Tag Archives: Pirates

Yes, There Are Pirates in Our World

What is a pirate?  A privateer?  A buccaneer?

There are people in this world who are driven by greed and a sense that they have nothing to lose by risking everything to take what belongs to you.  They swoop in on their fast pirate ships, swing on board your little boat, hurt you, steal what you have, and eventually kill you.  Movies romanticize swashbucklers as somebody who takes from the rich and the villainous as a sort of cosmic comeuppance.  But the reality is they are criminals and murderers.

But they don’t carry swords any more.

They are the CEOs of banks.

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Bank-o’ Merricka is an excellent example who sailed their Jolly Roger right up to the gunwales of my little boat.  I underwent a debt reduction program because of five hospital stays in five years that drained my personal treasury.  $35,000 in credit card debt reduced and paid off in three years.  But Bank-o’ Merricka, after they learned I would not be able to pay all the interest I owed, immediately stopped calling.  The debt disappeared from my account.  They had sold the debt to a debt collector and quietly sat on the bill as I paid everything else off.  Then, they filed a lawsuit for the entire amount I owed, plus interest, and plus legal fees.  If I hadn’t hired a lawyer and fought the lawsuit, they would’ve won the entire amount by default.  That’s how they clean out most of their victims and prey, because people generally surrender to pirates who come over the rails with swords in their teeth and burning cannon fuses in their beards.

I  may still lose the battle in this boarding action, but at least I haven’t simply surrendered.  But there are other pirate ships circling my little boat as well.  My evil health insurance company are also buccaneers, and they demand higher and higher premiums and co-pays, and routinely deny all claims.  Diabetic supply people keep calling me and offering free meters and stuff the health insurance pirates are supposed to cover one hundred per cent.  I just paid them $260 dollars of a $500 dollar scam bill that hit my little boat like a cannon shot.

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So, the pirates are out there.  I am still fighting off the boarders.  But I think my little boat is sinking.

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Filed under angry rant, autobiography, conspiracy theory, feeling sorry for myself, humor, Paffooney, Pirates

Pirate Novels

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My first novel-length piece of writing was attempted in college.  I finished it in four years.  It was a pirate tale about a young man, a pirate named Graff the Changeling.  You see him in this illustration I created in 1980 with his two young sons, Rene and Emery.  Because their mother was a fairy, the boys have pointed ears and horns.    It was an attempt at serious fantasy adventure fiction that was so awful, it became a comedy before it was through.  I called it The Graff Tales, and I still have it.  But I promise you, I will never, ever try to publish the horrible thing.  My sisters served as my beta readers for this story.  They both liked the oral stories I told, and they eagerly awaited something like they remembered from our shared childhood.  They both were a bit disappointed by my first prose attempt.  There was a knight called Sir Rosewall in the story.  He was a hapless knighted fool who lived in poverty and swore to reclaim his honor with great deeds, but as he goes to sea as a kidnapped sailor, all he manages to do is fall down a lot and bump his large head frequently.  In the first scene when he enters the story, long about chapter four, he exits a cottage and has to punt a piglet to get out without falling down.  This pig-punting thing was repeated more than once with this character.  My sisters joked that the “pig-in-the-doorway” motif would be my lasting contribution to literature.  Fortunately for me, it was not.  I am probably the only one who even remembers there was such a novel.

But my biggest failing with writing and storytelling was always that I could be too creative.  The story featured a flying pirate ship that was raised from the bottom of the ocean by fairy magic.  The crew were re-animated skeletons.  The gorilla who lived on the island where the ship’s survivors had been marooned would also join the crew.  His name was Hairy Arnold.  One villain was the pirate captain Horner, a man with a silver nose-piece because he had lost his real nose to a cannon shot.  Another was a red-bearded dandy named Captain Dangerous.  But the biggest villain of all was the Heretic, who turned out to be a demon in human guise.  It was all about escaping from pirates who wanted to kill you and hitting soldiers with fish in the fish market.  There were crocodile-headed men and little child-like fairies called Peris that lived in the city where Graff was trapped and transformed into a monster by the Heretic.

