The ongoing saga of the Pirates Off the Horn of Africa (soon to be a best-selling trilogy of books/movies/video games aimed at the tween market, followed closely by a Broadway musical/traveling-ice-capade tandem to milk the parents dry until the remakes begin production) has just gotten a tad more interesting with the introduction of the sexiest thing in the world: lasers.
This just in from my contacts in London:
Sailors may soon have a weapon in their battle against sea-borne raiders: an anti-pirate laser.
BAE Systems has demonstrated its new laser system, which can temporarily blind would-be attackers. The system would prevent pirates from being able to aim their weapons at targets, BAE claims.
At distances of more than of between 1.2km (0.75 miles) and 1.5km (0.85 miles), the laser beam acts as a warning signal, letting the pirates know they've been spotted, said Brian Hore of BAE.
"Today's pirates tend to be opportunistic. If they know they've been spotted, they're likely to look for an alternative target," he told BBC News.
"At closer ranges, the green laser beam will dazzle them, making it difficult for the pirates to use weapons of their own" and rendering them physically unable to avoid dancing energetic ethnic steps to a John Williams score as Navy SEALs swoop in to gather the best performers in large canvas sacks to be airlifted to Central Casting in Los Angeles for further study, according to Brian "Dirty" Hore of BAE.(courtesy BBC)
But the real question here is: are Somali pirates dazzled by lasers as sexy as vampires?
We aren't sure...
This is a valid concern and one which at the very least requires further taxpayer-subsidized research at entertainment think-tanks across Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
Can we lazily plug pirates into the age-old "star-crossed lover" routine with the same success evinced by the aristocrat/peasant, business heir/rival business heir, North/South, one religion/another religion, and vampire/mortal dynamics of years past?
Well, let's have a shot at the pitch and see what happens:
Aladdin is flesh and blood, with way better abs, and he lives in some fictional impoverished white area of coastal Somalia. Although a handsome, intelligent, charming, and honorable man at heart, this rogue who likes to live on the edge has been stealing food to keep his neighbor's starving children alive while he figures out what career path he should choose.
Aladdin's criminal success does not go unnoticed, however, and although he is able to evade the police, he is compelled by the local criminal syndicate to raise an obscene ransom in a hurry or they will publicly execute his crippled mother on a trumped-up charge of 'being in the same building as a man once.'
Against the wishes of Catherine, the breathtakingly gorgeous, otherwise-reserved daughter of the local colonial magistrate--who loves him deeply against all reason, the best kind of love--Aladdin recruits a band of lowlife mercenaries and begins a successful streak of piracy that calls the fate of his soul into question at numerous ex-pat costume balls Catherine attends in the capitol, as her father's date.
"Can it ever be okay to steal?" asks Nigel, the arrogant young UN politician/black-ops-commando after Catherine's hand in marriage and the elusive Aladdin's head, who also has great abs/hair/cheekbones.
As international corporate interests and the puppet governments they command turn the screws on the local magistrate, Aladdin's quest to save his defenseless mother becomes increasingly dangerous and Catherine is forbidden to see her true love.
She meets him anyway, in secret, at various beautiful spots along the coast of Somalia--an old lighthouse in disrepair, a fisherman's hut, a rocky beach, etc--as she continues her attempts to dissuade his increasingly dangerous, morally-questionable actions and continues to devise--in secret--a clever plot to rescue Aladdin's mother and flee to America by speedboat.
When Nigel ultimately tracks Catherine to one of her trysts and attempts to capture Aladdin after shooting him with a tranquilizer dart, she shows her true colors and escapes by speedboat with Aladdin's defenseless hunk of a body in tow.
Hiding out in a picturesque cave that contains a source of freshwater and ample firewood, Catherine nurses her man back to health and would have lost her virginity were it not for Nigel's timely interruption.
"The crime syndicate ransacked your basement laboratory and stole your laser. We must get it back or the good people of the world won't stand a chance."
And so the motley crew unites in their struggle against villainy...maybe a daring pirate is the best friend to have in that situation?
Hmmm...it might work. Keep me posted, Hollywood.-Goodtime Charlie, spitballing at a CAA-sponsored luncheon on the Four Seasons patio that he was not invited to, after a few martinis