Head Down And Don’t Stop

When Pirating times is hard we tells ourselves stuff to keep ourselves going like “Head down and don’t stop”.

Like if yer out at sea and caught up in a massive scarey storm the smartest thing to do isn’t to get scared. The smart Pirate will look for something to do that will help his ship stay afloat. Storms at sea aren’t half as scarey if yer doesn’t look at them.

The same things also apply when yer in a foreign country which may or may not have differing customs to yer own. Yer could be a performing entertainer in a different country like…say…Singapore. Lots of differing customs in that place. Perhaps yer on a 14 show engagement in a large shopping centre and its yer first day first show at the gig.

The show is about to start so yer slips into yer preshow rituals till it gets to the point where yer goes to the toilet. Yer “dressing room” could be just a four sided curtain to one side of the stage and not equipped with any plumbing whatsoever.

Out with the telescope and scan the horizon from the door/flap of the “dressing room”. Fortunately yer a well travelled Pirate and recognise international signage and locate the toilet on the other side of the stage…..”Aaarghhh!”

Rituals have to be maintained. Its a simple walk through a crowded shopping centre in another country where the majority of the folk is a good 12 inches shorter than an Aussie Pirate in full regalia including brightly feathered hat. Nobody is even going to notice you walk in front of the waiting audience into the flow hundreds of customers flowing past. You’ll drift with the flow fer about 25 paces then slip sideways into the waiting jaws of relief.

Its like everything else you wants to succeed at. Simply visualise. Visualise stepping out from the dressing room. Visualise walking forward to the corner of the stage. Visualise turning that corner and striding confidently across stage front in full view of the waiting audience. Visualise reaching the other corner of the stage and make that right turn into the drifting flow of humanity. Don’t worry, nobody will even notice you. There’s many different cultures living here and Pirate culture is just one more.

If you just visualise again you’ll notice one constant thing yer head is down and whatever happens yer DON’T STOP!!

We’re done visualising let’s do this.

Deep breath and open the curtain. A couple of hundred eyes turn in yer direction….oh what was it again?…oh yeah head down and don’t stop.

Of we go straight out to the first corner. Lift the head just a twitch to check our direction and set course fer the urn. All in order keep going. We can almost feel the eyes burning into our tail as we navigates our way across in front of the stage. Fortunately a high stage so no children hanging off the stage edge and a clear path to sail into the next turn. Done!

Now fer the merge into the human flow. Well that reminded us of the biblical parting of the waters crossed with a huge dose of WTF.

Another upward twitch of the head to find a course to the restroom. Done! Head down now and 25 paces and we’re half way.

23…24….25 and we’re there just keep yer head down, do what you gotta do, turn round and get back to the comparative safety of the “dressing room”.

Through the door we go spotting the cubicles lined up in both directions. We’ll head for the closest one. A little something in me perifery vision caught me attention as we maintained course and direction…why its a lady over by the sinks…hmmm thats unusual…. maybe she’s a cleaner….maybe its a cultural thing.

Into the cubicle…..phew, we made it….that wasn’t so bad. Whats that in the corner…hmmm…haven’t seen those in mens toilets before……

About then we started to hear this strangely familiar noise faintly at first then getting louder and louder until screaming in the Captains ears as if somewhere in the distance someone had dropped a gigantic penny.

We’ve walked into the ladies. What are we going to do? You looked at the sign…it had a little man didn’t it?… Well we’ve come this far we might as well do what we came to do. It’ll give us time to come up with a new plan.

So to recap the adventure so far. We’ve travelled thousands of kilometres to a foreign country and booked into a four star hotel at someone elses expense. We’ve driven 45 minutes across Singapore to get to the gig which is little more than five minutes from the airport we landed in yesterday and travelled 45 minutes across Singapore to get to the four star accommodation and before we’ve even sung a note we’re gonna get done fer walking into a ladies toilet. Aaarghh!

Back to the cubicle.

Feeling relieved its time to turn and make the journey back. Take that deep breath again….that worked pretty good last time. Head down and off we go……hmmm theres more than one woman in here now.

Then a bright spot flashed inside the Pirates brain….they probably think I’s a woman from a different culture….yes of course thats what they’d be thinking¬† its not dressed like us women and its taller than us women it was in the ladies toilet….it must be a lady….think about the fun they’ll have recounting their adventure in the shopping centre toilet over dinner tonight or with friends in the days to come.


The best plan we could come up with is to pretend nothing is abnormal and revert to the original plan of head down and don’t stop….you’ll be invisible and no one will even notice you.


After all if I can’t see them they can’t see me. Can they? Read on!…

Head Down And Don’t Stop

Ten minutes to go
Before the show,
Head down and don’t stop!
Pre perform ritual must take place
Drain the system but where’s the space
Head down and don’t stop!
A peek through the door
Is it too far across the floor?
Head down don’t stop!
Close enough to risk a quick dash
We’ll just zip through like a flash

As long as we keep our
Head down and don’t stop

Only one eye,
head down and don’t stop!
international signage plain as day,
head down and don’t stop!
open the door, lady cleaning mirror
head down and don’t stop!
that’s strange…no it’s not!
different country, different custom,
head down and don’t stop!
Uh oh! no it’s not!
into a cubicle, close the door,
stop! Think quick!
That’s right!… head down and don’t stop!
Do what has to be done!
Who’d believe it?
head down and don’t stop!
Take deep breath,
open door, one step,
head down and don’t stop!
nervous eye flick up,
No!..head down and don’t stop!
three stunned eyes??? and four more
What’s this? Oh no!
head down and don’t stop!
no one’s gonna believe it! Safe!
head down and don’t stop!
back in the changing room,
Ready start show?
Yeah!…Why not!?…Let’s go!!

wrote by Pirate Pete hisself