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Great Gift Ideas for Pirates

 by Keith Goetzman


Tags: Arts, design, Dave Eggers, 826 Valencia, pirates, yargh, Print magazine, Keith Goetzman,

Pirate product line

It’s tough to find the right holiday gift for the pirate in your life. What could he possibly need that he couldn’t plunder, pilfer, loot, or hornswaggle? Well, you’re in luck: The San Francisco pirate-supply shop 826 Valencia, which David Byrne has called “one of the top five pirate stores I’ve been to recently,” has rolled out a fresh line of nearly 50 new pirate products, according to Print magazine’s December issue. With a selection like that, you’re sure to find something that’ll shiver his timbers.

For the uninitiated, 826 Valencia is the nonprofit tutoring center founded by author, publisher, and Utne visionary Dave Eggers, and the pirate-shop storefront theme originated as a way to skirt restrictive zoning ordinances—not to mention make a little money for the writing programs. Apparently, the brand needed to be freshened up a bit in order to survive in the cutthroat, sink-or-swim pirate-product retail sector. (Har, har, har.) The San Francisco design studio Office spearheaded the makeover of the store’s identity and products, with the swashbuckling Eggers himself writing and editing some of the copy. Here are a few of the labels:

Captain Blackbeard’s Beard Extensions: Patchy spots got ya down? Fear not, Capt. Blackbeard grows ’em where you can’t. So silky the ladies will swoon. So coarse your crew will covet. Recent studies have found that CBBEs are indistinguishable by 9 out of 10 naked eyes, and able to weather the most savage of gales, tidal waves, and tugs of fraternal greetings. Warning: CBBE may cause an overwhelming sense of adequacy.

Blackbeard's Beard DyeCaptain Blackbeard’s Beard Dye: Black beards can get bleached by the sun. Beards can turn white from fear. In either case, Blackbeard’s Beard Dye imparts a midnight hue to your whiskers, leaving them shiny, conditioned and bristling with health. Next time you take it on the chin, be sure it’s covered with a beard you can be proud of ... a Blackbeard beard. Also suitable for mustaches and mole hair. Made for the trade; available to all.

Quick Acting Scurvy BeGone: Dosage: a tablet a day, maybe more. Each capsule contains the power of one entire lime or lemon or small lemon. Fairly probable side effects: hirsutism; supernumerary organs; chimerism; sudden onset of fake English accent; boils.

Sources: Print, 826 Valencia, Office

Images courtesy of Office.