[an error occurred while processing this directive] Pirates and Ninjas Tested in a Variety of Everyday Situations

          Now that I've compared pirates and ninjas in theory, it's time to take them to the streets and see how they bear up in a variety of everyday situations.

Eating Breakfast
          "Time for breakfast!" Mom yells stairward as she pours Frog Smacks into two bowls. "Come on, guys, you're going to be late!"

          "Arrr," mutters Black Trent, the pirate, as he stumbles down the stairs, rubbing his eyepatch.

          "Come on, Nin--" Mom starts to call Ninja Nancy's name, but as she glances at the ninja's bowl, she sees it's empty. Ninja Nancy has already eaten the cereal.
Winner: Ninja

Going to School
          "Arr! Arr!" Black Trent cries, raising a dirty, hairy arm high into the air. His parrot flutters about his head with equal excitement, squawking "Ooh! Ohh! I know! I know the answer!"

          Miss Truck sighs. "Black Trent, what is the answer?"

          "Fourteen ninety two," the parrot squawks.

          "Arr," Black Trent nods in agreement, and Miss Truck walks over and places another gold star sticker on his expansive tattooed chest. Meanwhile Ninja Nancy tosses her grappling hook to the second-story window and creeps stealthily into the chemistry lab. She is so stealthy and blends so well into the background that the teacher doesn't see her and marks her absent.
Winner: Pirate

Surfing the Information Superhighway
          "ARRRRGH!" screams Black Trent as he hurls the keyboard across the room. "I be findin' naught but porn, arrr!"

          Ninja Nancy sits across from him, her telephone hooked up to Tel-Net, silently hacking into the government and replacing all "Suspected Ninja" in people's government intelligence files with "Suspected Innocent Jelly-Like Charity Worker (loves kids!)"
Winner: Ninja

          "Arr! Get in yer room, ye scurvy landlubbin' brats!" Black Trent yells, herding Little Timmy and Little Betty into the bedroom.

          "Can we watch TV?" asks Betty.

          "Certainly," replies the pirate. "An' there be some cookies for dinner."

          "Yaaay!" the children clamor.

          Black Trent spends the day watching the big-screen TV, eating Wheatstone crackers and Godiva biscuits, and generally ignoring the kids, who are safe upstairs with their endless tapes of Broadway musicals and chocolate-chip cookies. One time Little Betty falls and bangs her head, and Black Trent lets her watch shows her parents never let her watch until she stops crying. He is paid handsomely in pieces of eight and strings of pearls.

          Next door, Ninja Nancy is perched on a rain gutter, staring into the living room. Little Mickey stands alone in the middle of the room, calling "Hey, babysitter! You here?" Not receiving an answer, he shrugs and walks out. In one swoop Nancy drops down, snatches him by the scruff of his neck, and replaces him in the house. She disappears before he can see her, and he spends the rest of the day playing video games, and getting thwarted whenever he tries to do anything fun.

          "I want you to hire Black Trent next time," Mickey complains to his parents as they come in. His father is holding a handful of money, but no one can find Nancy to pay her.
Winner: Pirate

Asking for a Date
          Mary Jane is looking especially pretty today in her striped pinafore and red bandana, and her pegleg is looking most curvaceous. Black Trent shuffles up to her, blushing behind his stubble, and bashfully removes his tri-corner hat.

          "Hallo, Miss Mary Jane," he says, haltingly, "ye arr looking most booty-full today."

          "Why, thank ye," she replies, flashing a charming smile that is missing three teeth.

          "I was, uh… I was just wonderin'," he continues, "if perhaps ye be doin' anything Saturday?"

          "Not yet," she smiles, blushing ever so slightly behind her stubble.

          "Perhaps ye be likin' to come a-lootin' with me?" he asks hopefully.

          She nods. "It be a date."

          Meanwhile Ninja Nancy is darting, antelope-like, through a field, in hot pursuit of a white ninja by the name of Ninja Barnard. Coming to a bamboo forest, they leap into the branches, jumping from tree to tree, noiselessly, causing only the slightest change in position to the thin branches. As they approach a hot spring, Ninja Barnard hesitates for the splittest of split seconds, and Ninja Nancy turns a leap into a flying kick which lands squarely in the middle of his slender back. The two tumble gracefully into the pool like a pair of black and white cherry blossoms. They slip gently into the water, and, clinging to each other, swim to the surface and begin to kiss. Words are not necessary. They both know this a fleeting relationship and either of them could die at any second, perhaps killed by the other.
Winner: Though they may express it in different ways, both have won in the game of love. [an error occurred while processing this directive]