This post might be a little tricky to pull off due to only a nascent understanding of puns in the native Somali language, but I wonder if Somalia has some version of their own pirate jokes to regale their future raiders and crusaders like we have here.
The first question has to be whether the jokes are full-on puns, like the ones that are loved and cherished by four-year-olds and Midwesterners, or if the Somali pirate “jokes” are instead deathly warnings about the perils of being a pirate. This adds a whole new level to the comedy if they have a whole language full of pirate anti-jokes that warn would-be pirates of the trappings of the trade that can lead to instant death.
I guess what I’m wondering is whether pirate jokes amongst the Somali pirate population are full-on puns, or whether they’re tragic stories of death and violence in a military state, but with an added dose of humor. Or preferably both.
These might include catchy little one-liners like:
“What’s a pirate’s favorite mode of transportation?”
“A motorboat with four fully-loaded semi-automatic rifles hitched to the sides allowing for quick boarding of the vessel to take hostages and bribe foreign shipping lines for millions of dollars or threatening to behead crewmen on the new Sony camera that was found in one of the containers on level D. Arrrgh.”
“What’s a pirate’s favorite letter in the alphabet?”
“Sometimes a letter is not the most effective way to illicit bribe money from the desperate families of a stranded crew with machettes placed above the jugular. You can resort to news feeds through CNN and Reuters which will at the very least lead to movie rights to your story as a child soldier.”
The obvious problem with these examples is that there aren’t any puns involved, and that’s really what we love about pirate jokes when it’s all said and done. Where things get a little muddled is how we can get some puns involved. I don’t know if Somali pirates say Arrrgh a lot, and how the letter R is pronounced in the native tongue. Maybe there can be some connection to our beloved pirate jokes with a neat Somali twist:
“How much did the pirate pay to get his ears pierced?”
“A buck-an-ear! But he also sliced the neck of his disobediant prison-arrrgh.”
“What’s a pirate’s backup job?”
“An arrrrrchitect of terrorist plots to kill the infidels once my Yemeni passport application goes through.”
The difficult part is to find the delicate balance between proper use of a pun and not offending the true pirate nature that has been exhumed in Somalia. I mean these are real, violent dudes that just happen to be doing the kinds of robbery that has been mocked by Disney cartoons. It’s sort of like Wiccan people who take themselves too seriously and decide to use it as their platform for Delaware Senator. Oh, wait… Crap, now we can’t do witch jokes any longer.
The hearrrrrt of this post is that even Somali pirates can have senses of humor. So whether their plans are off the “hook,” of they need an extra little “patch,” the violence, death, murder and abuse should all be filtered through a little bit of humaarrrgghh.