My plot was too convoluted and my characters too wildly diverse and unlikely.  The result was something far too bizarre to be serious fiction.  The only way it could actually be interpreted was as a piece of comedy.  There-in lay the solution to my identity problem as a writer.  I had to stop trying to be serious.  My imagination too often bent the rules of physics and reality.  So I had to stop trying for realism and believability.

 

In the end all the main characters die.  All except for young Rene who becomes a pirate hunter.  Of course, I follow Graff and Emery through to heaven because, well, it was a first person narrative and the narrator died.  So, I vowed to myself that I would never let this horrible piece of nonsense see the light of day.  I would never try to publish it, rewrite it, or even tell anyone about it.  And so to this very day I… oopsie.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, humor, illustrations, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, Uncategorized

New Pirate Picture

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I continue to believe bankers, health insurance companies, and corporate leaders are all pirates.  The gentleman of the sea dressed all in red in this picture is Black Timothy, bombastic and barely comprehensible leader of the pirates of Fantastica.

The truth is I am a bit of a cartoonist.  Don’t worry.  It is not a completely horrible and detestable thing to be.  Not like being a pirate… or a banker… or worse, a pirate banker.  It leads me to do cartoons like you will find in my vault, here…

The Atlas of Fantastica, Chapter 1

It is a basically incurable disease, and yet… I can live with it.  It will not kill me like some of my other incurable diseases eventually will.

So today’s post, keeping alive an unbroken string of daily posts that now goes back 16 months, is a picture post.  I hope you like it, but if you don’t, another one will come along soon enough.

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Filed under artwork, cartoons, cartoony Paffooney, Paffooney, Pirates, Uncategorized

The Pirates’ Nest

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Yesterday I completed a drawing that I have been working on for 3 days.  This is a background drawing of The Pirates’ Nest on the northern coast of Fantastica.  It is where the pirates live and do their banker jobs and sell health insurance.  You know, acts of pure evil.

Black Tim

I intend to use it to cheat when making cartoons.  I can draw characters and then place them in the scene with photo-shop.  I can put pirates like Black Timothy (seen here all in red) and his pal Scruffy Bill (with two wooden legs, two wooden arms, and a wooden head) into the scene.  Or, I could insert some of the pirate leaders like Pirate King Ronny Ray-gun into the scene.

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So, today’s post is one of those lazy posts where I just post something I drew and write some snarky humor-like stuff.  But I am thinking I am doing something right.  I have set all-time highs for views and visits on this blog in the last seven days, with two days over 100.  It is possible that it is just the NSA looking at my conspiracy theory posts, or even the international banking conspiracy watching for me posting stuff like this that calls them pirates and reveals their ultimate evil.  But it could also be that some of you actually like the stuff I post while pretending to be an actual author and competent writer.  Who knows?

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Filed under artwork, cartoons, humor, Paffooney, Pirates

Pirates Updated

Today I am updating a comic in my Vault.  So if you wish to see the entire comic as it exists so far on WordPress, then here it is; The Atlas of Fantastica.

These are the updated pages;

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So now I have shared with you my nightmares about banks and finances.  Happy pirate dreams, and don’t take any wooden dahblooens!

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How Pirates Make Money

This is a continuation of my cartoon series The Atlas of Fantastica that can be found at Mickey’s House of Fiction (my cartoon vault).  It is an adventure from a dream about pirates and money and bankers and finance.

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To be continued soon…

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Another Dadgum Post About Pirates

This one isn’t about Bank of America or Aetna… specifically.  It is just me adding to my cartoon vault and the story of the pirates in Fantastica.20141211_153054

This is the second panel of the story that can be found at The Pirate Vault

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And panels three and four are all I have gotten done on this comic so far.

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This nonsense will all be continued in upcoming days, and the whole thing is in my cartoon vault.

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Pirates Sell Insurance as an Act of Evil

Raygun RonnyIt is now official.  I hate health insurance companies more than I hate the high cost of health care.  I appreciate the emergency room that saved my son’s life a year ago in February.  But I am still trying to pay for it.  I am practically bankrupted by five ER visits in the last four years.  Only one of those was mine.  Health insurance does not approve ER costs for a whole list of health problems.  And that was a better insurance than we have this school year.

