There's a guy who has recently been posting details of an event he is planning to the Portland chapter of the Cacophony Society's mailing list. His messages are filled with all sorts of extremely entertaining "little known pirate facts" and details of lesser known Portland history. I'll let his messags speak for themselves:
Friends, Swashbucklers and fellow miscreants with too
much time on our hands:
For those new to Portland-area Piracy, it all began
back with the founding of Portland in 1843 when two
people, a drifter from Tennessee and a lawyer from
Massachusetts beached their canoes on the banks of the
Willamette River (they originally were trying to get
to Tecumseh, Illinois, but took a wrong turn at
Albuquerque). Official history says the drifter lacked
the 25 cents needed to file a land claim, so he split
the city 50/50 with the lawyer in exchange for the
cash (in today's dollars, this equals $6,812.30, or
?604,587.30 Euros). Later, the official history states
the drifter sold out to a man from Maine.
This is all poppycock, as We Pirates have always
known. What really happened is that the drifter was
actually an undercover Pirate from Barbados, who was
searching for a new place to make berth for his fleet
of ships (his fleet was under the command of the
fierce Commodore L. D. Silver, later immortalized in
the fetish movie industry by the descendants of his
first Pirate crew). The drifter did not sell his half
of the city, he was cheated out of it by the lawyer,
and thus all future Portland law offices were targets
of Pirate raids (until the Great Appeasement of 1853,
when several Portland lawyers, led by James L.
Golgafrincham III, Esq. offered We Pirates a large sum
of money in exchange for a cessation of hostilities
and wedgies. We Pirates met with them on a Tuesday
afternoon, shot all the lawyers and then went out for
Thai food and a nice canon fight).
The drifter, also known as "Jockstrap Johnny," made
his way to the coast where he was to signal We Pirates
with a series of lanterns when the town was ripe for
the plundering. The instructions were inscribed on the
inside of his boots by Commodore Silver, but Jockstrap
Johnny was illiterate (actually, Jockstrap could read
and write Esperanto, but since he only spoke English
this skill was next to useless). Thus, Jockstrap got
the signals wrong, and our fleet ran aground near
John's landing, which is not named for Jockstrap John,
but for his great-great grandnephew, ?John 'Sharkbait
Asshole Traitor' Franklin,? whose claim to fame was
being the first Pirate to attempt to warn Portlanders
of the upcoming raid. He was unsuccessful in his
attempt to sell out his brethren in exchange for
enough money to spend a solid week in a brothel, and
was found dead of advanced herpeghonosyphilads in an
unlicensed brothel/petting zoo three days before the
raid of 1883.
These fierce Pirates were never known for wussing out
over little things like beached ships or palimony
suits, so we did what any self-respecting scalawags
would do; we got out of the boats, slapped wheels on
them, and raided the town anyway, pushing the ships
through the streets and sidewalks of the fair city.
We managed to make off with a lot of booty, and some
treasure too. Rum, gold coins and bejeweled trinkets
were just the start; we also managed to abscond with
the original city charter (which, among other things,
was firmly worded in such a way that it would have
forever been illegal to build a Home Depot on the west
bank of the river. Scholars in the secret Pirate
headquarters have been trying to unravel the mystery
for generations, and have concluded that it was either
a time traveling anomaly that named Home Depot 150
years before its inception, or the product of "really
stoned founding fathers that got lucky with the
wording.? The charter also mandated ?Free Beer
Tuesdays? every week in Pioneer Courthouse Square, and
stated that the only official duty of th mayor was to
?blow the horn of cheese?). We Pirates were also
accused of making off with then-Mayor D. Diggler's
twin daughters, but in reality the twins filched a
mid-sized Pirate vessel and went on to a promising
career plundering the California Coast for silicone.
Every year on the anniversary of that raid, the
Worldwide Order of Pirates, Scalawags and Buccaneers
(as well as the Infernal Order of Grocery Store
Clerks, which gained admittance after defeating the
Pirates in combat during the raid of 1931) have raided
the city. The police, military and armed school
crossing guards have so far been unable to stop the
chaos, and every year thousands of gallons of rum are
lost in the atrocities.
