Pirates at Seats

The London Olympics has an empty seat crisis. Fortunately, professional usurpers are standing by. Today’s post comes from International Fugitive From Justice Captain Billy of the pirate ship Muskellunge.

Artist’s Approximation of Captain Billy

Ever go to a thing where ya thought yer seat was reserved, only to find another booty in th’ bucket?


In all th’ realm of piracy an it’s various manifestations, attempted theft of a reserved seat is one of me most favorites! Why? Because it requires th’ perpetrator to do some actin’, an’ we pirates loves to act.

‘Tis a simple process. Ya picks th’ best empty seat ya can find an’ takes up residence there with yer best air of entitlement. If somebody comes along with th’ real ticket fer that seat, ya goes into yer act.

“Oh heavens me! That ain’t possible – this here’s me seat. Lemmee see th’ ticket. Hmmm. I’m quite certain me ticket has th’ very same numbers … though it ain’t in me pocket at th’ moment …”

An’ so forth an so on.

Eventually ya may have to move, of course. But along th’ way ya does yer best to get as many people as ya can to stand up an’ check their seat numbers. This time of confusion an emotion is th’ very best time to remove wallets from pants pockets an’ lift coin purses from handbags. Especially if’n th’ event is one of them what attracts th’ moneyed elite.

I can tell ya that there is nothin’ that calls out to me quite like a row of empty seats at a venue like them Olympics. All th’ majesty an’ pageantry of sport, plus all them Gold Medals! Not to mention Silver an’ Bronze! I reckon there’s got to be a vault somewhere on site what’s just loaded with precious metals, already festooned wi’ ribbons fer easy carryin’.

Aye! Me an’ me boys would surely love to be there.

I can assure ya that as spectators we is as lusty as they come – much more so than them English folks. An’ as men officially without countries, we’d be delighted to lift our voices for whomever. No petty allegiances will keep us from cheerin’ our hearts out fer th’ swimmer from Malawi, or th’ gymnast from Indonesia, or that random person who marched in with the team from India, minus credentials an’ wearin’ th’ wrong clothes.

An’ by givin Olympic tickets to th’ world’s pirates, there’s always a chance we’ll be so enthralled by th’ spectacle of sports, we’ll be tempted to join th’ law-abidin’ citizens of th’ world in livin’ upstandin’, responsible lives from here on out.


Yer Seafarin’ Buddy,
Captain Billy

I doubt the Captain and his crew will receive invitations to do spectator duty at these security conscious Olympic games, but it does raise the question – how big a problem is international seat piracy?

Ever find some stranger sitting in your place?

58 thoughts on “Pirates at Seats”

  1. OR maybe you found an OT person on your blog……
    Thanks to all the support from baboons my entry to the ice cream contest is now one of the last 2 contestants. With a fancier name there is another round of voting as well as tasting at the State Fair.
    Can I ask again that you vote for Mini-sota Donuts at http://www.kempsnextflavor.com/ and https://apps.facebook.com/kempsfavs/contests/213564 ? You can vote every day. If you’re in touch with large groups of folks like the crew of the Muskellunge or the sophomore class at Wendell Wilkie High School, feel free to invite them to join in the voting (no IDs required).


    1. ba this is wonderful news. i know i for one however can not remember to do this every day without prodding. i personally would appreciate exactly the same 2 links being posted every day for me to click on. buy the way this is the chicago voting program again. you can vote on each site and by the way i did vote for the wrong flavor on the second site because they switched location for right to left and i wasnt paying attention however it does allow you to vote for the other flavor too if you make this mistake. dont try this at home it may be dangerous


    2. dale this would make a great news story on kfai every morning form now until the fair. maybe there could be a contest to meet and eat ice cream with the minne’ sota donuts creator ba could wear the kemps crown and sash and we could escort her up and down the midway with the kemps trophy raised high above our heads chanting minne- sota donuts… minne- sota dounuts. maybe we could get kevin kling to do his minnesota accent identifier.. i aint payin no dollar for no donut that tastes like dough. say it with jesse ventura in mind and it really sounds minnesotan hey


        1. Me too. I think I foresee a trip to Izzy’s in my near future (doesn’t hurt that I was given a gift certificate to that fine ice cream shop).


  2. Good morning. I had a strange dream last night that included a person taking my seat. Some how I was without a place to sleep and had found a space on a padded bench in a room where I planned to sleep. I got up to do something and two people sat down in the place where I had been sitting. They wouldn’t move and I didn’t know what to do. The dream ended there. The meaning of that dream is a mystery to me. It seems there might be some kind of an international seat piracy problem that has penetrated my dreams.