In order to get my son out of the Health Facility that the ER sent him to, I had to arrange a doctor and a therapist before they would even discuss releasing him.  I did that.  My son reached a level of recovery that they could have authorized his release after one three-day weekend, but of course, the kept him for ten days… all of which I had to pay for out of pocket at hospital rates.  The doctor I arranged for saw my son every three months after that to maintain his recovery and prescribe the best possible medicine.  He was one of the best doctors in his field and he helped immensely.  The therapist was even more helpful, being able to teach my son how to handle the symptoms and complications of his condition.  He was also worth his weight in gold.

But then the State of Texas decided the health insurance that teachers got through their school districts on State funding’s dime was much too good.  The wise and noble Emperor Perry of Texas decided to hand State employee health care over to Faetna ( a fake name that rhymes precisely with the corporation’s real name if you just drop the letter F).  Wonderful doctor does not even deal with the pirates of Faetna.  They swing into any and all health care situations on boarding ropes and slash at anything that moves with their cutlasses of problem-making.  So I had to get a new doctor.  The doctors in this particular field of medicine are not abundant to begin with.  Aetna… er, I mean Faetna, decided that we could only use doctors that were associated with the same hospital where we visited the ER.  Well, I asked them to give me names of the doctors who qualified.  I got three names.  I made an appointment.  We were filling out the paperwork in the doctor’s office twenty minutes before seeing the doctor.  The receptionist interrupted after I had half-way finished the mountainous paperwork to tell me the insurance had rejected payment.  This doctor that THEY had recommended to me was not a part of the approved network.  They took Faetna insurance, but Faetna refused to pay.  The same day I called the other doctors on the list.  No doctor recommended to me by the insurance company was part of the required plan.  There were no doctors in the city who did qualify.

Okay.  It can’t get worse.  We still had the therapist who was working miracles for my son.  He took Faetna insurance.  There was no problem there, right?  But wait.  The pirate captains of Faetna took another look.  They started rejecting his claims too.  Soon there was a huge yellow envelope full of demands for clinical records to justify the need for the therapist.  I went to the ER, to the wonderful doctor, to the hospital in Denton where they were still taking my money away from me, and to the therapist himself.  We gathered documents.  The lovely hospital charged me $50 for paperwork and made me drive all the way there to Denton twice to accomplish it.  I got all the materials compiled, overnighted them to the insurance company’s disapproval department, and everything should’ve been fine.  But. of course, it wasn’t.   The claims for services were denied.  I am expected to pay out of pocket.  They found no clinical evidence that the services were essential and they insisted I pay the bills without help from them.

So, I am left marveling at the ingenuity of the insurance-pirate racket.  Every month we pay for all five us, hefty premiums because we have health issues that need to be prepared for, and when the problems arise, and we ask them to pay their promised share…  we have issues, and we get denied.  I have been shanghaied by the pirates of Aetna… er, I mean Faetna.

pirates of insurance

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Crummy Times

I am down and out again.  The rain keeps coming down in Texas, when the wind isn’t trying to blow us away…  And the pollen is higher than ever, with a really high mold count (to which I am very allergic).  I am not the only member of my family suffering right now, and I just finished compiling fifty dollars worth of paperwork for my health insurance company because there are claims they don’t want to pay for.  I am not an insurance-scammer.  I really have been ill.  I really have avoided expensive medication and referrals to specialists because I can’t pay for them.  The pirates are actually the ones who have collected all the insurance premiums and then don’t intend to pay anything out.  Sure, we are talking about pre-existing conditions, but the law says they can’t hold that against me any more.  I could take them to court, but lawyers cost money too, and WHAT PART OF BROKE DON”T THEY UNDERSTAND?  

This post is a place-holder.  I have been religiously posting every day in 2015 and this post answers that particular quest today.  But don’t worry yourself, Ol’ Black Timothy (the pirate pictured below in red, beside his best friend Scruffy Bill, who has two wooden legs, two wooden arms, and a wooden head)!  I promise you, I will get to the humorous post where I skewer the evil buccaneers at (I won’t disclose the name, but it rhymes with Aetna in the way that orange rhymes with orange) and the evil swashbuckling freebooters of (rhymes with Bank of America…and possibly Providian).  But for right now my head is hurting, I cannot breath, and I have a sick child to take care of at the same time.  (How’s that for typing with one hand and fighting with a saber in the other?)

