Corona Pirates

by Dan

“Stay aboard”, “Control your pirates”, “Bring down the arrr number” said the bright yellow signs visible across the Spanish Main. The second of these was problematic for the Captain Bradleigh Salterton, who as you may recall, usually struggled even to control his own toddlers.

With lockdown in full flow and ransacking, plank-walking and keelhauling banned until further notice, Salterton and his crew were soon out of condition and, upon failing to fit into his favourite silken pantaloons, he decided something must be done. His new parrot which arrived direct from The Amazon (Prime), liked to be known as “Youtube Work-out Sensation Joe Wicks”.

The feathered fitness freak was a hard task master. Every morning he led the crew in a savagely difficult work out which involved extremely tough exercises interspersed with jolly banter. “Lovely bunny hops Able Hands, where you from? Penzance? My nan’s from Penzance!! Bruv we’re neighbours!”

Soon, not only could Salterton fit snugly into his britches but his crew, once renowned for weediness, had become the buffest buccaneers on the high seas. It was no accident that they sailed past the ship belonging to Fakebeard and her all-female crew as closely as social distancing would allow, showily applying sun lotion to one another whilst Barry White played on a loop to copious wolf-whistles and swooning.

Rumours of Salterton’s new parrot and sexy crew quickly spread across the Caribbean and soon the wives of the crews of Blackbeard, Bluebeard and Eggbeard were demanding that their men get into shape too. Plenty of doubloons were offered for the parrot, but the skipper was not for selling.

The parrot became so important that he wanted for nothing, now instead of grog the weekly shopping list contained superfoods and tracker bars, “The white chocolate ones, not the muck you bought last time” the demanding psittacine would add.

Salterton’s only concern was how tired the parrot himself seemed to have become, and when a passing seagull dropped on an envelope as well as poop on the poop-deck, his suspicions were aroused. The envelope contained a calendar featuring Blackbeard’s bare-torso’d crew, looking if anything, more chiselled than Salterton’s own. Even the famously obese Israel Polzaeth, now resembled Michalengelo’s David.

That night Bradleigh decided to keep watch on the bird.

As soon as the crew went to bed, the parrot flew off in the direction of Okracoke Inlet where Blackbeard’s ship was moored, not to return until dawn from where Eggbeard had recently cast anchor. He was flying slowly and looking exhausted, in his beak was a new pair of parrot-sized gold Air Nike trainers.

At noon the treacherous Toucan teetered on the edge of the plank, wings tied behind his back looking down into the water as Salterton listed his crimes. “Your excuse that you were flying at night to test your eyes, is ridiculous!” he declared, “While I can forgive your disloyalty I cannot forget that you broke the lockdown rules endangering the lives of our crew and those of all the ships you visited. Sadly you must walk.”

Salterton turned away and waited to hear the splash, this was the sixth parrot sharing the name of a tv expert, he’d consigned to Davy Jones’s Locker.

He resolved that his next bird would be called Polly and possess no notable skills whatsoever.