This year, We Pirates plan to maraud through town,
raiding at least four ale houses, a few retail
establishments and perhaps a doughnut shop. In honor
of that first raid 162 years ago, and in the unbroken
tradition observed every year since, our ships will be
traded in for shopping carts, wagons and other wheeled
vehicles and sailed from pub to pub while helpless
bystanders wonder if they ate some bad acid that
morning. If lawyers can not be found for the required
keelhauling and wedgies, we may substitute yuppies,
comparative literature majors and anyone who can
correctly identify the entire starting lineup of the
1983 New York Mets.
Clear your calendar, me hearties, for more information
will be forthcoming.
Here's the next:
It is time once again to plot our plunder of Portland!
-Dave The Great, Official Pirate Historian, and Owner
of a Weird Cat.
pirate announcement link
Little known pirate facts:
In 1889, three Pirates stole the Portland Police
Chief's horse and went joyriding. It was returned
three days later with “Powered by BioDeisel” painted
on the side.
For three months in 1905, Pirates actually ran the
city council while the elected people went on a
drunken bender in Salem. Few events happened during
this time, but the City of Portland did declare war on
Gresham. To this day, the declaration is theoretically
in force because no city council member has been able
to find it in order to vote it out (the original
documents are in the secret Pirate vault).
Pirates laid the first MAX line tracks in the 1930s,
way ahead of their time, but they only went from one
treasure cave to another, and fares were only payable
in Gold Dubloons. There was still a “Fareless Square,”
but it referenced monkeys only.
The real reason the Star Wars episodes hit the
theaters out of order was because Pirates had made off
with the original scripts. Attempting to ransom them,
Pirates negotiated with George Lucas for years, before
Lucas gave up and threw together some crap for
There has been more than one band of Pirates in the
waters off Portland. Smaller groups were established
in 1889, 1896, 1909 and 1985, but were all swiftly
conquered and given wedgies.
“Washington Park” is not named after George
Washington, as you might believe, but Samuel P. “Red
Testicle Hair” Washington, a first mate of the Pirate
crew in the early 1920s.
Knowledge is Power!
And then today's:
Yarrrr, me be remindin' you scalawags of a call to
arms! The forces of good and righteous citizens of
this fair town have mustered together to deprive me of
telephone access in the hopes that the hordes of
Pirates will be without their historian!
Well fear not, me hearties! This lack of telemarketing
merely gives me time to do more historical research
into the long and vast history of the Portland
For instance, did you know that as recently as 1987,
Pirates in this area still used trained attack
monkeys? These beasts were originally brought on board
as pets, and then taught to do small chores like
fetching and cleaning. Then one murky evening in the
late 1800's (the exact date has been lost in the
archives), Pirates raided the armory on NW 10th st in
the Pearl District. Unbeknownst to the Pirates, the
town militia had got wind of the raid and staged an
ambush. The band of Pirates, numbering only twenty,
found themselves facing nearly 300 armed townsmen!
The battle was swift, with most Pirates being shot or
captured in the first minutes, and things looked grim.
Then one Pirate's pet monkey, “Senor Pantalones,”
threw his feces at the commander of the militia, Major
J. T. Square. This lucky throw lodged a turd in
Square's nose, causing him to suffocate on the field
of battle. This so demoralized the townsmen than the
pirates were able to escape with their lives, a small
amount of stoled weapons and several casks of Ale from
a delivery wagon that happened to be nearby. From this
day forth, monkeys were a common weapon used by
Pirates in the Pacific NW.
The town decided to name a major landmark after Maj.
Square, and chose a rectangular piece of land next to
the Pioneer Courthouse.
The Pirates celebrated in typical Pirate fashion, and
gave Senior Pantalones a reward of a nice juicy apple.
Later in the evening, they got drunk and barbecued him.
I don't know about you, but I sure learned alot about some of the history Portland doesn't want you to know!
The author lives in Vancouver, Washington, USA with his girlfriend and a menagerie of cats, rats, fish, birds, guinea pigs and robots.
Among other inanities, he strives to use investigative techniques to work young starlet breasts into every aspect of rational discourse -- focusing on the discourse, thus making it not perverted. Also, has recently begun a career as "Internet hairstylist."
He can be contacted via email and Jabber IM at 'email@example.com'. He likes to be contacted.
(All press inquiries, however, ought be directed towards the author's agent, Alistair Hoel, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.)