In the fourth of this madcap series (The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists, 2006, etc.), the Pirate Captain, disillusioned after a crushing loss in the Pirate-of-the-Year pageant, decides to throw over buccaneering for a quiet life of beekeeping.
Unfortunately, the Captain is taken in yet again by Black Bellamy. When his longtime nemesis deeds him the island of St. Helena, the Pirate Captain fails to notice that the document is scrawled on a tiki-bar drinks menu and that the wax seal “is actually the casing from a novelty cheese.” Accompanied by his grumblingly loyal crew (the pirate with a scarf, the pirate with gout, and so on), the Captain voyages to this godforsaken speck that’s supposed to be a tropical paradise, discovers Black Bellamy’s fraud and decides to stay anyway. He will content himself with being the island’s most illustrious inhabitant. He hosts a lavish housewarming, and the Pirate Captain is dazzling his guests with tales of derring-do and plying them with the available foodstuffs (“boiled jellyfish, rain, and pebbles”) when there’s a knock. In walks the newly exiled Napoleon. The two fancy-hatted rivals begin a titanic war of egos, which culminates in a race for headship of the St. Helena Residents’ Association. The campaign is quite funny, with the Pirate Captain compiling a list of his constituents’ likes: “They like Queen Victoria. They like crisps. Bingo! We’ll make a statue of Queen Victoria out of crisps, thus killing two birds with one stone. Honestly, a political mind like mine only comes along once in a generation.”
Relentlessly, aggressively, inventively and often hilariously silly.