Pirate Pete’s Advice Column – “am I under-qualified to work on Pirate Island?”

Me problem today was brought to me in a pie smuggled from Pirate Island Gaol:

Pirate Pete, I am currently imprisoned in Pirate Island Gaol waiting to be hanged on Tuesday, and I would like my enquiry answered by your wise-self so it can be used in evidence in my trial next year so that I can hopefully prove they’ve hung an innocent man.

To cut to the chase, I was until Tuesday a self-employed barber, having been a Professor of Barbering Science at the University of Oxford before moving here last month. When I was arrested I was told that I was not properly qualified to practice my profession and that the penalty for doing so is death. Could you explain what qualification it is that I do not have?

Paul Le Ropehard

Well, Paul, I cannot say how sorry I am, there is no way I can be at the hanging on Tuesday; but, enough of my problems. To answer your question: it may seem odd that Pirate Island should demand qualifications which an Oxford University professor would have difficulty achieving. You’ll just have to get used to it, in the time you have left, but the fact is that some things are beyond you. Quite simply, you’re not a pirate. That’s the be all and end of it; only pirates can work here. Without that qualification, anybody could set up business without a modicum of knowledge of how to commit acts of piracy. Where would we be then?

Next week’s problem is from a reader who wants to know if I have any recipes for cooking the almost extinct Pirate Island Turtle if he ever finds one.

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