A Hot Tip on Cue from the Swabbie Hobby Lobby

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David Byron

David Byron is a software developer working for the military-industrial complex. At Popehat, he writes about art, language, theater (mostly magic), technology, lyrics, and aleatory ephemera. Serious or satirical poetry spontaneously overflows from him while he's recollecting in tranquility. @dcbyron

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18 Responses

  1. Bear says:

    Gee, now I wish I saved my WorldCom resignation letter. Actually, in itself it was no big deal, but by the end of the day every employee quit, leaving the manager all by himself wondering WTF just happened.

  2. Rick H. says:

    There's no greater shame than theft of valor.

  3. Wayne Borean says:

    I've got an idea.

    We'll hold a Kickstarter Campaign. With the funds raised, we'll buy:

    1) A Shark Tank
    2) Three Diving Boards
    3) Pool Ladders
    4) A ton of piranha

    Setup the Shark Tank, install diving boards at 120 degrees from each other. Install ladders 180 degrees from diving boards. Paint boards and ladders in three different colors which are clearly different underwater as well as above. Add piranha.

    Invite all three possible writers of the Pirate Resignation Letter to the tank, escort them to the diving boards at gun point, and explain that they only way out alive is to swim like made across the tank and exit using the correctly colored ladder.

    The first person to exist using the correctly colored ladder, wins the prize of being declared the official writer of the PRL. Since no one else will be allowed to leave the shark tank, he won't have to worry about competition.

    Simple, and effective.


  4. Jack (the one with the cat avatar) says:

    @ Wayne Borean
    IANAL, but I'm fairly sure trial-by-ordeal is no longer a part of the judicial system in English-speaking countries nowadays.

    (Also, piranha have an undeserved reputation. They look scary, but they're not dangerous so long as they aren't starving. Sharks are another matter. But crocodilians are scarier to encounter in the water than either sharks or piranha, if you ask me. Or, for maximum entertainment value: stock the tank not with marine life that would eat the competitors, but with horny male bottlenose dolphins…)

  5. Mark says:

    Should one be complaining that your letter has been pirated when you wanted to take up the same profession? Surely that's just competition in action in the piracy marketplace.

  6. Nate says:

    "Anyhow, I don't mean to get exercised, but the pilates thickens"

    I just wanted to tell you that this is an awesome phrase.

  7. naught_for_naught says:

    @Wayne Borean

    Wouldn't a shark tank filled fill with even one piranha (let alone a ton) make it a piranha tank?

  8. Just a thought says:

    Forget the piranhas. Forget the water. Just put ponies in the tank.

  9. mcinsand says:

    The horny dolphins might just work. I had a friend that worked at Sea World, and one of her duties was to collect … um… bodily fluids from the male killer whales. She said that they got to really look forward to it. That has always made me wonder how she would describe her past work experience on a resume.

  10. bkmak says:

    @mcinsand Killer Whale Morale Officer?

  11. Joe Pullen says:

    If I download and use an non attributed copy of the letter in Jamaica, does that make me a pirate of the Caribbean?

    Also I understand Pilates helps you build a really good chest. It might kill me and I might be dead but I'll have the best dead man's chest ever.

    OK – sorry for all the lame pirate jokes. Carry on you swabbies.

  12. Peter Walkley says:

    Please note that 'parley' is a french abomination and thus not recognised in law. Keep to the code. Yarrr !

  13. naught_for_naught says:


    How ever you refer to it, just don't list it under hobbies.

  14. Dan says:

    @Peter Walkley – They're more like guidelines anyway.

    In order to keep the test more to the liking of a pirate, we should have a kraken in the tank. Obviously the pirate will be the one most afraid of said sea beast.

  15. z! says:

    Sorry Dan, Kraken belongs in a glass, accompanied by CocaCola ™, ice, and a small wedge of lime.

  16. Rick C says:

    @cat-avatar Jack: Since we're talking about pirates, the legitimacy of trial by ordeal wouldn't be ruled by common law, but by whether or not pirates have stopped doing it.

  17. Felix says:

    So I must tell my pirate story. I am an honest-to-Ho Chi Minh high seas pirate, according to Radio Hanoi, and I have sailed under the Jolly Roger.

    I was on the USS Midway for the evacuation of Saigon, April 1975, and we had a mighty beat up collection of helicopters and planes which desperadoes had flown out. We were taking them to Guam, where scuttlebutt had it they would be taken back to the States and refurbished. A repo-sailor, I was, if you will, when along came Radio Hanoi, telling the world they had won the war, those planes were legitimate war booty, they wanted them back, and we were nothing but a bunch of pirates.

    And Lo! our skipper flew the Jolly Roger.

    And Lo later! I actually got a job interview from this tasty tidbit from the non-technology from which was on my resume.

  18. Tangurena says:


    Trial by Ordeal was restricted by the 4th Lateran Council in 1215 (the 18th canon to be precise), meaning that the Church was not permitted to participate in them anymore. Because the whole point was to have God's blessing/curse upon the innocent/guilty, without a priest or bishop involved it could no longer function as such. So it fell out of favor.

    Trials by Combat, Compurgation or Ordeal were outlawed in England (and thus all of the dominions, colonies and possessions of the realm) in 1819 due to Ashford v Thornton. Because one of the first statutes in every US state's laws is one expressly disclaiming common law, neither of these 3 were legal in the US.