The Peculiar Physics of Pirate Fame

Today’s post comes from Captain Billy, the skipper of the pirate ship Muskellunge.


Me an’ me boys is appalled that a famed “marine archaeologist”, named Barry Clifford, says he discovered th’ lost treasure of th’ notorious pirate, Captain Kidd.

Clifford has been lookin’ fer th’ wreck o’ Kidd’s vessel, th’ Adventure Galley, fer 15 years.  An’ now he finally claims he found it  off’n th’ coast o’ Madagascar.

This may be, but what of it?  It ain’t in the realm of imagination that a fella named Barry Clifford could ever make a dent in the legend of a alpha pirate like William Kidd.

No matter which name he uses, whether “Capt. Barry” or “Capt. Clifford”, neither one is intimidatin’ enough t’ strike fear into th’ hearts of his crew an’ his adversaries.

But then up from down below he brings a big bar o’ silver an’ lays it in front o’ th’ Madigascar president sayin’, “this here booty, what used t’ belong t’ Capt. Kidd,  is now  yours.  It belongs t’ th’ Madigascar people.  Meanwhile, I’ll take the fame what comes wi’ finding it.”

But me an’ me boys says  Clifford’s gambit is full o’ holes, on account of he don’t understand th’ peculiar physics of pirate fame.

  1. Pirate fame don’t ever transfer t’ non-pirates.
  2. A halo of pirate fame surrounds any booty stolen by th’ aforementioned pirate.
  3. That halo magnifies the value o’ the booty many times over, an’ also makes it completely useless.

Th’ undeniable fact o’ th’ matter is that th’ treasure will always be known as Capt. Kidd’s Silver , no matter who is holdin’ it.  An as such, it will always be more valuable an’ interestin’ than an identical amount of silver held by, say, Warren Buffet.

An’ also as such, it can’t never be cashed in fer anything else on account of you can’t buy nothin’ wi’ it that’s as valuable as th’ moment when yer able t’ point at it an’ say, “That there’s Capt. Kidd’s treasure.”

Therefore, me an’ me boys respectfully suggests that Barry Clifford hand th’ treasure over t’ some REAL  LIFE modern day pirates – th’ only sorts in the whole wide world what can take proper care an’ withstand th’ pirate fame what has accrued t’ this particular collection of precious metals.

An’ yes, we has some candidates in mind!

Capt. Billy

When you find something of value, how hard do you look for its rightful owner?

22 thoughts on “The Peculiar Physics of Pirate Fame”

  1. Depends on how trackable it is.

    I’ll call in a credit card, but a random $20 in the grass when I’m out for an early morning walk? I’ll pick that right up.

    On the other hand, when my karma needs balancing, I’ll also (anonymously) give that bill away first chance I get.


  2. I don’t think I have ever been in the position of finding something of value just lying around. I suppose trying to return lost pets to their owners would be an example. We seem to attract lost pooches, and I don’t know how many times we have phoned the police to come and retrieve a lost retriever. I was grateful last weekend when our elderly and deaf terrier made a break for freedom and wandered up over the butte near our house and followed a man and his dog home. We searched for her for hours, and finally found her with the help of two little girls who had seen her with their neighbor. He had tried to phone us but we were out looking for her and weren’t home to take the call.

    OT-We are off to Fargo today to:

    1. Get daughter a new car since she totalled her old one.

    2. Hear daughter’s best friend sing in the NDSU production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and,

    3. Help daughter stock her new kitchen with equipment and supplies. This is going to be fun, since I love buying kitchen gadgets and such. (She just moved into a condo with a friend).

    I should add that daughter knows she is spoiled and is very appreciative.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with MIG – depends how trackable it is. Stuff at work that gets found generally goes to a single admin within our division – the lost and found emails she sends are almost absurdist poetry when you string them together. Oddest item, mostly for placement: a curling iron found in the mens bathroom (after an overnight code deployment). Phones, credit cards, jewelry, sometimes specific amounts of cash are often what is found, but that curling iron became the stuff of legend for a few months…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Found a checkbook every now and again. No risk of keeping, easy to return. Found a credit card, called in, got accused of stealing it. Found a wallet with about $45 in it but only business cards for a closed tattoo parlor and a card for a drug addiction support group. Took it to police station, who said they sure knew who he was and where he lived. Couple days later guy stopped in my office to thank me, which was good.was not sure it would get to him.
    Twice lost my wallet biking to and from work. Got it back both times.
    Found a $20 bill once, only money beyond change I have ever found. Sent it to the food shelf.
    Picked up a good tool here and there when biking along a highway, of course let lay lots of other things.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Cap’n Billy had better be careful not to throw too many stones at Cap’n Barry’s name. ‘Billy’ is not exactly much of a terror-driving moniker either.

    I agree with Cap’n Billy that “Cap’n Barry” wouldn’t exactly give many booty-laden ship captains pause but, being a kid of the 70’s, it would make me wonder if he had piratical brothers of Cap’n Robin and Cap’n Maurice.

    They would comprise the majority of a Pirate Gibb fleet that would definitely strike fear and terror into the hearts of all that viewed their sparkly outfits, their lion’s mane like hair (head and chest), and heard their siren-like falsetto close harmonies.

    There would, of course, also have to be a Pirate Andy but, while his brothers would plunder the seven seas in their multi-mirrorball-masted schooners, he would raiding grain barges along the Saskatchewan River (thank you, Arrogant Worms).

