Tuesday, April 21, 2009

O. Henry's Gift Of The Somali

That poor little pirate boy is going to be tried as an adult. Isn't that a shame? The young man who boarded a cargo ship, firing away because his piratey little group had been repelled by water hoses on the last attempt a day earlier, was just playing. Really. It's like Somali cops and robbers. They call it seamen and pirates. And they don't even giggle when they say 'seamen,' because they say it in Somali, not English. Not Austrian, either.

Nobody knows his real age. You can't slice him open like cutting down a tree, just to count the rings. Perhaps a dentist could tell from his teeth. His father is not credible in reporting that Pirate Dude was born in 1993. That's because he doesn't know the birthdates of his other children. Hmm...Pirate Dude must be special if Daddy only remembers HIS birthday.

Do you really think Pirate Dude thought up this stunt on his own, and found a little boat to drive 300 miles out into the open sea, with three of his playmates? Do you? Just on the off chance that they might come across a big ship to steal? Isn't it more likely that this is an organized shakedown of the seas, with a ringleader, a salary, communications equipment, and a ready-made story to tell if caught? I'd bet my gambling money that even our meth-dealing hicks here in Missouri have a prepared biography for each canary to sing.

Can't you live on a goat and $12 a year in Somalia? I'm not trying to be rude, but it seems like resorting to piratehood is a big jump in seeking a way to make a living. Times are tough here in the U.S. How many of our citizens are sailing into international waters in a little washtub, ready to capture a ship and hold it for several million dollars in ransom? None in my circle of acquaintances, as far as I know (to borrow a phrase from My Gal Hillary). OK, a check of actual facts shows that the average annual income is $226. And the life expectancy is 47.

It's kind of an O. Henry story of sorts. In court, Pirate Dude accepted his court-appointed lawyers, saying, "I don't have any money." Oh, the bad luck. Pirate Dude wouldn't have needed money, except that he TRIED TO STEAL A CARGO SHIP and KIDNAPPED A U.S. CITIZEN. Ain't that a big ol' bite of KARMA right to the a$$? He could have been sitting his allegedly 15-year-old a$$ on Daddy's back porch, milking the goat to feed all his brothers and sisters who don't even know their own birthdays, while Daddy was out working at a job that was Not Memorizing Names and Dates. Oh, and if he was lucky, a country like the U.S. would send some food aid to Somalia, and he could have more than goat's milk for sustenance. Wait a minute! Bad luck strikes again! The SHIP HE TRIED TO HIJACK WAS CARRYING FOOD TO SOMALIA! Who is this Pirate Dude, anyway? A Somalian George Costanza?

You do the crime, be ready to do the time. Somebody translate that into Somali. If life is so rough there for Pirate Dude, we'll be doing him a favor if we convict him. He won't need any money for the rest of his life. He will get three hots and a cot. Absolutely FREE! Unless for some reason they send him to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Baloney Sandwich Tent Prison in Arizona. Pirate Dude will still have a cot, but his three meals will be lukewarm. Come to think of it, that's not a bad idea. He would enjoy the climate there more than the climate of New York.

Oh, well. It's probably more food than he would get in Somalia. At a darn sight more than $12 to support him for a year. Even if you throw in a goat. At least there's only about 30 years to serve on that life sentence.

No comments: