As a youth, I had a bizarre fascination with pirates, not so much with anything related to their craft or their folklore…merely their dialect. For some reason, folks tend to regard anything said in a pirate “accent” as humorous, regardless of how inflammatory or insensitive the remark. It’s like, “Well, he’s not serious. He was speaking as a pirate.”
Perhaps Yunel Escobar should have sketched his homophobic slur in pirate-speak on his eye black. No press conference necessary to explain that one.
Luckily for me, my penchant for speaking in pirate tongue (and occasionally wearing pirate gear – I did don a black costume pirate vest to Homecoming my senior year…for the dance and post-party…I wore appropriate attire for dinner) was shared by several of my closest friends.
It was my buddy Chris West who first clued me in to the marking of September 19th as International Talk Like a Pirate Day. We celebrated with an appearance on John Lechner’s “Late Night Diesel Powered Cinema of Laughter,” a Milwaukee area cable access TV show, powered by the musings of the real-life Van Wilder, John Lechner of Waukesha. I appeared as a pirate. Chris…I’m not sure. And actually, now that I think of it, I don’t know that our appearance had anything to do with International Talk Like a Pirate Day. I think we just went on the dude’s show (which was filmed in my other friend Sam’s basement that night) and I dressed as a pirate. Like I said, I had a bizarre fascination.
Anyway, each year, my friends and I exchange a few pirate pleasantries on this day. All the while, I had assumed that we were pretty much the only ones for whom this was enjoyable. But since coming in today, no fewer than six individuals have walked by my office and blurted out something in pirate. I had no idea that so many were on board with this day. It’s fantastic!
If you have yet to board this pirate ship, you can be fully initiated HERE. And even if you have been a player since 1995 (when this day was formed), you’ll still find this page useful.
Keelhaul Mullet…out. (generate your own pirate name HERE)