    Now, if there was a Pirate Alice Cooper, everyone would laugh at that until word got around. Then, he’d be the undisputed pirate king until the “pirate punk” movement.

    “Pirate Punks” would be feared throughout the world but they wouldn’t last long because they would just sink ships for the sake of sinking ships without actually taking anything. Eventually, their own apathy and boredom would force them to blast holes in their own ships.

    Eventually, the entire pirate experience is destined to be absorbed by multi-national conglomerate corporations which would be perpetually trying to guess the next ‘pirate flavor of the month’ (isn’t ~that~ a pleasant image?) in a never ending quest for higher return-on-investment and the Northwest Passage.

    But, if we’re lucky, legends would survive of bands of pirates like Cap’n Bill, Cap’n Mark, and Cap’n Brett, who mercilessly plundered the Hudson River…razzling and dazzling all who saw them with their expert seamanship and bright-pastel colored outfits.

    And don’t get me started on Pirate Doug who could make ships disappear and then proclaim it was, “Magiiiiiiiic…”

    Liked by 5 people

  6. I’ve always been good about returning things someone else lost, but I never found anything desirable enough to feel tempted to keep it. For a while we kept finding a golden retriever in our yard, a goofy grinning thing. After a while I figured out the dog knew where its home was, but it preferred ours.


  7. Like Renee, lost pooches are the only valuable thing I’ve ever stumbled upon; I seem to be a magnet for them in my neighborhood. I like to think I’d do whatever needed to be done if I found something valuable, but am also pretty sure that an unclaimed $20 bill would probably just get spent!


  8. I found my cat in my yard and did my best to find its owner (he didn’t look ragged enough to be a stray). Someone did answer my craigslist ad (with picture), but then did not follow up after the initial email, which I had replied to. After a few weeks, I gave the possible owner an ultimatum: arrange to come look at the cat or I decide what to do with him. No answer. By then I liked the cat too much to give him to the humane society, so now I have Oliver the Cat as a very nice companion.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I might not try too hard to return a low value item. In fact I would probably leave something that has limited value right where it is hoping that the person who lost it would look for it and find it. If I find a valuable item I would probably not leave it where I find it. I would have trouble holding onto a valuable item without making a good effort to return it.

    It would be tempting to just keep a lost thing of value. I was raised by very moral parents or it least that is the way I saw them. Apparently, while I am not the same as my parents, I would do as I think they would and make a good effort to return a lost valuable item.


  10. Cash will usually just go into my pocket if there’s no identification with it.
    I’ve found checkbooks and wallets that had addresses and those I’ve returned.
    I once found a gift card on the floor in a Target store and took it to the guest services counter. They told me it had $25 on it and I could have it if no one claimed it. I checked back later and it had been returned to a little girl – they thought she was maybe 10 or 11 or so – who was shopping with her family and had dropped it. I am hopeful that it was a life lesson for her, leading her to expect that it is right and normal for people to b kind and honest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I once found what I thought was a rolled up twenty dollar billm at the St. Paul Farmer’s Market. After approaching several people who were nearby, I hadn’t found who had dropped it, I looked closer. It was $60.00; three twenty dollar bills. I took it to the office, and told them where I had found it. I’m hopeful it was returned to its rightful owners. I can only imagine how devastated the person who had dropped it would have felt when they discovered the money gone, and I hope they had enough sense to check at the office.

      Another morning at the Farmer’s Market, I discovered that my wallet was lost somewhere between my last purchase and my car. Not much money left, but credit cards, driver’s license and other important documents were gone. I was greatly relived by the time I made it back to the office to reclaim it, and someone had already turned it in. Karma!


  11. this is the finest collection of humanity on the planet.i love being able to teach with the opportunity to get it returned. my kids all got a chance or two to see it in action. . i feel good doing it when i hve the opportunity to do it on my own but if its one of those situations where the executive decision has to be made on leave it or poclet it. i can handle it
    i remember the story of robert flghum walking along and seeing a beautiful perfect cuban cigar sitting on a ledge with no one around and it was obvious that karma had left it there for him well i have set down a cigar and gone back to find it gone and been very disappointed so i would qualify that in that situation i would be required to sit for 1 minutes to see if the rightful owner came back for it and then i get dibbs i have fun making p the correct level of qualifiers to determine if the situation fits.


    1. my compter keys went easier on the cigar gods than i did i wanted 10 to be the number of minutes that was the correct wait time but if the cigars gods say one minute pass the lighter would you please….

      Liked by 2 people

  12. up early worked late and came home to sink into the easy cahair for the pre crash and burn decompression. tomorrow is morel hunting lessons form the minnesota mushroom society somewhere near faribault. my mouth is watering. enjoy mothers day weekend all you mothers and mother related baboons out there


    1. I am willing to bet that every single baboon – and everyone else for that matter- are related to at least one mother, their own.


  13. there are a couple i have my suspicions of…..maybe common sense tells you it is true but what about karl rove , bill oreiley, pee wee herman, logic yes reality is something else again. snakes lay eggs and that would explain a lot about those guys dont you think?


    1. there was a point pretty early on in w’s presidency where i noticed he and his head and his mannerisms all reminded me of a snake. he was the epitome of a snake in virtually all respects. it made me kind of pity snakes. i guess they are just dumb animals who slither along doning what comes naturally. it isnt right that i should be prethinking my one of gods unfortunate creatures locked into a slimey ersona through no choice of his own.. then i thought about the snakes too


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