Back in November, Hair Balls indulged itself in some utterly sub-Swiftian satire on the possibility of Ike-wracked Galveston reconstructing itself as a haven for pirates.
We suggested that Galveston apply for a Federal License to Plunder, citing advantages such as ease of access to all the booty the Ship Channel had to offer and the boons to the local economy nouveau riche buccaneers would bring to the town. We also noted that as the one-time home-port of Jean Lafitte, Galveston had historical precedent working in its favor.
A couple of irate commenters told us to our attempt at humor was lame and to STFU. But maybe we only thought we were kidding. Beaumont's Fox TV affiliate sees nothing humorous about the idea of pirates ransacking the Upper Texas Coast.
"Is Jefferson County Concerned About a Piracy Attack?" thunders a headline on the station's Web site. "Could pirates ever pose a danger to the ships that pass through the area?" intoned one of the anchors, kicking off a deadly-serious three-minute news segment you can view here.
How about that, mateys? It was certainly enough to wipe the smirk off of our face. In a near-panic, we immediately dialed up the United States Coast Guard station at the Houston Ship Channel. What are you doing to save us? Is Kemah about to be pillaged? How many of our area children will be shanghaied off to a harsh life of rum, sodomy and the lash? And where da gold at? (Oh, that's from that TV report about leprechauns. Never mind.)
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Petty Officer Renee Aiello from the Coast Guard's public affairs desk answered some of these questions for us. The gist of it is, anyone who dared hoist a Jolly Roger in the Ship Channel would be in a world of hurt, either from the Coast Guard cutter that routinely plies the foul waterway or the helicopters that thunder overhead. "They're not just looking for stranded boaters," she said. "They are also looking for any discrepancies that might arise."
So it's safe to venture down to the Kemah Boardwalk? There's no chance pirates will turn our night of Fertitta Fun into the Kemah Bloodbath? "On our watch, it certainly won't."
So there you have it. But we'll be taking our blunderbuss with us next time, just in case.
(H/T to The Bayou.)