Cap’n Jim here. And it’s time for another yarn by ye old seafarer. We shall continue our series of “beards in alternate history.” What’s that, ye ask? Well, check out our video about what really caused the “Fall of the Roman Empire” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsRDXTc61sc
Below ye can see that dashingly handsome devil – namely, me – in London. That photo reminds me of a story. Do ye know how the Great Fire of London (ye know, the one in 1666) was really started? That’s right. Ye guessed it! It was started due to a gray beard.
Here is what really happened: It was Sunday night in Pudding Lane. Intrepid baker Thomas Farriner made his way to an ale house to see (and possibly seduce) a dashing wench. He put on his Sunday best, but since he was no friend of that marauding buccaneer of the seven seas, Blackbeard, he didn’t know that he could have done something about that wintry forest sprouting on his chin. It’s not that good ole’ Thomas was… well, old. He was just prematurely gray. Not having a solution to the problem, all he could do was shrug and hope the dashing wench wouldn’t notice.
Thomas made his way to the ale house. He drank his ale. And he pined. And pined. Then he pined some more. But the fetching wench was carousing with other mates. Better-looking mates. Younger-looking mates. What’s an intrepid baker to do except cry into his ale and beat his breast and proclaim “woe is me”? And that’s exactly what our friend Thomas did. So much so that he caught the attention of our friend and guiding pirate Blackbeard.
Blackbeard joined Thomas in his corner of bearded despair and said: “Lad, what be the matter with ye?” Thomas answered: “It’s that there wench. She pays me no mind.” Blackbeard laughed roundly and proclaimed: “Laddie, laddie, laddie, yer in luck. I’m the expert on all things beard. Not only do I have a beard, I know how to take care of my beard. It’s my pride and joy. And soon it’ll be yours, too.”
Blackbeard then proceeded to explain to Thomas the miracles a single tube of Blackbeard for Men could bestow upon him. But Thomas was a skeptical fellow. He told the Cap’n, “I don’t need yer beard color. I’m a catch without it. Soon she’ll see.” Cap’n Blackbeard, not one to waste his pearls on rotund bakers who might be a little slow in the head, left Thomas to his own devices.
Thomas kept on pining away. He even attempted to speak to the fetching wench – only to have her ignore him completely and possibly… ahem, laugh at him. Intrepid baker Thomas was crushed and he made his way back to Pudding Lane.
There he got ready to start the nights baking to be able to present his wares to his customers the next morning. But, to forget the humiliation he had just experienced, he suckled on that rum bottle as if it was a pacifier. Really, he should have used the rum for baking. But ye do what ye have to do to get through the day. He tended to the fire and then, he fell asleep. By the time he woke up, his bakery and much of Pudding Lane was already on fire.
The great fire would last for three whole days, gut everything inside the city’s Roman walls, and cost 80,000 people their homes. And what’s the lesson we should all learn from that? Use yer Blackbeard; otherwise yer name might live in infamy in the history books.
May fair winds fill yer sails.