Everyone knows that Somali pirates are a lovable, ragtag group of devil-may-care adventurers living the dream of millions of daydreaming office workers. But, whoa, now the WSJ says ships are carrying anti-pirate guards, with real guns? Is that even safe?

Rates for a team of armed guards vary greatly, between $25,000 and over $100,000 for crossing the Gulf of Aden. They board ships at ports in Yemen, Djibouti or Oman. They hire local fishermen to take them out to the freighter that needs protection. After reaching the Suez canal, the men are flown back to the Gulf, or put on board a ship heading southward toward the Gulf of Aden.

Old daydream: Be a Somali pirate. New daydream: Be an armed anti-pirate guard. All the wide open spaces that piracy offers, plus benefits! [Pic via]