The Rules of this Pirate Ship

  • Increase / decrease font
  • A +
  • A -

The only drinks allowed on this pirate ship are ale, rum, grog, and various disgusting combinations of these.

Drinks may not be garnished with any fruits. Additionally, no small decorative umbrellas may be placed in any drinks. We are not that kind of pirate ship.

All pirate shanties must include the refrain “yo ho ho” within the first chorus. This is to indicate to the less musically talented pirates that a shanty is definitely underway.

The “Victory Shanty” shall accompany great victories or excellent hauls of booty. The “Halyard Shanty” shall accompany the raising of the main sail. The “Hoisting Shanty” shall accompany the hoisting of the black flag. The “Swabbie Shanty” shall accompany all swabbings of surfaces.

Failure to do the response part of a call and response shanty shall be punishable by marooning.

Each pirate may have up to one quarrelsome monkey and one parrot of a ribald tongue.

Dirty magazines and pamphlets should be stored in the hold or concealed in a hollowed out peg leg. Do not just leave these lying around.

If there is a pirate mutiny, the group of mutineers must be called The League of Mutinous Gentlemen or The Dirty Rapscallions or just The Mutineers. No other names will be permitted.

If some pirates form an indie musical group on their downtime, it may not be called The League of Mutinous Gentlemen or The Dirty Rapscallions or The Mutineers. This is to avoid confusion.

If you are in the crow’s nest and you see land ahead, shout “land ahoy!” or “ahoy, land!” or “land? ahoy! land!” or “land land land! yo ho ho!”

Only the ship’s doctor may diagnose a vitamin C deficiency.

If you catch an enormous fish, do not cut off its head and then wear it on your head as a prank.

Should a dispute arise between two pirates, it shall be settled by a singing of the “Settling Shanty”, or failing that, by shooting each other in the face with muskets.

Gambling for booty is not allowed. If pirates wish to gamble for recreation, they may do so using crab claws or barnacles.

Any first-time pirate who fails to acquire a sufficiently fearsome nickname—such as “black beard” or “skull beard” or “old razor beard”—within two fortnights of setting sail shall be made a swabbie.

Keep your musket loaded, your cutlass sharp, and your vocal chords limber. There is no telling when either a battle or a shanty will occur.


Barbary Pirates licensed under Public Domain.

Oh Yes, There's More...

Receive further written amusement in your inbox, once a month.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Written by

Alex Baia is a humor writer and contributor to McSweeney’s and Slackjaw. He lives in Austin, TX.