Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ye best be talkin' like a pirate today, landlubbers.

Avast, me mateys! Today be International Talk Like A Pirate Day, so ye best be heeding this command at least once today.

And if ye don't yet know a swashbuckler from a scallywag, it's high time ye be hoistin' the sail on yer Pirate education.

OK, end of Pirate speak. It's not as easy as it seems. At least for me, trying to talk like a Pirate is a lot like trying to talk like a gangsta. I try to be ghetto, yo, but I quickly run out of clever words and phrases to use. Maybe we need a holiday that combines the two. People could go around saying things like, "Shiver me timbers, boo!" Or we could just stick with Pirates for now...

The best thing about International Talk Like A Pirate Day (aside from getting to talk like a Pirate) is that it's a completely grassroots Hallmark-free holiday that was started by two regular guys--John Baur ("Ol' Chumbucket") and Mark Summers ("Cap'n Slappy")--in 1995. That means that the holiday took off without the help of YouTube or Facebook or Fark. It would be fairly easy to disseminate something like this nowadays, but it's quite a feat to have done that in 1995.

How did they do it? They turned to the pre-YouTube master of meaningless distraction--Dave Barry--and he brought their holiday to the masses. I grew up reading Dave Barry's syndicated columns in Chicago Tribune Magazine and I've often thought that he was ahead of his time. Aside from being an incredibly hilarious writer, he often alerted his readers to humorous happenings in the real world, almost as if he were writing a blog without the luxury of hyperlinks. Although he has since retired from weekly columnist duties, he now has a blog. One of today's posts even links to some suitably Pirate-inspired music.

Still haven't had your fill of pirating today? Here are 10 more Pirate links.

If you're a music pirate, maybe today should be the day you tear off your eye patch and come clean. Check out Spiral Frog, Universal's recently launched ad-based "legal" music download site. The playback and device-sharing caveats are numerous though (i.e. song files stop playing if you don't visit their site and click on the ads once per month), so you might fare better by fishing for tunes on the digital high seas.

OK, I've written several paragraphs without any cheesy pirate jokes, so I'll close by telling you that today's blog post was brought to you by the letter "ARRRRRRRRRRRRR!"

1 comment:

Kelly Mahoney said...

YARH matey. I love this holiday. I put up a tree for it and everything. It was decorated with eyepatches, bandanas and hooks.

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