Black Tim

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Miss Morgan’s Class

I am busily working on my novel, The Magical Miss Morgan.  I would very much like to finish in November, but, at less than half way through, I don’t think it is likely.  It is a novel about being a teacher.  It is about both classroom magic, and dealing with the magical legacy of having a brother who is a wizard.  So, this example Canto is telling about sitting at the teacher’s desk after class, talking to a “real” fairy.  In the Paffooney, you see Miss Morgan with two students who are also Norwall Pirates, Blueberry Bates and Mike Murphy.

Canto Twenty-Three – After School at Miss Morgan’s Desk

Francis sat in the chair behind her desk and stared into the open planner spread out in front of her.  She still had two days to get the following week’s plan accomplished.  It was, however quite blank.  For the last half hour she had done nothing but stare at it and think horrible thoughts about Six-Three.

“Please, dear teacher and storyteller,” said Donner plaintively, “respond that I may know you are unharmed and not mentally damaged.”

“Oh, hello, Bug.  I’m okay, but I have had a very bad day.”

“What’s the matter?”  the little insect-man had fluttered down to her desktop from somewhere above.

“Oh, sometimes students and their parents make me question if I’m in the right profession.”

“You are a lore-mistress.  What higher calling could there be?”

“I just mean that I hate being in a job where you have to deal with willfully ignorant people.”

“I know what you mean.  Dealing with Garriss and his brother Torchy is like that.  No matter how many times you show them how to put out a campfire, they just seem too stupid to get it right.”

“No, Bug, my problem is not really like that.  Cutie and her mother are not stupid.  They are both quite bright.  But they have a reason to not understand what I am trying to explain to them about my curriculum and my teaching methods.  They want to set me up as a problem to be corrected, and so they refuse to see that my teaching methods are not the problem.”

“I have listened intently to the lore of Bilbo.  I don’t know exactly what kind of fey creature a Hobbit truly is, but the world you describe… the world of Bilbo… is very accurate from the viewpoint of the fair folk.  Tellosia is just like this Middle Earth you tell the young ones about.”

“Oh, heavens!  I hope that doesn’t mean there are dragons flying around Belle City somewhere!”

“No, no.  Dragon flies aplenty, but no dragons for at least six hundred years.”

Francis stared at Donner with a look that would’ve stunned any human student.  Dragons?  Really?  Even six hundred years ago?   Donner was completely oblivious to her disbelief.  But maybe that was a good thing.  If there were a dragon, maybe her disbelief could kill it and save the world.

“How did the mission we sent Garriss on turn out?” Donner asked innocently.

“Tim Kellogg took him to Norwall, just as we discussed.  He gave your little fire child to a sweet little girl named Blueberry Bates.  She is making drawings of him to pass around school and talk about fairies being real.”  Francis frowned at the bug.  “But tell me, Donner, can Garriss really teach the girl a spell to set someone’s underwear on fire?”

“Oh, yes.   That is a simple glammer with pixie dust and the right tinder.”

“Oh, that is not good.  I need to head things off again…”

It was almost too much.  Her brother’s legacy of magic and the Pirates’ liars’ club made her life unnecessarily complicated.   She and Jim needed to sort out how they were going to deal with Krissy, and on top of it all, Mrs. Detlafsen was intent on making a political issue out of Francis’ teaching style.

“If you are worried,” offered Donner sweetly, “I can teach you a spell to make a rain cloud hover over someone’s head.  A nice big ten inch cloud… six gallons worth of rainwater… and you can make it rain on whichever person you need to soak.  That should put out any fire that Garriss started.”

“Is Garriss hurt by water?  Can it extinguish him?  Hurt him in any way?”

“Magical water applied in the right way can snuff out a fire wisp, if you do it right.  But Garriss is no beginner when it comes to magical fire… or even magical water.”

“That’s good.  Tim’s little band of Pirate maniacs probably won’t kill him, then.”

“Believe me,” said Donner, grinning, “If my people haven’t been able to snuff out that fool in the last century, with all the reasons they have for trying, your young pie-rats don’t stand a chance of doing it.”

                                                                                *****class Miss M

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