Wife Swap (9/18/06) - Pirate Family

I had never watched “Wife Swap” before but this past weekend they ran a marathon of episodes on the ABC Family Channel and I ended up catching a few and finding it interesting, so I set the TiVo to record the season premiere this past Monday. What a show it was…

One family lived as pirates, including sword fights in the house, pirate talk, and pirate garb. The mom said they lived in constant chaos and loved it. Of course they swapped them with a compulsive organizer mom.

The funniest part to me was when the organizer mom met the new family and the pirate dad “Chum Bucket” :smack: invited her to sit down and she said she’d rather stand because when she sat on the couch earlier she had been attacked by fleas. She eventually left one evening to sleep at a hotel because the flea infestation was so bad.

What they didn’t cover was if the pirate children attended regular school. I can’t imagine those kids are going to be very well prepared for reality in the normal world.

Did anyone else see this trainwreck???

Is it this bad every week?

Now if they swapped with a family of Ninjas that would be awesome!

They go to element-Ar-Ar-AR-y school.

I did watch it and I believe they were homeschooled. That one and the one before (after?) where they swapped the rich Beverly Hills neat freaks with the animal covered chaos lovers - both were about the same but one had the “poor” family as pirates and the other had the “poor” ones as slovenly animal lovers.
I’m afraid this quickly took the Jerry Springer road. It started out as two different families trying to learn from each other and has gotten weirder and weirder over the last year. It was no in-depth social experiment to begin with, but it seems like they are just looking for the scary mixes now. I blame the over-the-top screaming Christian lady episode.
It did used to have some families that learned things from each other and really seemed to go into the whole experiment with an open mind.

Wait. Wait… they dressed as pirates? They talked as pirates? You mean they wore eyepatches and stripey shirts and swords and said “Arrr” and “Avast me hearties” and “Shiver me timbers?” Every day? As a lifestyle?

Well, that’s just effing weird.

Yes. You are correct. Pirates. Freaking pirates.

These two pirates founded Talk Like A Pirate Day, which is celebrated every yarrr on September 19.

I didn’t see this, but looking at the “Talk Like a Pirate Day” site yesterday I saw that she tells the story from her side:


Where they learn the three Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs!


According to a friend of theirs who posted on TWoP, the kids do go to public school. The friend’s excuse for the flea infestation was that it was July; they don’t normally have that fleas that bad. Silly me, I have two dogs and a cat but I didn’t realize July was let-the-fleas-run-wild month. And someone who worked at the spa where they took PirateDad for his makeover said that they all acted normally until the cameras were turned on, and then they’d all overact for all they could. Which totally doesn’t surprise me.

ShelliBean, I believe the God Warrior was on Fox’s version, Trading Spouses, not ABC’s Wife Swap. You’re right on target about the Springer-esqeness of it, though. The other thing they don’t tell you is that each family gets 20K for participating. Kind of explains everyone’s willingness to whore themselves and their kids out on TV, doesn’t it?

I’m waiting for them to swap spouses and have each wife accuse the other’s husband of being her baby daddy. :smiley:

From the pirate mom’s blog entry, I don’t think they are homeschooled. She says the kids have teachers, and that she’s been doing housewifing for a long time and recently went back to college herself. She makes no mention of homeschooling at all, which is usually inevitable for homeschoolers (and the moms often don’t have time for college courses, but do independent study very frequently). Neither does it sound like the kids dress as pirates all the time; they seem to wear whatever they want to wear and she takes pride in their independent fashion ideas.

Anyway, yes, it’s kind of odd to embrace pirating as a family lifestyle, but I quite enjoyed her blog entry and she seems sane enough.

Okay, I’m late. Oh well, that’s what I get for typing slowly.

Ah - I knew something wasn’t quite right with what I was saying. I mix them up a lot (that and the Super Nanny/Nanny 911 thing too).
It was the other episode where the kids were homeschooled. To tell the truth I’m kind of glad they aren’t homeschooled for no other reason than it seems like they show some pretty bad examples of homeschooling on this and the Nanny shows and gives a poor perception of what homeschooling is about and the work involved. But then I have to think of who it is coming from.
Mama Tiger - I did not know that 20k was up for grabs doing this. My husband and I decided we were in it if the label-maker lady would come clean our house and label everything, plus she was cute to look at too. That 20k is just gravy. :slight_smile:

Don’t know why I’m even asking, but . . . did the pirate family actually do any research into the subject, or did they just imitate Robert Newton?

Ooh, I was hoping for a discussion of this.

I don’t know if it was this show or the other one that did Atheist/Christian, but I did watch that one and looked into what the people said afterward, due to my (non)religious affiliation.

From that, I learned that the producers don’t just encourage eccentricity and show the most extreme clips, they sift through tons of footage, splicing together disparate moments, and even combining audio with unrelated video, to create a fantasy level of weirdness, in accordance with the labels they’ve chosen for each family/member.

They even make participants sign a contract agreeing that the show can flat out lie about them and totally misrepresent everything, and they have no action for defamation.

Knowing that, it was obvious to me that they asked the (obviously already theatrical) pirate family to ham it up a bit, and they used the results of one posed shoot (“AAARRRRR!”) over and over again. I told my husband, I bet the dog just happened to get fleas before the shoot (i.e., it wasn’t an accepted condition in the house), and the producers probably wet their pants with excitement when they heard of it.

I’m sure most of the conflict is accentuated, if not actually contrived. For instance, I seriously doubt two utilities workers came for payment coincidentally while Organizer Woman was there, and she just happened to have enough cash on her ($400+) to pay them.

The most egregious instance was during a discussion of the fleas, when Pirate Dad obviously must have said, “*Not one * of our children has come down with some strange dread disease due to dirty conditions in the house,” (paraphrasing somewhat). The show featured him saying, “One of our children has come down with some strange dread disease due to dirty conditions in the house!” I thought that was pretty damned low. In fact, I didn’t believe it and rewound to assure myself I was wrong - I wasn’t.

Clearly they also want to depict the organizer as completely demented (“measuring cups” and “large measuring cups” was kind of amusing, not to mention “thongs.”) Mostly they went after the daughter, making it look like she was minutes away from an ulcer and/or eating disorder due to her mother’s immense anal-retentiveness.

Basically I think the people who make this show are scum. I watched it because I knew of the pirates from this board and I was curious. No more!

(That said, I thought some of Tori’s actions were hilarious, such as licking the floor and sending the repayment in a treasure box.)

Not surprisingly, both families were flogging something by appearing on this show (besides laughing all the way to the bank with their 20K, of course). Pirate family was flogging the book that Dad is writing, and Organizer Lady actually runs an organizing business – I saw a link to her website, and man, if she weren’t in California, I would hire her to bring that label maker into my house post haste. So everyone had ulterior motives.

And the editing stuff goes on on virtually every reality show. I’ve seen examples of sentences spliced together from three or four or five different segments – once you listen to them carefully, it’s quite easy to tell. In this case, I really doubt it was more egregious than usual; everyone who goes into this knows what they’re getting into and is willing to ham it up to make good TV.

The moral? There’s a frightening number of famewhores in this country, willing to subject themselves and their families to crazy experiences for money/exposure.