Fake News: ‘Pirates’ considered too lovable

LONDON (April 14) – The World Terminology Assembly met in emergency session yesterday in an attempt to reach consensus on a word to describe the Somali “pirates” that made them sound more menacing.

Representatives from more than 130 nations arrived in Britain over the weekend with one mission in mind: the creation of a term that didn’t evoke images of sports mascots or Disney characters. A spokesperson for the group said the danger to international commerce posed by the so-called pirates that are threatening shipping lanes off the Horn of Africa was being trivialized by each new incident report.

“Whenever the news comes out that the ‘pirates’ have struck again, everyone kind of chuckles and thinks about Johnny Depp or perhaps some big-headed costumed character at a Pittsburgh baseball game,” said Abdul Ramahani of Malaysia, current chairman of the WTA. “As we’ve seen from events in just the past week, this threat needs to be taken more seriously.”

The morning hours of the conference were comprised of a “blue-sky” session where conferees tossed out suggestions for more-threatening synonyms that might be adopted. A facilitator stood at the front of the meeting hall, listing the ideas on a large whiteboard.

Among the dozens of substitute terms that were initially floated were buccaneers, brigands, rapscallions, swashbucklers, rogues, scalawags, racketeers, bootleggers, villains, rascals, Jolly Rogers, scamps and imps. Ultimately, though, all of these failed to rise to the level of implied dread that organizers were seeking.

“I know I said before there are no bad ideas, but you guys can’t be serious with some of these,” facilitator Johan Berkeley told the assemblage. “Scamps? Jolly Rogers? Villains? It sounds like we’re writing a screenplay for a Merry Melodies cartoon. These guys are threatening the high seas, they’re not tying damsels to railroad tracks.”

After a themed luncheon that featured servers with eye patches, shoulder parrots and leg amputations, participants seemed to “swashbuckle” down for more serious discussion in the afternoon. This meeting appeared to yield more original ideas, including seajackers, oceaneers, tanker wankers, aqua-terrorists, nogoodniks and horn dogs.

“We were trying to stay away from terms like ‘terrorist,’ ‘hijacker’ and ‘evil-doer’ because they have connotations associated with jihadists from the Arab world,” Ramahani said. “The threat that the Somali bandits pose is a serious one, but nowhere near that level.”

The American delegate to the conference, industrialist billionaire Harold Hayes, was a leftover political appointee from the Bush administration and seemed not to grasp what the point of the group’s effort was. His suggestions included the White Sox, the Thunder, the Panthers and the “Somali Tamales.”

“That last one suggests a ready-made mascot,” Hayes said. “I can imagine some natural tie-ins with Taco Bells that should really draw the Mexicans out to the ol’ ballpark.”

The WTA failed to reach a consensus by the end of the day and was forced to adjourn without a new term. In the meantime, Ramahani suggested that the international media adopt the term “bad guys” until the group could meet again later this summer.

“We’ve just got to eliminate ‘pirates’ as soon as possible,” he said. “We’ve even seen cases in some newspapers where typos got through and these guys were referred to as ‘pilates.’ The global community will never take this scourge seriously if that kind of thing keeps up.”



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4 Responses to “Fake News: ‘Pirates’ considered too lovable”

  1. Skip Dekades Says:

    Somali Tamales!! I’m at my desk chuckling endlessly.

  2. seedandfruit Says:

    “Somali Tamils”….you mean, ha, ha ha …. you have a wild sensational humour with which you dissect culture -centric jargon of classifying the others…

  3. peanutpunch Says:

    Your news is just as funny as the real news!

  4. lawchick Says:

    I heart Pirates.

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