Swashbucklers next door

September 9, 2008

Everyone has a bad neighbor story. Few have bad neighbors who are pirates. The people who rent a house two doors down could even be pirate vampires, judging from their cadaver-like skin and habit of emerging only at dusk.

I don’t have anything against pirates. But seeing them parade around with cutlasses makes me less inclined to yell at them when they party too loudly after midnight. Or set off fireworks that sound like a brigantine’s deck cannons. Venting my anger isn’t worth the risk of getting run through.

They might not be real pirates. This I’ll concede. However, they sure look the part of swashbucklers: long ponytails, black clothes, knee-high lace-up leather boots, and the occasional plumed three-corner hat. A few frequent women visitors wear similar clothes. Wenches for sure, and saucy ones at that.

There’s also the mysterious black cases wheeled to and from the house. Do they contain big muskets? Doubloons?

The head pirate has a habit of glaring at me — with both eyes, no eye patches observed yet — especially when I glare at him for running the stop sign in front of my house.

Last night I saw him driving on Interstate 5 in southwest Portland. I might have followed him if I hadn’t been in a hurry. The sun was setting and he exited west, toward the Pacific.