      1. cottage grove is pretty comfortable with all your stuff and your garden and your seeds and your sheds. you are coming to do something else in minnepolis ( what is it you are going to do when you get here?) and when you try to be as comfortable as you have been up until now you will discover things have changed. rental housing is at an all time high jim, maybe stay in clarks grove and rent out your minnehaha house for top dollar while basking in the fame and fortune clarks grove has in its familiar offering. get off your bench when you are ready. soon is a good idea with the way our bodies tend to go out as time passes but heck. the baboon moving company is ready when you are. next year the year after…. 2020?


        1. You might be right about the meaning of my dream, tim. It might be related to thinking about the problems of leaving my place here. I think our reasons for wanting to move are good so I will stick with that plan even if in some ways it would be easier to just stay here. I am looking forward to living closer to all the Baboons that live in the Twin Cities and being available to host a book club meeting.


        2. Jim will become a close neighbor of mine when he moves, right across the river. The next time my hackberry decides to chuck off a tree-sized limb, Jim will be close enough to get in on the chainsaw party.


        3. I don’t know Edith. Perhaps Dale knows how to come up with things that have a certain universal appeal and that have a good chance of hitting close to things in our lives including our dreams.


        4. Opps. the above reply should go after one posted below by Edith. In response to your comment about a house in Minneapolis, Edith, I am buying one there that I am currently renting to my daughter and her husband. That’s the house we plan to move to late next year.


  3. yep i have had my seat pirated and it was a memorable occasion. i was at the guthrie at the old thrust stage and sitting in the balcony second row dead center on the aisle with a girl i was trying to impress with my ability to show culture and social eptitude. we were at a concert and the warm up act was janus ian, how funny that i dont remember the main act. it was 20 some odd years ago. janis finished up singing and we went to intermission for a glass of cheer and when we returned for the second half the music was begining and we hurried to get seated and lo and behold there was a guy in my aisle seat. i had to whisper because the music had begun and i told him he was in my seat. he was guite indignant about it and assured me that this was indeed his seat and when i explained that i had been sitting there for the first half of the concer and did indeed have tickets in my pocket that would prove me out he wanted no part of it. rather than argue i had my date go over and sit on the other side of him in the sencond seat and i simply sat on the stair in the aisle. i believe he sat there for the first song and when there was a break between the first and second song i had a bit of conversation with my date across his lap and had to lean a bit across his territory in order not to be speaking too loud and offending others nearby. the second song played and the same thing happened duing the third where peggy and i exchanged nicities and that was that. our seat pirate knew he had found the wrong seat to pirate. we were going to coo in each others ears with him being the hurdle in the middle and he didnt appreciate it. he didnt appreciate it so much he left. i think he was disgusted with our lack of consideration for his positon. now he had to go and pirate a seat right in the middle of the second part of the show and it would be quite a bit more inconvenient than the intermission pirating had been. ah the dating life, the trials and tribulations, the going out at intermission and getting high as a kite…. those were the days.


  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Yes, I have at the theatre/theater, but nothing as dramatic as tim’s story. However, I have always thought the most difficult “seat piracy” situation would be finding another woman in bed with my husband/wasband. That, thankfully, has never happened to me — at least that I know of.


    1. i dont want to hear about the preferences of you mates and the fact that anal interaction has an appeal. please jacque this is mixed company


  5. off to do some moving of my own today. a storage shed i have filled with miscelany for the last 20 r 30 years is being vacated by me. i have a warehouse to move it in to but it is a large storage unit (15×30 15 feet tall with pallet racking for added stash efficiency) and the little intro to the process of getting my wifes stuff out of her little 10x 30 on saturday and sorting through it sunday was enough for me. well evidently not enough, here we go again.


  6. oh the olympic seats..
    i read something about the olympic seats that may be strongly influencing the empty seatedness of the venues uk wide. i have commented here on the blog what a great time i had buying and selling tickets at the 96 atlanta olympics and how i would buy 4 sell 3 and go watch the event for a reduced price. well it seemed when i looked into the possibility of doing it again this olympics that the ticket makers in anticipation of the ability of todays counterfeiters, have it set up so the tickets are assigned not only to a seat and an event but also to a person and you must show id to get in to the seating area. no second person ticket ownership here. takes all the fun out of scalping. with the challenges they have being secure now we have to have security guards wondering if i am indeed dr gilligan mahoskowitz or an impostor? empty venues is what they get. empty heads is what they display.


      1. Phase 1 hot and sweaty but we are rolling
        Phase two and done with move tomorrow. Then sort through all that stuff
        Beginning of cleansing
        Pj spoke of a colonosamy, I’m cleansing my storage unit. Same thing but I’m also the camera


    1. Perhaps Captain Billy has modified his look to scare anyone who thinks he should move out of the seat he has taken from them. I don’t think I would mess with the Captain if he gave me the look that appears in that picture.


