Avast ye scallywags and take heed. September 19th be the day when ye can wear yer eyepatch and pegleg proudly, brandishing a cutlass openly, and givin’ everyone your best piratey glare. For 15 years, ever since the dread pirates Cap’n Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket first contacted syndicated columnist Dave Barry, people around the world have been letting loose their inner pirate and saying things like, “Aarrrr! Hoist th’ mainsails and a pint o’grog!”
Wait. What the Heck is International Talk Like A Pirate Day?
September 19 is exactly what it says. It’s a day where you can let loose your inner pirate and talk like Jack Sparrow or Blackbeard. It was started in 2002, but its true origins are lost in the grog-addled brains of the founders, Mark Summers and John Baur. However, they believe that it started when they were playing a friendly game of racquetball. After a blow to the head or something, the two started to trade barbs and insults in pirate jargon. After that, they contacted Dave Barry, who was one of their favorite comedy writers. Dave Barry wrote a small piece on the holiday, and the rest, as they say, “be history!”
The day encourages people to babble like a bucanneer just for the fun of it. It’s been celebrated by scientists at the South Pole and by astronauts on the International Space Station. There’s even a setting on Facebook that translates everything into pirate speak. That’s right, you can get updates and likes in pirate-speak, if your heart desires.
People enjoy International Talk Like A Pirate Day simply because it’s fun. It’s a way for people to celebrate everything that is fun about being a pirate without engaging in actual piracy. That’s why it’s “talk like a pirate” and not “actually engage in piracy” day. It’s also an excuse to let loose with your repertoire of pirate jokes. Of course, according to the founders, there are only three actual pirate jokes.
The first pirate joke is this. “What is the pirate movie rated?” – Arrr! Variations of these are, “What kind of socks does a pirate wear?” – Aaaargyle! or “Why don’t pirates speak very well?” – A problem with aarrrticulation!
The second pirate joke is this one. A pirate walks into a bar with a ships wheel fastened to the front of his trousers. The bartender says, “What be that wheel for?” The pirate responds, “I don’t know, but it’s drivin’ me nuts!”
The third pirate joke is perhaps the best. A little boy goes trick or treating dressed as a pirate. At one house, the person giving candy asks the kid, “Where are your buccaneers?” The little boy says, “Aarrr! On either side of my buccan’ head!”
Of course, the best variation of that joke is: How much do pirates pay for corn? – About a buccaneer!
If talking like a pirate and telling bad jokes isn’t enough of an incentive, then you might also like free grub. That’s right, there are usually opportunities for pirate-minded folk to score treasure on this crazy holiday. In past years, you could dress up as a pirate and head into your local Krispy Kreme to score a free dozen donuts. Unfortunately, the chain has discontinued the promotion for 2017. But, don’t despair and hang up your three-cornered hat just yet. This year, if you head to your local Long John Silvers and bust out your best pirate speak, you can score a bar of gold. Not actual gold, of course, but a golden deep fried Twinkie can be yours just for saying, “Aaaarrrr!”
[Featured Image by santoelia/Shutterstock]