Disclaimer: Calvin and Hobbes is property of Bill Watterson.
Susie Derkins stood at the bus stop, humming softly as she waited for the bus to arrive. Any minute now, the school bus would arrive and whisk her away to learn new and exciting things.
The sound of movement behind her made her turn and look. It was her neighbor, Calvin, trudging over to the bus stop with a huge grin on his face. This put Susie on edge; unlike her, Calvin abhorred school and everything associated with it – yet he was grinning. Experience had taught Susie that situations like this meant Calvin was up to something; and when Calvin was up to something, it never ended well.
The spiky haired boy walked up beside Susie; he didn't say anything, didn't look at her, made no indication that he knew she was there at all.
Rather than deal with the awkward silence that was sure to ensue, Susie decided she might as well make conversation. "Good morning, Calvin." she said, sparing him a glance.
"Aye lass, that it be!"
Susie's eyes went wide as she turned to give him a confounded look. "E-e-e-excuse me?"
The boy glared at her with a mischievous gleam in his eye. "A fine day fer a pillagin', if yeh catch me meanin'!"
"... Iiii'm not sure I do." she replied with her typical weirded out expression. "And why are you talking like – y'know what, never mind! I'm sure I don't want to know!"
Calvin laughed heartily, causing Susie to grimace. "Aye, many a test'll be tackled t'day! I'll give those scurvy equations a taste o' me graphite!"
Susie sank her face in her palm. "You're going to do this all day, aren't you?" she sighed.
"Too right, wench! Once the sails be set, thar be no turnin' back!"
The brunet girl clenched her fists, turning an incensed glare at him. "O-o-oh, you did not just call me wench!" she seethed.
But Calvin turned his gaze down the street. "Avast! The slave galley on the horizon!" he shouted.
Susie looked to see that the school bus was indeed approaching. "Finally." she breathed. At least now she could put some distance between them. Life with Calvin was never dull, but what she wouldn't give for a little normalcy.
When the bus pulled up, she quickly scurried on board and sat herself in a seat that already had another passenger in it – ensuring Calvin couldn't sit next to her.
Calvin, on the other hand, sauntered on board with a boisterous call of "Ahoy, shipmates!" then went and took a seat directly behind Susie.
Susie groaned inwardly. Perhaps if she hadn't been in such a hurry, she might've found a location that ensured the blond boy couldn't sit anywhere near her; now she was stuck with hearing him spout nautical nonsense behind her throughout the entirety of the trip.
Once they arrived at school, Susie proceeded directly to the classroom; she knew that once class got started that Calvin would have little opportunity to ramble on. So she sat at her desk and buried her face in a book until class began.
As she expected, Calvin remained quiet for most of the class – at least until Mrs. Wormwood called on him to demonstrate a math problem at the blackboard.
For a moment, Susie hoped that Calvin would at least have the sense not to pull his antics off in a classroom full of people. That hope was decimated when he responded with a loud "Aye aye, captain!", earning confused stares and a few snickers from everyone else in the room.
Susie hid her face behind her hands as Calvin tromped over to the blackboard and began solving the equation. It astounded her that the boy couldn't solve an equation as simple as twelve divided by four without scribbling a mess of mathematical gibberish across the board – muttering in his nautical drawl all the while – and eventually coming to the answer of seven hundred and eighty two.
The rest of the class roared with laughter as Calvin presented his finished work. Mrs. Wormwood sighed heavily and Susie hid behind her book again.
When Calvin saw the class laughing at him, he was incensed. "Arrr! Shut yer gapin' maws, yeh lily-livered land lubbers, or yeh'll be askin' fer a gullyin'!" That shut the class right up – mostly because no one had any idea what he had just said. Satisfied that his threat had done the trick, Calvin set his chalk aside and sauntered back to his seat.
When lunchtime rolled around, Susie procured her meal then scanned the lunchroom; Calvin was nowhere in sight. She took her tray to a table near the back of the room and sat herself down. Surely Calvin won't come all the way over here just to harass me. She thought. Then again, with the luck I've been having today, he probably will.
And then, as if merely thinking it had activated some sort of self-fulfilling prophesy, she heard an all too familiar voice behind her getting progressively louder; singing
"What d'yeh do with a drunken sailor? What d'yeh do with a drunken sailor? What d'yeh do with a drunken sailor EARLY in tha marnin'?!"
"F'you don't keep walking, you'll find out what I do with a drunken sailor." Susie growled, not turning to look at him.
"Be that so, Missy?" Calvin leered at her with the kind of smile that made her want to punch him, and pointedly dropped his tray on the place next to her.
"Calvin, PLEASE! I think I've been through enough of your shenanigans for one day! Go somewhere ELSE!"
He looked at her shrewdly. "Who hauled yer keel?" he asked.
"YOU hauled my keel!" she shouted at him, abruptly pausing once the words had left her mouth. "... That... sounds dirty, but I don't know why."
"Ye've gone off the map, Missy." Calvin chuckled with his smarmy smirk.
Breathing deep, Susie tried again. "Calvin, would you please go somewhere else, I really DON'T want to hear what this new... pirate persona of yours says about the food!"
"Awright, lass." he waved a hand to silence her. "I swear, upon me honor, I shan't say a word describin' the day's rations."