  7. Having worked at the DECC for 10 years of my youth, I certainly had to deal with patrons in the wrong seats. Even today, on the rare occasion when I go to a theater event with reserved seats, I cringe when I see people trying to read their tickets and seat themselves. Not only because the odds are good that they’ll mess it up but then, when the inevitable correct seat holders show up, they have to make a fuss in an effort to save face because of their blunder.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’d be ‘ushing’ for a UMD hockey game and some obviously lost people would wander into my section. I’d offer to help them…even in a friendly fashion. I got a verbally condescending pat on the head and, “Oh, I think we can handle it just fine…heh, heh, heh…” Typically, I’d wind up standing next to them as the game had just started with the rightful seat holders standing behind me. They would try to tell me to put the other people in their seats, tell me I was wrong (that’s the -essence- of what they were saying with their colorful metaphors), and tell me that they were going to get me fired.

    Even worse was when the Shriners ‘helped’ us usher for the Shrine Circus. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of all the great things that the Shriners do for kids. But when several school buses, from several different schools, show up all at once and teachers are walking in with hundreds of tickets and kids, you can’t just wave your hand at the seats and say, “We’ve got lots of room, just take whatever seats you want.” That was not a good day.


    1. Yeah, I cringed a little, too, when folks would wander in and seat themselves during my using days at the Ordway. Things are a little more genteel there, so I never witnessed any scuffles – you learned to say things like “the lettering/numbering/sections can be confusing” to allow the person who probably earns in an hour about 3x what I made during the course of an evening to save a little face. Gracious, genteel, unruffled…that’s what we were supposed to be. It’s gotten a little looser since my days there, but I’d wager the ushers still use the same soothing, gentle tones to allow the seat pirate (or confused rich old lady) to save face.


    2. My daughter is responsible for seating people for events where she works. She has lots of stories about that. Some people can be very unreasonable regarding problems related to seating.


  8. Morning–

    Had that happen on one of my planes the other night. The woman in the wrong seat turned out to be a flight attendant returning home and while she blustered on about “…having a board pass somewhere. Well, I just had it!…” I don’t think she ever really had one; she just grabbed a window seat in the exit row. Finally left in a huff with “Well! I’ll just let the man have his seat!”. Doesn’t speak much for the employees. Course air travel now in general doesn’t do much to improve the human spirit.


  9. Morning all — I can’t think of a specific time where someone has been in my seat — although I’m sure it’s happened on planes. But I don’t usually have any great commitment to whatever seat I have been assigned – I am often the one who moves seats so that families can sit together.


  10. Most of the seat pirating I’ve experienced was at home…you know, when you move your feet, you lose your seat. I would come back to find one of the kids had taken my spot. Doesn’t happen so much anymore now that there’s only one kid left at home.

    What I really hated, though, was pirating of my pens. Sometimes I would be sitting at a table writing something and set my pen down for a few seconds. Apparently, unless you’re actually holding the pen tightly in your hand, it’s fair game for anyone to snatch, no matter if it’s right in front of you or if it’s your favorite pen.

    It’s so good to hear from Captain Billy; he was one of my favorites from TLGMS. Ain’t that right, boys?


  11. One of the dances we do at our camp was written by one of the dance leaders. It’s done in a square formation. A few couples are out of the dance as it starts. There is a point where the side couples go under arches formed by the head couples. When they come back to their places, they may find another couple swinging in their place and they have to steal another couple’s spot the next time around. So my “seat” has been stolen while doing that dance.

    That may be a confusing visual but it was the first thing that popped into my mind. The other day, JiCG said “Due to the very low scores for hemisemidemiquibbles on this blog, you can go ahead and post anything that comes to mind without worrying about not being too cleaver.”
    I’m trying not to worry.


  12. OT:
    Several weeks ago someone on here mentioned ‘Davina and the Vagabonds’.
    I had the chance to see her today as part of ‘Harmony for Mayo’, free noontime concert.
    Wow. Seriously. WOW!
    She’ll be back in Rochester doing another free concert as part of ‘Thursdays on First’ on August 23.
    So whomever that was that mentioned her before, thanks!


  13. I went to a concert with a friend recently. He’d ordered our tickets in advance and we picked them up at the gate. We went in and found our correct seats and made ourselves comfortable. It wasn’t long before an usher came to us and indicated that there were seats available closer to the front. We took advantage of this offer and moved forward to seats that weren’t assigned to anybody else. This brought us much closer to the stage and I was able to use my iPod to make a passable video of the performance of a song my friend knows well. It was fun, we didn’t offend anyone, and we have a video to remember it by. Thanks, friend!😉


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