Monday, March 9

Troll Hall of Fame #3: Long John Silver

Troll Hall of Fame #3: Long John Silver

For us "Troll" is a term of endearment.  Our Troll Hall of Fame honors great men and women from history and literature who are uncouth, unshaved and unmannerly, but who are true originals who have stamped their muddy footprints on the world.

Long John Silver is our first inductee from the world of literature.  He made his debut in Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel TREASURE ISLAND.  The book is the most influential work of pirate literature of all time.  Stevenson  single-handedly invented several elements that have worked their way into pirate lore: treasure maps to buried pirate's treasure, peg legged pirates with parrots, and the song "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum."

Long John is an uncouth, unmannered pirate.  Sure he shows his sensitive side with young Jim Hawkins but he redeems himself after kidnapping him later.  He is also sinister, dastardly and possibly psychotic.  He's the original one-legged pirate bad-ass.  In the book, Silver is hiding out as the ship's cook, waiting to make his move to mutiny so they can use the ship to find Captain Flint's buried treasure hoard.  Wait, they let this guy be the ship's cook in a pre-health code ship's kitchen?  You know this dude never washes his hands.

I guess that's why the ship Hispaniola was known as Trychanosis Boat to the other pirates.  We love Trolls, but you should never let them handle your raw meat.

Incidentally, that's Robert Newton as Long John Silver from the 1954 Disney version of TREASURE ISLAND.  Newton's stirring portrayal is credited with inspiring the classic pirate phrases: "Arrh, mateys" and "shiver me timbers."  Newton would also go on to play Blackbeard in a movie.  These characters are like the Hamlet and King Lear of pirate roles.  

Later in life Long John Silver opened up a chain of deep-fried fish franchises bearing his name.  Occasionally he'll pop into one of his restaurants and take over the Fish Batter Master duties just to remind him of the good old days pirating and carousing on the high seas.  Later, after falling into financial difficulty Long John licensed his name and physical likenesses to a porno actor. 

So for inspiration and tireless work as ambassador promoting the Pirate Lifestyle we induct Long John Silver into the Troll Hall of Fame.  Huzzah!

1 comment:

Snail said...

If they had disability benefits back in the days of LJS, maybe they would have been better behaved. Sadly, society disenfranchised one-legged people with inadequate wash-basin facilities. How little has changed. Sigh...