Ninjas and pirates. Tom and Jerry. Mods and rockers. Catholics and everyone else. Since time immemorial these groups have fought, for no better reason than some ancient grudge handed down through generations. But why is the ninja the natural enemy of the pirate? One hangs around in the Caribbean circa the 17th century and the other in the Edo period of feudal Japan, so one would think they'd never have a chance to meet. But somehow they did, and somehow they became sworn foes that make George Bush and Saddam Hussein look like fucking Butch and Sundance.

Tonight, we ask... can ninjas and pirates exist in harmony?

To determine the answer to this stupid question, I fired up my ancient copy of The Sims and quickly rustled up one simulated pirate and one simulated ninja. I decided to make them of opposing sexes, to create a thick atmosphere of sexual tension not unlike Mulder and Scully, if Scully wore tight black pyjamas and Mulder hated her guts. Let's take a look at our candidates:

Jim Pirate - who, if you're having trouble, is the top one - dresses in fairly traditional mid-level pirate gear; he's no cabin boy but then again he's not the kind of pirate who wears a gigantic tricorne hat and a beard that contains more lice than actual beard. I gave him two Nice points because he once cut out an enemy pirate's heart and DIDN'T show it to him before he died. Also note the blood splatter on his shirt, which may be related.

The most glaring differences between Jim and Eiko's personalities are in the Neat and Playful areas. Ninjas are nothing if not neat - they can shuriken you up the wazoo before you even know they're in the building - but you certainly won't find them in a ninja bar chugging a pitcher of Cooleys New while all the other ninjas chant encouragingly. Incidentally, Eiko goes without gloves because the Sims skin editor is a mean bastard that won't let you change the look of a person's hands. I had to reject my original idea for a 'pirate living with Jesus' article because I couldn't add the stigmata.

Let's take a look at where they'll be living.

You'll see that I've set myself something of a deadline in this scenario by only providing one, double bed that crosses both ninja and pirate territory. If this pair aren't on the best of terms by nighttime, one of them is sleeping on the kitchen counter.

Eiko's side on the left is decorated in a style I like to call "I don't know what a Japanese house is supposed to look like but the Sims provides some Japanese-style textures so I'll just use a load of them". She gets the magical toilet from space, being Japanese and all, and some nice bonsai trees to add some colour and somewhere to hide in when she is practising the deadly arts.

Jim's half is decorated as much like the interior of a 17th century galleon as I could manage with the piss-poor choices available, and rather than attractive plants he favours decorating the place with the sort of classy artworks and furniture a wealthy nobleman might have before he gets robbed by every pirate in the hemisphere. His bath is the old-fashioned posh one which is somehow more comfortable than the other sort even though you have to bend your spine ninety degrees to use it.

Let's see how they did.

Jim's very first action upon arriving in the house was to applaud the art deco standard lamps, possibly because he knew what a difficult job being a floor lamp can be and wished to offer support. I can only imagine what his reaction will be when he discovers that his side of the house is lit only by oil lamps someone left on the floor to be tripped over. Wearying of these two arch enemies standing around clapping at the furniture like a pair of fucking circus seals, I directed them towards each other and prepared to watch the sparks fly.
Things opened rather civilly when Jim, being a pirate and everything, opened the conversation with a picture of a boat. Eiko, rather than cutting him for his dishonour, appeared to share his interest. By some million to one chance, I had randomly chosen a ninja and a pirate who went to the same yachting club.
I decided it was time to get them really hating each other, so I instructed Jim to immediately Flirt with his nemesis, hoping that she would take offence at the brusque, forward manner of vicious corsairs. Crushingly, she responded with some flirty giggles of her own, and from then on no matter how fast I forced Jim to move, their relationship only grew more pleasant. By the time they were dancing enthusiastically to a total absence of music, I was beginning to wonder if one or both of them had lied on their CVs.
Finally, the mood soured a little when I had Jim tickle her, thus sapping what dignity remained from this rigmarole, but before I could have him do it fifty more times until she garotted him to death with his own colon, the neighbours arrived.
If you've ever played the Sims, you're doubtless familiar with the default family, the Goths. Every time I've ever played the Sims, someone in my household has been able to seduce Bella Goth, but then she is the sort of hoary tart who spends the whole day wearing a strapless cocktail dress. Here you can see Jim trying his usual chat-up line while Mortimer Goth attempts to fire Eiko's interest in local percussion groups.
Unsuccessfully, as it turned out. I had Jim tickle Mortimer seven or eight times until he left in disgust, then got rid of Bella, but not before the cunt had eaten two plates worth of dinner and used the toilet without flushing. I decided to get the focus away from the arseholes next door and got Jim and Eiko back into the FIGHT OF THE DECADE!!!!
Oh, for FUCK'S SAKE.

Okay, unless this is some elaborate scheme on Jim's part to nick Eiko's gold fillings, I think it's safe to say that it is possible for pirates and ninjas to get along if forced to move into the suburbs together. Perhaps this explains how Chris the Ninja Pirate came about.


At first, Jim was happy with his relationship with Eiko they had both risked ostracision for. He found a job as a lab technician and she as an astronaut, and together they worked towards creating a happy home. They were forever buying each other little gifts, sitting together in front of the TV to watch martial arts marathons, introducing each other to new meals like sushi and sea biscuit. But then, it all began to go wrong.
Yes, it turned out that Eiko was a high maintenance girl. After just one week together, she forced him to have a bath, which ruined all the years of work he had put into his disgusting pirate man-stench. Being allowed to retain his horrifying lice infestation was small comfort.
By the time his sugar gal made him throw out his beloved pirate gear and dress like James Bond's adopted penguin, Jim realised that, by following his heart, he had lost something even more important - his soul. It had been a mistake from the start, he realised. He was a pirate, a stinking gap-toothed sea dog, and the brine ran in his veins. Nothing he could do could make Eiko see this, and so with a heavy heart he realised what he had to do.
That night, he left his beloved sleeping in their marital bed and set a corner of the house ablaze, in the hope that his immolation among the flames would be enough to repent his sins in the eyes of the pirate gods. A single tear beaded on his cheek as he took one last glance at his snoozing girlfriend, knowing they could never discuss yachting again.

But luck being what it is, the fire just wouldn't behave itself, and Jim was forced to watch as the flames destroyed everything in the house before finally getting to him. The couple died writhing in pain, reaching out to one another in the inferno with rapidly-skeletonising hands. And then, most tragically of all, I saved the game by accident.

"A fire!" realises Jim out loud.

So there you have it, fellow people watchers - it is possible for a ninja and a pirate to escape the conditioning of ages and run away together, but even forces as powerful as love shrivel beneath pitiless kitchen fires. But if more pirates and ninjas could follow Jim and Eiko's example, I think they would find that they have a lot of common ground. If they had some common enemy to fight against - like robots, perhaps, or cowboys - then the co-operation between ninjakind and piratekind could be an unstoppable superstar tag-team. But I guess we'll never know.

Next week: Can Robots Co-Exist With Cowboys?

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