By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
I had to find a costume. When my poor, misguided fiancée suggested that I go as a "corporate pirate," I shunned the idea. Instead, I called my brother (who already looks like a pirate henchman) and my friend Mark (who looks like a general bastard) and headed to Frankel's Costumes to get my buccaneer on.
That is, until I arrived at the store. "Your pirate costumes have been...1pirated!" I yelled to the nice assistant. I had to improvise. I did spy (we pirates say "spy") some wigs and some pirate headgear, so I grabbed them, headed home to my crew and ate crow (or in this case, parrot) with my fiancée. Her idea for our costumes was starting to look better and better. We donned suits and ties, wigs, eye patches and swords and anointed ourselves "The Corporate Pirates." I even made little office-looking name tags and filled a briefcase with shredded paper, Jeff Skilling-style.
And now, we're hanging with some serious pirates. (A tidbit: When pirate folk mention "POTC," they're talking about Pirates of the Caribbean.) At first, we got some weird looks from the pirate crew. But soon, my new buddy Victor (who's quite a convincing swashbuckler) tells me about the Texican Pirateers, a local troupe that does pirate re-enactments. I hang out with Lloyd, the first pirate DJ I've ever met, and Blackhard the Pride of Bedlam, a pirate captain who's wearing tight red velour pants. And when I shake the burly and cordial Derley's hook hand, he informs me that the hook is, in fact, real. (Man, the guy's gotta be a shoo-in for the costume contest.)
We nosh on meatballs, hot dogs and other grub and watch a sultry belly dance performance. (When the agile dancer balances a sword on her head, we shout a hearty "Yar!" to her.) Then it's the costume contest. The contestants are judged by audience applause, and in a surprise twist, we win. After receiving my gift certificate to ApolloCon, a local sci-fi fest, I celebrate with my pirate friends. (Note: Use extreme caution when high-fiving a man with a hook hand.) Man, I have to hand it to my fiancée. This ensemble really worked: Like Jack Sparrow, I've managed to overcome a tough crowd. And like Jeff Skilling, I've taken someone else's booty and made off with it.