Pric, Doddy, Shitharg in Piratical Panto

The plaintive wail of an ocean-bound gull screeched overhead as a trio of elderly women made their way out of the restaurant and gamely dodged the splashing waves breeching the gunwhale of the cruise ship.

Mildred Everton, her 5' 4" frame carrying a bulky fleshload, sprinted forward with her Lumix to take a hasty snap before thrusting the camera towards her friend. 'Go 'ead, Myrtle', she bellowed over the sea-roar. 'Take a pic of me with me teeth in!' As Myrtle struggled to comprehend the miniature device, Olive Tranmere screamed and pointed leeward. 'By Jemini,' she yelped, clutching a small iPod, starboard. 'Pirates!'

Sure enough, the mist that had plagued the ship since leaving Liverpool docks had parted and the shadowy shape of a aggressive-looking motor launch populated by leering, sweaty buccaneers hove into view. One, a menacing-looking Somalian bandit with a dislocated eye and several crooked teeth on a necklace, smeared back his eyebrows with a bruised and bloodied paw. 'Avast, me lovelies!' he roared. 'Avast, or I'll board thee!' The women, cowed and awed by the Somalian's brazen and unprovoked attack were just about to divest themselves of garments and belongings when a melancholy harmonica theme drifted sadly through the mist. The pirates paused and attempted to verify the location of the music, squinting ineffectually through the gloomy fog that swelled and eddied around them with little success.

Suddenly, a low growl rose from the deck where the pirates had initially landed and, as one, they turned to face the source of the sound. Gradually, through the drifting clouds, a mesmerising personality belying extreme maritime dissatisfaction emerged, carrying a cut-down AK pistol in one hand and dangling a pirate's head on a hook where the other had been some time previously. The white of his captain's uniform gleamed, underscoring the extreme trepidation experienced by pensioners and pirates both. His nostrils knotted, his pony tail fluttering heroically in the morning breeze, the captain instantly lunged through the air, decapitating three pirates with a sweep of his hook and blowing great holes in Myrtle with his AK, unecessarily.

'Great shivering albatross!' screamed the Somalian pirate and hostaged a weeping Olive. Captain Shitharg (for it was he), swivelled in the gore to face him, his weapon spent and steaming. 'Put down that gran...'

The pirate had only one second to scream before his body hit the water, followed shortly by his head. Anxious for their future job prospects, the remaining pirates threw themselves onto the deck of their ship, scrabbling for the controls. With a roar of venom, Shitharg, a veteran of close-combat seafaring for more than two decades, mined three of the surviving pensioners with Semtex and hurled them bodily through the cabin of the escaping craft, destroying it completely.

After the explosions and flames had died down, Shitharg heard the putter of a motor launch over the screams and groans of the dying crew and passengers. He looked stoically westwards as it docked and spewed a cluster of customs officers onto the deck. 'Help is on the way, Captain Shitharg', saluted a young officer. 'Mersey River Police have been alerted!'

Shitharg wearily tossed the smoking gun at the man's feet and wiped the bloody hook on his sou'wester. He sighed, a mournful sound that rose from the bowels of his entrails in the south and exited through his knotted eyebrows to the north. He bent and scooped a handful of hair from the deck, clutching it feverishly in the crimson slime of his grip. 'Help?' he muttered into the rising wind. 'Help?! When have I, Captain Shitharg, ever needed help?!' And with that, he dived over the rail and into the sea from whence he came.

EPILOGUE: Pete Price swivelled and groaned as the boy in the pink leather jacket roughly fondled his membership card. 'You won't get in 'ere with that', snapped the fag, tearing the card in two. 'Private party only'.

The elderly DJ thought fast. 'But I'm a mate of the Captain's', he begged. 'Yer gorra gorra let me in! Honest, I'm a mate!!'

It was too late. Through the mob of guests waiting to get in, a stormy-countenanced Shitharg, accompanied by Sheryl from Girls Akimbo, lumbered ominously to a halt inches from the clueless Price.

'He's behind you!' growled, Shitharg, seasonally.