Uncle unexpectedly gave the Dee Cee area work force the day off today because of the weather.  Couple that with the fact that Mrs. R whisked the gels off to the Great Wolf Lodge for a little vacation treat¹ and suddenly Robbo is at home by himself without the faintest idea what to do next.²   It’s something pretty close akin to leaning against a suddenly open door or thinking there’s one more step on the stairs. 

I’m strongly inclined just to go take a nap.

In the meantime, however, I couldn’t help noticing that today is the birthday (in 1682), of “Calico Jack” Rackham, an English pirate captain.  (Mr. FLG can thank me later.) Says Wikipedia of him:

John “Calico Jack” Rackham is most remembered for two things: (1) the design of his Jolly Roger flag, which contributed to the popularization of the design and its association with piracy in popular culture; and (2) employing two of the most notorious female pirates of the age as part of his crew – Mary Read and Anne Bonny (the latter of whom he had whisked away from her husband).

Rackham originally sailed as a crewman for Charles Vane, an English pirate captain. During 1718, Vane refused to attack a French man-of-war, to the dismay of his crew. The crew voted for Rackham (at the time the ship’s quartermaster) to depose Vane for cowardice. Vane was cast off in a smaller sloop with a handful of crewmen who had voted against Rackham[4].

Once gaining the captaincy, “Calico Jack” made a career of plundering small vessels close to shore. This boldness proved to be his undoing. During the autumn of 1720 he cruised near Jamaica, capturing numerous small fishing vessels, and terrorizing fishermen and women along the northern coastline. During November 1720, he came across a small vessel filled with nine English pirates. Soon after, Rackham’s ship was attacked by an armed sloop sent by Governor Nicholas Lawes, and was captured. Rackham and his crew were brought to Jamaica, where he and nearly all of his crew members were sentenced to hang.

Shiver me timbers!  Armed with the knowledge that today is the birthday of the fellah who first hoisted the Jolly Roger, perhaps I should be thinking of some more active buccaneering meself after all.³

¹In fact, Mrs. R tried to get me to go at the last minute, a suggestion I quite firmly declined.

²This morning I put together the eldest gel’s Christmas bike, spritzed the garlands festooning the house and fixed one of the potties, so it’s not like I haven’t done anything worthwhile today.

³Indeed, my semi-cousin is scheduled to drop by this evening for a glass or two of port (what, you thought this blog was completely fanciful?), so perhaps something will come up.  N’yar!

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