"You better not." she grumbled as she seized a large forkful of macaroni and cheese and lifted it to her mouth.
Calvin, meanwhile, had turned his attention to his own plate. "Right then, let's see what's crawled out o' the bung hole t'day."
Susie paused with the fork half way in her mouth. Slowly, she placed the utensil back on the plate and slid the tray away from herself. Morosely, she rested her head between her arms on the table, groaning heavily.
Beside her, she heard Calvin take a long pull from his drink, then exclaim "Arr, that's the good stuff, matey!"
The day was long and annoying, but finally, Susie was on the bus home. Funny, she thought. this is the first time I can remember ever wanting to come home from school SO badly. She looked up from her seat in back to where Calvin was shouting at the driver – or rather, helmsman – to bear to starboard. She had learned her lesson from this morning; letting Calvin board the bus first, allowing her to find a seat that put some distance between them.
When the bus pulled up to their stop, the two of them disembarked; Calvin with a jolly spring and Susie with a weary sigh.
Calvin inhaled deeply. "Though I shall long fer tha sea, but it do feel good ta put ta port ev'ry now 'n then!"
"Whatever." Susie groaned. "Just so long as I don't have to put up with you again for the rest of the night."
He turned to look at her with a wall-eyed glare and a toothy grin. "Aye, that be true, me hearty. That be true!" he then did a pantomime motion pulling off a hat and doing some ridiculous, overblown bowing gesture before replacing it on his head. "So, until tha morrow, I'll be shovin' off!" he turned on his heel and clopped away, giving an encore performance of 'What do you do with a drunken sailor' as he went.
Susie shook her head, sighing. She turned to her own house and practically jogged to the door.
Once inside, she got a hasty jump on her homework, followed by her piano lesson – keeping as busy as she could to keep her mind off the infuriating boy next door and his insane antics.
After the family had finished their dinner, Susie went up to her room for her nightly rituals. When she entered the room, a noise caught her attention. Running to her window, she looked out to see Calvin running around his backyard with his stuffed tiger, still spouting out piratical gibberish.
Moaning as she rubbed her temples, she closed the window and shut the blinds.
She situated herself on the bed and reached for her diary and pen where they lay on her night table. "This is going to be a weird entry." she said as she opened the book.
The next morning, Susie once again dutifully stood at the bus stop, awaiting the bus's arrival. As she waited, she couldn't help feeling a small sense of dread in the back of her mind – what would Calvin be like today?
She turned at the sound of movement behind her; Calvin was plodding up to the bus stop at that very moment. Though today was different; today his eyes were half opened and glazed over, his mouth was set in a thin, horizontal line. In other words, he was acting normally.
He came over and stood next to Susie, once again not paying her any mind.
Feeling she might as well cut her loses and find out what his disposition was, Susie turned to Calvin. "Hey Calvin – oh, I mean, ahoy matey."
The boy spared her a glance, before replying "Hey. How's it goin?"
Susie looked at him confoundedly. "You... you're not speaking in... nautical terms... today?"
Calvin looked at Susie as though she had suddenly grown a third eye. "No." he said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "Why would I?"
"But,... but, yesterday you were all – "
"Yesterday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day." Calvin firmly stated.
Susie stared confusedly. "Inter... what?"
Calvin sighed in what Susie thought was a condescending way. "International Talk Like a Pirate Day; when all the world gets in touch with their inner buccaneer!"
Susie gaped at him for a moment, then rolled her eyes. "Oh, Calvin, you're making up your own holidays, now?"
The boy shrugged. "I didn't make it up. Two guys over in... Oregon, I think, invented it. And then they told Dave Barry about it and Dave Barry told the world."
She looked at him blankly. "So,... you weren't just doing it to creep me out?"
"That's awfully presumptuous of you." Calvin snorted. "No, creeping you out is just a bonus."
Susie sighed. Casting a glance back at Calvin, she tentatively added. "So, this 'talk like a pirate day',... is it a recurring thing?"
"Every nineteenth of September." Calvin replied. Turning to look at her, he added. "Now that you know about it, maybe you'll get in on the action next year."
"Oh, no, no, no," Susie immediately protested. "No, I'll stick to real holidays, thank you. I don't have time for this pointless nonsense, no talking like a pirate, or a ninja, or, or a cowboy or – "
"Hey! 'Talk Like a Cowboy Day'! We should totally get that started!"
Susie gaped at Calvin, all the color draining from her face. "WHAT? NO! That's a terrible idea! Calvin, please promise me you're not going to – "
"Aw shucks, now don't you worry none, li'l missy!" Calvin crowed, causing Susie's countenance to fall.
"Calvin, no! You can't be serious! Don't do this, I beg you!"
"Heads up, buckaroo!" Calvin said, looking down the street at the approaching school bus. "Stage coach is a' comin'!"
The bus pulled up and opened it's door. Calvin straddled up on board, greeting the others passengers with a loud "Howdy, pardners!"
Susie, on the other hand, sunk her face in her hands as she climbed on board. "Oh, what have I done?" she moaned.
Yes, life with Calvin was never dull, but it seemed this was as normal as it got.
Captain's Log: Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day, yeh scallywags!