Many pirates find themselves lost and bewildered in today's modern, high-speed world, and can often turn to rum, ginger cake and crown green bowls in order to find the comfort and reassurance that they so desperately need.
Buccaneers like Blackbeard here have had to survive on the streets, taking food and shelter wherever they can find them. Blackbeard was abandoned by his crew and was left to fend for himself in Manchester city centre after a bit of a brouhaha concerning some mislaid emeralds. Sadly, a life of high adventure, derring-do and swashbuckling have left this cutthroat ill-equipped to deal with life on the streets.
Such a hazardous lifestyle can also leave these unfortunate privateers with physical disabilities that make it difficult for them to find work. It's hard to hold down a steady job in the face of so much prejudice when you have a missing arm, a false leg or a wooden eye. One of the saddest cases we have come across was that of Captain Hook, who tragically lost his hand in an industrial crocodile incident and has since been unable to get compensation for the accident.
Of course, looking after pirates who have been abused or are down on their luck is just one of our responsibilities. Here at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Pirates, we also try very hard to educate people in the proper care of these rogues, in the hope that we can prevent such maltreatment. For instance, many people take pirates home for Christmas or give them as birthday presents, but turn them out later when it becomes apparent that they are unable to look after them. That's exactly what happened to Henry Morgan. He was adopted by a nice family from Essex, and lived with them quite happily for a while. But then things started to get out of hand. Many people fail to realise that pirates are vicious and devious villains, and if they don't get enough exercise or booty they can become restless.
Henry Morgan started scratching at the furniture and relieving himself in the hallway, and when it became apparent that he wasn't getting the attention he craved, he started waylaying callers to the house and robbing them of their valuables. It was when he made the cleaning lady walk the plank from the upstairs bedroom window that the family really started to take notice. However, try as they might, they couldn't keep Henry Morgan under control, and he eventually went too far. One morning he fired a broadside at the milkman's float, then boarded the stricken vehicle and made off with all the gold top. It was then that the family realised he would have to go.
Henry Morgan and others like him are now in our care until we can find a suitable home for him - and it is your donations that make our work possible. Thanks to the money so far raised, we have been able to nurse many abused and neglected pirates back to full health, and place them with families who are able to love them and care for them properly.
We are grateful for your generosity, but in order to continue our work, we need you to keep on giving. So if you'd like the make a donation, and you have any gold, silver or precious gems lying about, send the map of where it's buried to:
A Universe of Geological Treasures can be yours
Chief Inspector Wilbur Violence of the Essex police force has been in the news.
Adventures in vegetable avionics (external link)
Knock 'em for six
Image of Elbow captured on Venus
21 March 2017: Hypnotic Wipes to Tackle Information Leakage
16 March 2017: Space Junk
14 March 2017: Ladder Ordeal Enters Sixteenth Hour