CAPTAIN BLOODBEARD: “Arrr. Thank all of ye for comin’ down to the docks. We just wished to present our side ‘o recent events an’ address some recent accusations, afore we had to shove off again.”

PRESS: “Captain Bloodbeard!” “Captain!” “Mr. Bloodbeard, sir!”

CB: “The laddie from CBS, there, what be on yer mind?”

PRESS: “You just now indicated that you would be ’shoving off’, does that mean you will be leaving before the Smelling allegations are addressed?”

CB: “Narrr! First of all, we’re Pirates, lad. We needs to be gettin’ back to sea. Every day we be stuck here in t’harbor is money out of our pockets. Second of all, all Smellin’ has done is make ‘is baseless and foul claims against us, what got no credence whatsoever.”

A man in a well-tailored suit steps up to the microphone

CB: “Arr. This be our lawyer, Mr. Henderschott.”

Henderschott: “Yes, thank you. I just want to reiterate that no charges whatsoever have been filed against my clients. Mr. Smelling has been trotting his story out in front of the press, but that’s all he’s been doing. In the absence of any interest by the authorities, my clients have the right to come and go as they please. If the District Attorney has any issues with my clients, he knows where my office is, and we would be more than happy to address those issues if and when they do arise. Thank you.”

PRESS: “Captain!” “Captain, sir!” “Captain!”

CB: “Urrr. Yon blond feller. Speak up.”

PRESS: “Mr. Smelling has repeatedly indicated that while he was aboard your ship, ‘The Wicked Wench’, he was subjected to many indignities and atrocities. In particular, he states that he was repeatedly placed in stress positions, denied both food and sleep for long periods, and periodically tortured.”

CB: “That’s a bloody lie! What Smellin’ has been belly-achin’ about is what we call ‘four on, four off’. You keep watch for four hours, then you have four hours off, round the clock.”

PRESS: “So, you can’t get more than four hours of sleep at a stretch? Isn’t that inhumane, Captain?”

CB (chuckling): “Inhumane?!? Every manjack on that vessel has paid ‘is dues working four on, four off! I meself, when I were naught but a cabin boy, spent many a long month not knowing what day it rightly was, or whether twas mornin’ or evenin’. It’s part ‘o the job. If ye can’t bounce up, full of vinegar on three hours of sleep, than you have no place on a pirate ship!”

PRESS: “What about the allegations of torture? Is it true that Mr. Smelling was subjected to ‘waterboarding’?”

CB: “Absolutely not! That’s a damned lie!”

Henderschott steps up and whispers briefly in Captain Bloodbeard’s ear

CB: “Ah, let me just state that no one in my crew has EVER been strapped to a board and ‘ad water poured on ‘is head. That is a barbaric and unforgiveable act, and to any Cap’n that would use such a procedure, I say ye ain’t rightly a Pirate Cap’n, what has concern for ‘is crew.”

PRESS: “What about keelhauling, Captain? Was Smelling ever keelhauled?”

Captain Bloodbeard blinks

CB: “Keelhauled? Oh aye. but that’s just keelhaulin’.”

Henderschott steps up and whispers urgently in Captain Bloodbeard’s ear

CB: (to Henderschott) “What? Don’t be a complete ass!” (to press corps) “Keelhaulin’ ain’t torture! It’s just a bit ‘o creative discipline.”

PRESS: “Captain Bloodbeard, according to our sources, keelhauling involves tying a prisoner to a rope that is looped beneath the ship, throwing the prisoner overboard, and then dragging the prisoner under the ship’s hull and up on the other side of the ship.”

CB: “I object to the use of the term ‘prisoner’ when discussing the free members ‘o me crew.”

PRESS: “Isn’t it true that the keel of a sailing ship is often covered with barnacles, resulting in severe lacerations when someone is dragged across it?”

CB (leers menacingly): “Well, laddie. If you’d like, I can arrange fer ye to get a real close look at one!”

HENDERSCHOTT (hurriedly interrupting): “What the Captain means is that certain selected members of the press would be more than welcome to inspect The Wicked Wench themselves, so that they can verify the safe and hygienic work environment that exists aboard the vessel.”

CB (continuing to grin): “Aye. And ye can meet the ship’s cat. It’s a fancy one. It has nine tails.”

HENDERSCHOTT: “Ok, this thing is over.”