I Love McSweeney’s.
Pirate Riddles for Sophisticates
by Kevin Shay
Q: What’s a pirate’s favorite aspect of computational linguistics?
A: PARRRsing sentences.
Q: Of which concept shared by Jungian psychology and Northrop Frye’s literary theory are pirates especially fond?
Q: Who’s a pirate’s favorite member of the creative team behind “32 Short Films About Glenn Gould”?
A: Don McKellARRR.
Q: Of all of Richard Harris’s many achievements in the performing arts, which is a pirate’s favorite?
A: “MacARRRthur PARRRk.”
Q: What’s a pirate’s favorite alliance-creating diplomatic agreement from the Second World War?
A: The TripARRRtite Pact.
Q: Which ancient Greek lyric poet do pirates like the best?
Q: If a pirate were to recite one of the Olympian odes by the aforementioned poet, which one would it be?
A: The XIth Nemean Ode, “To ARRRistagoras, the Prytanis of Tenedos, son of ARRRchesilaus.”
Q: If that same pirate were then to recite a 20th-century poem about the nature of poetry, what would it be?
A: “ARRRs Poetica” by ARRRchibald MacLeish.
Q: What if he went on to recite a poem by Sir Walter Scott?
Q: Why does that pirate keep reciting poetry, anyway? Is he some sort of Nancy-boy?
A: Aye, ’tis a Nancy-boy he be. Arrr.
Q: Of the ghosts that appear to Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol,” which do pirates prefer?
A: Jacob MARRRley.
Q: Can we replace that last one with something about Bob Marley, so we can have an additional gag about RastafARRRianism?
Q: Whom did the pirate vote for in the Haitian election?
Q: Wait. Why did they let a pirate vote in the Haitian election?
A: Remember, the nation was taking its first halting steps toward democracy, and balloting procedures were rather chaotic. The pirate just slipped in somehow. Arrr.
Q: I don’t buy it. Pirates care nothing for participating in the electoral process.
A: Look, can we finish this up soon? I’m having those phantom pains in my wooden leg.
Q: A phenomenon first described in the 17th century by which important contributor to the field of amputation surgery?
A: Oh, this is getting ridiculous.
Q: Just say it.
A: Ambroise PARRRé.
Q: You can go now.
A: Arrr. Nancy-boy.