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Talk like a pirate—or else. September 19, 2010

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Aaaarrrr!!!! Yaaarrrrr!!! Look sharp, mateys, today, September 19th, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! So stir yer stumps and start talkin’, you savvy?!

We here at Poor Richard’s Almanac have a thing about pirates, so we look forward to Talk Like a Pirate Day all year. You can get in on the celebration by searching for some of our previous posts in the search bar at upper right, including “The best pirate movies,” “Ben Picks Ten: Pirates,” “Pirate myths: true and false,” “A piratical post,” “The ones who got away,” “Time to talk like a pirate,” “Food fit for a pirate” (with recipes), “Food fit for a Creole pirate” (ditto), “Giving pirates a bad name,” and “Blackbeard in the news.”

You can also check out two of the best pirate-themed websites, the Official Site for International Talk Like a Pirate Day (http://www.talklikeapirate.com/), run by those illustrious pirates, Cap’n Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket, authors of the classic books Pirattitude and The Pirate Life: Unleashing Your Inner Buccaneer, and No Quarter Given (http://www.noquartergiven.net/), home of the No Quarter Given pirate magazine and a new book, The Book of Pirates: Plundering, Pillaging, and Other Pursuits

But if you’d rather walk the talk than read about it, here are a few suggestions for ways to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day:

* Begin every conversation and phone call by shouting “AAAARRRR!!!” (or “YAAARRR!!!”) Hopefully, at least one call will be from a telemarketer.

* Watch some piratical movie classics like “Captain Blood,” “The Black Swan,” “The Buccaneer,” or “Swashbuckler,” or indulge in a “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie fest.

* Quench your thirst while watching movies with some piratical rum-based beverages from Silence Dogood’s post “Food fit for a pirate.” Or just drink some English Harbour Antigua Rum or Gosling Black Label straight up. Shiver me timbers!

* Fly the Jolly Roger over your home and/or car. Give the neighbors something to talk about.

* Walk around all day attired as your favorite pirate. (Our friend Ben favors Stede Bonnet or Black Bart, the Great Pirate Roberts; Silence thinks Anne Bonny would be a good choice; and Richard Saunders would love to be Blackbeard, but is afraid of setting his faux beard on fire by lighting fuses in it as the actual Blackbeard did to terrify his enemies; the Michael Jackson look is not for him, so he’d probably be Calico Jack Rackham or Captain Morgan.) Remember that an eyepatch and/or huge hoop earring always adds panache, unless you’re in character as any of the above. Ditto a parrot, real or faux. A prominently displayed pistol and cutlass should probably be enough to cut off any derisive comments from killjoys who don’t understand that wearing a costume and getting into character is fun. Especially if the pistol is loaded.

* Lard your conversation with piratical phrases such as “Yo ho, me hearties!” “A pirate’s life for me!” “Dead men tell no tales!” “X marks the spot!” “Send that lubber to Davy Jones’s locker!” “You savvy?” “Bring out the swag!” “Take no prisoners!” and the like. Bonus points if you teach your parrot any of these phrases.

Best get started, mateys. You savvy? The day’s slippin’ away, and there’s rum to be drunk, battles to be fought, and treasure to be found. AAAARRRRR!!!!


Giving pirates a bad name. April 28, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Here at Poor Richard’s Almanac, we love pirates and all things piratical. Every year, our friend Ben and Silence Dogood head down to the North Carolina coast, home of that most famous of all pirates, Blackbeard. We fly the skull and crossbones in our backyard, and our little red VW Golf, the Red Rogue, not only sports a pirate fish on the back but a sticker that simply says “AAAARRRGGGHHH.” Last May, we collaborated with our friend and fellow blog contributor Richard Saunders to create an entire week of piratical posts, two of which, “The best pirate movies” and “Food fit for a pirate,” continue to be among our most-viewed posts and are both climbing towards 2,000 views.

WordPress hosts our blog, and one of its many wonderful features is that it shows us our top ten posts and how many hits they’ve each gotten. The two pirate-themed posts continued their upward climb on the list until, last week, a funny thing happened: They disappeared. They’re still on the blog, people are still reading them, but they vanished from our most-viewed list, replaced by two other posts with fewer hits. What the bleep?!

Our friend Ben had to wonder if political correctness was at work, given the real-time atrocities being committed by the Somali pirates. Certainly, their behavior has been putting a damper on us. We had planned to have “Pirate Week II” on the blog this May, but were agonizing about whether that would be appallingly insensitive. We even wondered what impact the whole international incident would have on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. So I was delighted to see an article addressing this in the Wall Street Journal. I quote:

“Mark Summers [cofounder of the annual Talk Like a Pirate Day] has a beef with the pirates who are seizing cargo ships and taking hostages off the coast of Somalia: They’re ruining his bad name. For years, Mr. Summers has been donning frock coats and plumed hats… His alter ego symbolizes a spirit of freedom, he says: the romance of the open sea, self-reliance, defiance and loads of jolly good fun with a barrel (or two) of rum. At least, it did until real pirates had to come along and wreck it all.”

Our friend Ben’s feeling exactly. I commend the article to your attention (www.WSJ.com); it’s actually hysterical, especially the comments from the director of public relations for the Pittsburgh Pirates. And who knew there was a flourishing subculture of pirate reenactors with their own newsletter, No Quarter Given? Not our friend Ben. But I guess it was inevitable.

The fact that the Somali pirates are teenagers makes our friend Ben wonder how old the pirates were back in the Golden Age of Piracy (roughly 1660-1730). Perhaps we’ll make that the subject of a future Pirate Week post. Until then, we can only say “Aaaaarrrrrrr!!!”