Guard yer pretty-faced lasses, stuff doubloon rings in a downy mattress an' keep babes close t' th' breast. Th' tall ships sailin' into Ilwaco be bringin' more than cannon smoke. Swashbucklers from Portland an' Seattle be plannin' a raid May 14.

Th' Brotherhood o' Oceanic Mercenaries (B.O.O.M.), a re-enactment squadron o' th' golden age o' "sweet trade" (1690-1730), will be swashbucklin' an' sword fightin' their way through town.

Th' Brotherhood be an entertainment an' educational squadron that draws from th' romance an' fantasy o' sweet trade. They sing sea shanties, talk about real-life pirates an' dress up in fancy costumes.

"Fun quotient be what we're lookin' fer," spake Lorie "Stormfeather" Fletcher. "We want t' be havin' fun an' make people smile."

The Brotherhood of Oceanic Mercenaries (B.O.O.M.) commandeer the Lady Washington and take young Poppy Mossbottom hostage. Photo courtesy Richard Fletcher.Th' squadron isn't strictly historical, an' abandons th' "icky" part o' bein' a pirate - goin' barefoot an' sportin' a ponytail - instead favorin' th' popular culture image.

But many o' th' members, such as Fletcher, be booty chests o' facts on th' real men an' lasses whose bravado brought flags down in surrender.

Fletcher spake many swabbies don't know that pirates be one o' th' first democratic societies in th' world.

"Pirate crews generally had articles where men were given an equal share (o' th' plunder)," she spake. "They had a form o' disability insurance, an' captains served at th' grace, mercy an' approval o' th' crew."

Quartermaster Splinter sings his weaselly black guts out aboard the Lady Washington. Photo courtesy Richard Fletcher.A captain could be voted in an' voted out, in stark contrast t' th' British Royal Navy, which be marked by severe discipline an' wee rewards. At least on a pirate ship, if ye lost a leg ye be due so much doubloon.

Another misnomer be that pirates killed a lot o' people, Fletcher spake. They really depended on showmanship.

"That's what th' pirate flag be all about," she spake.

Nay all shipmates dressed th' same either. Their clothin' an' jewelry, if they e'en wore any, changed by region an' era. "Ye wouldn't be wearin' a huge green velvet frock in th' Caribbean," Fletcher spake.

B.O.O.M. club members will be brandishin' a variety o' costumes when th' come t' Ilwaco. They'll come armed wi' "Argh matey!" talk, sea shanties an' plans fer drama at th' Ilwaco Saturday Market an' various pirate party events.

But Fletcher be mum on th' details. T' find ou', ye'll jus' be havin' t' risk th' plank.

"I've been sworn t' secrecy," she spake. "I'm a pirate. I can't tell ye."

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