Why?:Shoot the albatross

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Good afternoon, <insert name here>. I see that you're on a boat, you're holding a crossbow, and there's an albatross circling overhead. Before you decide whether to pull that trigger and send it plummeting to its death, you may want to read this article, so that you might make an informed decision.

Reasons albatrii are often shot


One reason sometimes cited for albatrossicide is accidental negligence. However, you're not reading this article in order to determine whether or not you should accidentally do something you don't intend to.[1] So let's move on.

In perceived self-defense

Study this chart. Learning to distinguish between an albatross and a pirate can save your life.

A less common explanation given by a man who has just shot an albatross is that he mistook it for a pirate. Don't worry: this is a perfectly understandable mistake.[2] However, there are several key identifying factors you can use to distinguish an albatross from a pirate.

  • A pirate will eye your booty avariciously. An alabatross will eye your popcorn instead.
  • A pirate is most often seen on the deck of a ship. If it is circling your boat in the sky overhead, it is probably not a pirate, but an albatross.
  • Given enough time, a pirate will solve a Rubik's cube. An albatross will never solve it, no matter how long it tries.[3] If you have a Rubik's cube on board, consider giving it to your visitor and observing the outcome.
  • A pirate is human. An albatross is a bird. However, be careful of relying too heavily on this test. Sometimes a pirate will put a bird on his shoulder in order to foil it.

Because it was eyeing my popcorn

Of course it was eyeing your popcorn! It's an albatross. Give it some damn popcorn, already. Withholding popcorn from a marine bird is inhumane. It's like withholding bacon from a dog.

Pros of shooting the albatross

There are very few pros to shooting an albatross.

It can be eaten, in a pinch, but is considered a poor source of maritime nutrition. Albatrii taste a bit like chicken, but do not contain Vitamin C, and thus offer no protection against scurvy.[4]

Also, nine out of ten times, upon being shot, the albatross will fall in the water, which will make it very difficult for your dog to retrieve it. More likely, he'll just pop up from behind something and giggle at you, as though you didn't hit any birds at all.[5]

Given the correct equipment, you can also turn an albatross into a fancy hat. However, this is not really considered a very strong pro, since such a hat will undoubtedly diminish your sex appeal.

Cons of shooting the albatross

I told you not to shoot the albatross. But Nooo. You had to go and shoot the fucking albatross anyway!

Your shipmates will call you a wretch.

They will! "Ah, wretch," they'll say, "the bird to slay, that made the breeze to blow!" It is likely to hurt your feelings. After all, these are your shipmates - your only source of companionship for God knows how long.

Water, water, everywhere.

Yes, there will be water absolutely everywhere. Everywhere you look, nothing but water. But, you expect that, right? After all, you're at sea. However, consider:

Nor any drop to drink.

That's right. None of the water is potable, and drinking it will eventually kill you. And if your shipmates are correct when they say that the albatross makes the breeze to blow, then you're pretty much screwed. Unless you have a satellite phone or an outboard motor or something.

This will irritate your shipmates so badly that they will hang the dead albatross around your neck. Ah! Well a-day, what evil looks, you'll have from old and young! Instead of the cross, the albatross about your neck will be hung.

For a while, this will just make you look foolish; you may also experience some discomfort from the crossbow bolt bumping up against your hip. However, eventually the bird's corpse will start to decompose, and then you are in for a very unpleasant couple of weeks. Also, albatrosses are heavy; expect back problems. Remember this experience next time you consider whether to have breast implants.

Several days after shooting the albatross, you will probably encounter a ghostly vessel. Then, be ready to spend seven days wallowing among the corpses of your recently-living crewmates. And if you thought the smell from the albatross was pungent, well, prepare yourself.

You will be forced to wander the earth and tell your story in iambic tetrameter

Adding insult to injury, once you finally escape from the clutches of Nightmare Life-in-Death, find something to drink, and get the bird off your neck, you will feel an odd compulsion to travel from city to city, recounting your tale to anyone who wants to listen to a long, boring poem about the time you shot a bird. When you do encounter civilization, avoid telling it to men who are on their way to wedding ceremonies; this could agitate them, and things could get a bit stabby. A useful tip is to seek out the university dorms; it's a lot easier to get people to sit through your tale when they're good and baked.


If I were you, I'd put that crossbow down, since there are no good reasons to... wait, what did you just do?


  1. The answer is: no.
  2. It is not.
  3. At least, that's what we think. It's difficult to get them to try.
  4. Should you contract scurvy, you should consult HowTo:Distinguish yourself from a pirate.
  5. You may feel inclined to shoot him, but note that your crossbow will not work for several seconds. We're not sure why.

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