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The History of Maritime Piracy

Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX  76244-0425

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Books for Adults - Nonfiction

Cover Art: Guide to Pirate
Guide to Pirate Parenting
By Tim Bete
Cold Tree Press, 2007, ISBN 978-1-58385-127-2, US $10.95

Dancing PirateFinalist in Foreword Magazine's Humor Book of the Year Awards!Dancing Pirate


Ever wonder how to raise your children to be pirates? Tim Bete has the answer, with the help of Cap’n Billy “The Butcher” MacDougall. Not only do these two explain why you should even want to do this, but they also provide 101 tips on how to do it. After Bete explains how he came to meet Cap’n MacDougall and to write this book, he launches into the actual guide. The various chapters answer just about any question a parent might have:
Baby Pirates – Mapping Out Your Child’s Future
Belly Timber – Feeding Your Pirate
Sleeping Like a Seadog and Other Nocturnal Issues
Quelling Mutinies – Disciplining Your Pirate
Scurvy and Hook Injuries – Pirate Health and Safety
Your Pirate’s First Ship – How to Convert Your Minivan into a Pirate Schooner
As Your Pirate Gets Older (The Teen Years and Beyond)
Each chapter consists of common questions from parents and Billy’s answers. There’s usually a collection of original pirate nursery rhymes – some of which are really bad. Billy also offers tips pertinent to each chapter, as well as a checklist for gauging your pirate’s progress.

If you’ve had a hard day at work or while plundering on the high seas, this is the perfect book to read before bed. Do not attempt to read this while drinking, brushing your teeth, or eating. From Cap’n Billy’s 100% Money-Back Guarantee (with disclaimers and fine print) to the forthcoming titles, you’ll laugh so hard someone will have to clean up the mess if you ignore this advice on when to read. I totally agree with Cap’n Billy’s wisdom that “Raising you children as pirates will teach them discipline, hard work and a colorful vocabulary. Typical household chores become exciting and fun when done in the pirate way.” On a rare few occasions the humor falls flat, as when talking about Peeing Pete, but that’s true of almost any humor book. I highly recommend Guide to Pirate Parenting, for it is filled with piratical treasure you won’t find anywhere else and not even the meanest of pirates will be able to keep a straight face! It’s guaranteed to entertain, relax, and make you forget the present and wonder “What if I tried that?”

Read Tim Bete's column on pirate parenting

Why you should raise your kids as pirates

Book Review Copyright ©2007 Cindy Vallar

Ahoy there, parents! Raise yer kids as pirates!
by Tim Bete

I'm not sure when the idea to raise my kids as pirates first came to me. It may have been one of those days when I felt like I was on the wrong end of a mutiny. Or it may have been that Saturday morning when I woke up to my kids shouting and fighting and realized that, unknowingly, I had already raised four little buccaneers.

But I soon realized there are many benefits to raising kids as pirates. If your kids are already rotten, it helps you explain their behavior. Say you're in the grocery store and your children are destroying the produce section. All you need to say to the manager is, "Arrgh! Me kids have been at sea for months and are looking for oranges to prevent the scurvy." The produce manager will be apologizing to you, matey.

You want your children to have high self-esteem, don't ye? Pirates have the highest self-esteem of any occupation, except the occupation of "actor." But you don't want your children to be chased by paparazzi everywhere they go. Pirates are never chased by paparazzi...unless the pirate is Johnny Depp at the opening of Pirates of the Caribbean...but that doesn't count because he's not a real pirate.

Raising your children as pirates teaches them discipline, hard work and a colorful vocabulary. Typical household chores become exciting and fun when done in the pirate way. Your children may not want to sweep the kitchen floor but they'll beg for the chance to swab the poop deck, even if it's only because they can say the word "poop" without being flogged for it.

And young pirates are much more likely to listen to their parents. Your son may not obey you when you say, "Stop fighting with your sister," but he'll listen when you bellow, "Avast ye scurvy dog or I'll give ye a taste of me hook!"

But the best part is that pirates are happy, deal well with difficult circumstances and are team players. They're financially independent and rarely live with their parents past age 18. And they love their mothers, as is often indicated by their tattoos. What more could you want for your little urchins?

Besides, when other parents hear you're raising your children as pirates, they'll stop asking you to volunteer at school. And replacing "family night movie" with "family terrorizing the neighbors with cannons night" is a wonderful change of pace. Divvying up booty is good quality time with the kids, and it's fun to watch the emergency room doctor's reaction when you say your son was injured during "a little mishap boarding a merchant vessel that refused to surrender."

So, what are you waiting for, me bucko, a cannon ball through your mizzen mast? Get your kids some eye patches, a few gold teeth and a dagger or two. Before you know it, you'll be one big, happy pirate family, sailing the high seas or suburbs. And you and your spouse can use the kids' college savings for a trip to Las Vegas.

Column printed with permission.

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