A press gang was a group of naval men who were charged with basically kidnapping men to force them to work aboard their ships. One of my all-time favorite shows, The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh starring Patrick McGoohan, had a fantastic episode with a particularly loathsome press gang that needed to be pacified.
If you get a chance to check out The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, you should absolutely do it (I believe you can find it on YouTube). It’s about a pirate who retires to become a priest in a small village, but to combat unfair taxes he disguises himself as a terrifying scarecrow and begins smuggling goods. It’s a mix of Robin Hood and Batman, and it is amazing.
There’s a press gang gag in the short film So You Want to Be a Pirate? that’s particularly funny, too… The pirates kidnap potential recruits by braining them with pineapples, fish, pans, and French bread in a segment called ‘Recruit of the Week.’
Did you notice the voices in the cave in Tuesday’s strip?