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Trial Balloon Category Archive: Captain Billy

Powers of Persuasion

Posted at 6:00 AM on May 5, 2010 by Dale Connelly (23 Comments)
Filed under: Captain Billy

Radio Heartland has tickets to a show by Carrie Rodriguez and Romantica at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis this Friday night, May 7th.
The doors open at 7 and the music begins at 8pm. We'll close off entries at 1pm and notify the winners by e-mail later this afternoon.

Enter the drawing.
Obey the rules.
Good Luck!

Our fiscal year-end member drive begins today. I strongly encourage you to make a contribution to Minnesota Public Radio and be sure to mention that Radio Heartland is one reason for your support.

The challenge of the first day is to get as many people as possible to voluntarily hand over some of their money. With that in mind, I contacted a consultant in the money-handing-over field for his expert advice. My question to Captain Billy and his crew aboard the pirate clipper "Muskellunge" - how do you convince people to share their resources without threatening to do bodily harm?

Here's his response:

"Har har hardy har har har har har har har haaar hardy-har."

"That was a good laugh and thanks fer it. I has often been in a position to make th' request of a stranger that he transfer all his worldly goods with me fer safekeepin', much in the way a bank might solicit deposits.

T' do so without issuin' a threat? Hardy har har har!

If'n I had t' get money by me powers of persuasion alone, by golly I'd tell 'em how vitally important it is t' have a thrivin' pirate sector in th' economy, an' how our flamboyant lifestyles is a cultural asset - even fer those landlubbers what don't partake of it directly. Our lives is artwork, personified. How dreadful an' colorless th' world would be without our peg legs an' eye patches an' shoulder parrots an' such!

Th' stark truth of th' matter is this - a world unstructured enough t' include th' possibility of swashbucklin' pirates holds open the prospect of all manner of unsupervised activity. 'Cause if governments had total control, piracy is one of the first things they'd eliminate! Th' curtailin' of less disruptive freedoms would be sure t' follow.

So while it might be true that pirates on a individual level is unpleasant to encounter an' disgustin' t' behold, th' very fact of our presence in th' world is proof positive that yer freedom still exists.

And ain't that assurance worth a small piece of change?

I daresay it is and then some. In fact, I'll be pleased to take all your valuables right now, so put 'em on the table or I'll bend yer pinky backwards until you screams fer mercy!

An' the shirt off yer back, as well! Har har har!

While I can't endorse any of the Captain's demands, I hope you'll find something in his argument that convinces you a contribution to MPR in the name of Radio Heartland is a good idea - personally beneficial for you and a "cultural asset" at least as valuable as the colorful pirate lifestyle.

A reasonable amount will suffice. You may keep the shirt on your back.

Do you think you're a persuasive person?

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Irate Pirate

Posted at 6:00 AM on February 16, 2010 by Dale Connelly (29 Comments)
Filed under: Captain Billy

Radio Heartland has tickets to see John Hammond at the Dakota in Minneapolis at 7 pm on Sunday, February 28th.

Enter the drawing.
Obey the rules.
Good luck.

This morning I found an announcement lashed to my computer screen with a string of saltwater-stained Mardi Gras beads that were decorated with tiny skulls and crossbones ...

Ahoy, Landlubbers!

Today is Mardi Gras, so ye may feel inclined t' wear feathers an' trade beads an' carry on a bit as befits a person without much in th' way of personal inhibitions regardin' th' habits of modesty an' decorum. So be it, I sez. Ye are free t' indulge in whatever kinds of strange behavior best suits ye.

However, I must caution ye - beware of over reachin' whilst in th' throes of fantasy an' engagin' in antics that may wind up castin' ye in th' role of some kinda un-authentic Mardi Gras Pirate.

Piracy of th' pirate identity ain't only redundant, it's repetitious.

An' ye would not find a true pirate at Mardi Gras. We pirates typically remains aloof from organized merriment of any kind, preferrin' t' create our own celebrations spontaneous-like. An pirates don't cotton much to hobnobbin' with tourists, tho' ye could make th' argument that we is the ultimate tourists ourselves, on account of the fact we never stops movin'.

But th' very thought of participatin' in a parade or shoulderin' our way down Bourbon Street an fightin' through throngs of pasty revelers what comes from places like Eden Prairie an' Owatonna simply t' acquire a overpriced glass o' rum in a festive atmosphere is a notion that is repugnant t' yer typical pirate - just as a typical pirate would be found repugnant by his very nature, were he t' land in Eden Prairie or Owatonna.

Mardi Gras Pirate small.jpg

Th' Mardi Gras celebratin' landlubbers in th' photo here is a good example of un-authenticity. Th' one on th' right looks too happy to be a dead thing, an' the one on th' left appears too thoughtful t' be a true pirate.

A true pirate in a celebratory mood is quite unpleasant t' be around, an' "nasty" don't even begin t' describe th' sight, th' smell, an th' aftertaste of a buccaneer's soiree. Ye would not enjoy it. In fact, we pirates don't enjoy it, but we proceeds with our traditions on account of we has a reputation t' maintain.

A good rule t' follow is this one: Never Impersonate Anyone - especially not Pirates. We will hear of it, an' it will not go easy fer ye should we someday find ourselves face t' face.

That's assumin' of course, that the pirate is able t' stand, an' you ain't able t' run.

Yers in mutual respect,

Capt. Billy of th' Muskellunge

I suspect the good Captain is wasting his time by cautioning this group against piracy of the freewheeling pirate identity. You don't seem like the pirate impersonating type.

But it does make me wonder - what, in your opinion, makes for a good party?

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A Pirate's 12 Days

Posted at 6:00 AM on December 22, 2009 by Dale Connelly (36 Comments)
Filed under: Captain Billy

Radio Heartland has tickets to give away to a show at the Cedar Cultural Center tomorrow night - a much anticipated Holiday Special featuring Roma di Luna and Eliza Blue!

We'll take entries until 1 this afternoon.

Enter the drawing.
Obey the rules.
Good luck!

Here's a note I found stuck to my desk this morning with some mysterious goo, surrounded by the multi-colored feathers of a tropical bird -

A fine holiday to all you landlubbers an' yer kin.

Me an' the boys is far away ridin' th' warmer currents, but we's a-thinkin' of our long lost homes an' th' emotional warmth of bein' with family an' you can rest assured we's singin' carols an' songs of th' season, includin' "The Pirates 12 Days of Christmas." You all knows the tune an' how it plays out. I'll spare th' details, other than to list our version of th' famous litany o' gifts.

Twelve Pints a Groggin'
Eleven Peg legs Poundin'
Ten Cowards Creepin'
Nine Plankers Walkin'
Eight Maids a-Bilkin'
Seven Sailors Swarmin'
Six Boys Belayin'
Four Falling Swords
Three Wench Friends
Two Cannon Balls
And A Parrot Perchin' on Me

Sing it yerselves, if that be yer inclination. An' Merry Christmas!

Capt. Billy an' the crew of the Muskellunge.

Have you ever spent Christmas in the tropics?

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