Avast, ye sorry land lubbers! Polish up yer pirate-speak, or come Friday ye'll be walkin' the plank, ye will. 'Cause September 19th be International Talk Like a Pirate Day (or ITLAPD, for short).
And how, you may ask, did all this foolishness begin? With two guys from the Pacific Northwest playing racquetball (not well, by their own admission) back in June of 1995. Though they may go by Mark Summers and John Baur the other 364 days a year, on International Talk Like a Pirate Day they go by Cap'n Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket.
As they tell it, during this racquetball game, they "called out friendly encouragement" to each other in pirate slang. And on that very day, right on the court, they came up with Talk Like a Pirate Day, joking that Dave Barry should be their official spokesman, and even choosing September 19 as the official celebratory date. For the next seven years, these two friends - and their friend Brian Rhodes - celebrated Talk Like a Pirate Day all on their own...
...until early 2002, when John "chanced upon Dave Barry's email address." Well, to make a long story short, emails were exchanged and the idea was pitched. Then, on September 8 of that year, Dave Barry's weekly column was all about The Pirate Guys.
The result? The very first International Talk Like a Pirate Day was officially celebrated on September 19, 2002. It was a huge hit, and is now an annual event not to be missed. Cap'n Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket have written a couple of books together all related to pirating. They have appeared on national television, have videos on YouTube, and have performed live across the country.
The Pirate Guys even have The Official Talk Like a Pirate Day website - run by Mad Sally, AKA The Webwench, AKA Ol' Chumbucket's wife. Be aware, it's aimed at adults, mostly of the male persuasion, even though there are links and such that kids would have fun with, so check it out on your own first before you send your kiddos there. It's chock full of ITLAPD history, pirate links, pirate games and quizzes, an English-to-pirate translator, and links to pirate name generators, to name only a few. There's so much to do, it's far too much to list here. (My pirate name came up on various sites as Left Eye Lewie, Grainne O'Malley Mad Stubble, and Slippery Blair Blythe).
And here's a special treat for anyone living in the Philadelphia, PA area: The Pirate Guys will actually be in Philly from Sept. 17-21. You can catch them at The Franklin Institute for a special Talk Like A Pirate Day appearance on the 19th from 6-8 PM, and then they say they'll be making appearances at other pirate gigs where they can. Too cool!
Aarrr, mateys! Brush up on yer pirate-speak, an' get yerself a good pirate name, 'cause September 19th be only a day or two away, and ye don't want ter be missin' out on International Talk Like a Pirate Day!