no reason to change it now.) So I arrived all full of bonhomie and cheer at Michael and Kate's apartment an hour early. (Sorry Michael and Kate! I'm not usually fully dressed an hour early on a Saturday either!)

Kreiger's motorcycle
(Photo: Kate & Michael Bagley)
We spent the time waiting for Michael's friend KreIger to show up so we could head for the most important event of the day. Following Breakfast, we also planned to go over to the ship. I was looking forward to seeing the staff at the Rise 'n Shine café in downtown Columbus where I'm told they make a mean omelet. (I am resisting the insertion of a bad pun here about nice omelets.) Unfortunately this was not to be as when KreIger arrived, he discovered someone had stolen his motorcycle license-plate when we were trying to get Bucky properly affixed onto the back seat of the motorcycle. (OK, that's a lie. But wouldn't that be hilarious to have a skeleton as a motorcycle rider? No? Perhaps it's just me…)

At left: KreIger's bike. Did we get a picture of the back with the missing plate for dramatic effect? No, we certainly did not. That imaginative exercise is left to the reader. However, the neighbor was very interested in just where that set of lawn furniture in the background (which happens to be at another neighbor's house) came from.

The Mystery of the Missing Plate involved all kinds of changes in plans because KreIger was worried about driving without a license plate. (Myself, I would continue to drive until some future date when something as important as breakfast did not hinge upon the results, but that may just be me. "Honest, officer, I had no idea it was missing. I'll take care of that right away!") As it turns out, Ohio has seen fit to combine the worst aspects of government bureaucracy and privatization and that was the last we saw of KreIger for several hours.


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