The golden age of piracy flourished in the late 1600’s and the early 1700’s. Sleek vessels swept throughout the Caribbean, the Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. Yet, pirates ruled the revered Mediterranean long before sailing the New World. Egypt knew, Rome knew, Morocco, Tripoli, North Africa, too, knew pirates commanded attention. Pirates anywhere, might take your toys, twist knots in girl’s hair, and spit tobacco on your puppy. Pirates (for the most part) were nasty.
“Phew,” Cleat blows like a whistling sailor. “As warm as a pirate’s den, wow, Bogey, it’s fantastic to play every day.” He smiles from across the bright-green fairway. “Yet, swab-the-deck landlubber. This is a tough, dog-leg.”
“I believe it, you, fuzzy cat. A bad drive, golly, I’m buried like doubloons in a treasure chest. I’m sunk in deep grass,” Bogey whines. He wags his fuddy-duddy tail and shakes his bulky head. “I’m still 140 yards from the green. I need to muster my might. Out of deep rough, I’ll need to sail over a twenty-foot pine not forty yards away. What do you think, Cleat?”
Nimble, Cleat Quick sits in their comfortable, golf cart. Parked not far from Bogey Brown, he tips the black brim of his loud, orange and black-embroidered, golf cap.
“Seven or eight to lay it straight?” asks Bogey. His deep-brown eyes spy the high-flying shot he must pull from his bag of sticky tricks.
“Hit the eight, hard, bucko. I doubt the seven would send you to heaven and get you up and over,” whisker-faced Cleat answers. “You’ve been a weak mate all morning.”
Pirates weren’t weak. Why, sniveling pirates sailed straight and loved pieces-o’-eight; but it’s doubtful they could hit an eight-iron straight. Pirates loved holes. In deep holes, they’d bury golden treasure. Oh, they’d dig deep. Yet, it’s doubtful they loved to play golf. In 1457, the King of Scotland, James the 2nd, banned golf—even banned football. The king wanted protection from invading pirates, from nasty people. For fourteen years, men and boys (maybe girls and ladies, too) had to practice archery, instead of playing golf. They used bows and arrows instead of clubs and footballs to settle scrambling, bloody, swinging-sword differences, shot arrows instead of talking peaceably while using clubs. Instead of lopping grass, in 1457, if kings and queens weren’t careful, heads were often lopped. Buried bones, buried heads, buried treasure, at times, it was difficult to find, play with, and remain a trusted friend.
Bogey spins. “Woof. I thought we’d agreed to be friends for a day.”
“Yes, well, as play progresses, I’m changing my mind like the sea breeze,” Cleat says. “Hound dog as you are, it seems you haven’t helped me at all. Three-down after six holes to, loose Lippy and sleek Slice after lackluster play, why, I’ve never been so whey-ho humiliated. Don’t woof at me.”
“Well, slinky cat, you’re part of the problem today. I believe you haven’t worn your game-face, either.” Bogey groans as though he’d lost pieces-of-eight. “Sixes and sevens aren’t revin’ up any Jimmy Johnson motors on this team. It’s time for you to get in gear.” He waves his padded paw. “I suggest you give that next shot some umph. Put gas in your tank. Kick it son. Kick it and stick it. We need it close scatty cat.”
“Okay, all right. Hit your shot matey,” Cleat touts. “Yo ho, I’ll do my best on this testy mess. My trusty wedge will send me over Bloody Bill’s Creek. Now, hit yours right and tight, partner. We might even the bet before the turn.”
“Humph! All right, cat. We’ll grip it, rip it, and send it flying toward the Jolly
Roger, flag. I feel confident.”
Pirate talk. Pieces-of-eight, buried chests, golden doubloons—jewels, diamonds, silk—spices, sugar, food—all of it and more were dinner-plates for pirates looking to prey on the king’s, the queen’s measures, on hard-earned trade and store-goods of citizens at sea or at land.