Talking about talking like a pirate


By Matthew Ralph

As I’m sure you’ve heard 500 times already, today is Talk Like A Pirate Day. Did I mention, today is Talk Like A Pirate Day?

For those of you who haven’t heard about it already, I apologize. I don’t meant to give any more publicity to this ridiculous and overhyped “holiday” but I figured I would sooth my boiling pirate hatred by spewing some venom about pirate culture and an inside joke circa 1995 that has gotten way out of hand.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for strange calendar observances like Random Acts of Kindness Day, Take Your Houseplants for A Walk Day, Penguin Day and National Tweed Day. They are random, entertaining, slightly educational and extremely helpful when you are trying to plan a themed party.

But Talk Like A Pirate Day just brings back too many memories of that lame youth pastor who, to be funny and hip with the kids on church retreats, always rolled out the same hackneyed pirate jokes he hoped would get laughs from all the young and single chaperones in the pews. By the way, what’s a pirate’s favorite movie rated? Oh and I bet you don’t know who a pirate’s favorite actor is (Hint: He was in Shattered Glass).

Seriously though, pirate humor is like a gift that keeps getting re-gifted. Thanks to the Internet, there are hundreds of Web sites devoted to keeping the redundancy of pirate humor alive and well.

As for the holiday itself, a couple of Oregonians (wasn’t it a couple of Oregonians who started Corn Dog Day too?) started the holiday in 1995, but columnist Dave Barry is often credited with bringing it to international attention when he wrote a syndicated column about it in 2002. I love Dave Barry and I think it’s awesome that he was able to almost single-handedly bring international notoriety to this event.

I’m just tired of reading about it.

There were more than 300 news story hits on Talk Like A Pirate Day on Google News this morning. And, get this, 54,595 blog hits on the topic (make that 54,596 now). At least one of those blog posts, by the way, is worth checking out. It’s an unenthusiastic post about the day linking to a pirate-themed mp3 from Lampchop (a lovely band whose new record is due less than a month from now).

I would be willing to bet that there are more people talking and writing about Talk Like A Pirate Day today than there are actually talking like a pirate, whatever it is a sea-faring burgler talks like. I can only imagine what my boss would say if I starting spouting off pop culture pirate speak like Ahoy matey and shiver me timbers. Or whatever it is those common so-called pirate phrases are.

A few years ago, one of the feature writers at the newspaper where I was working got what he thought and talked about as the most brilliant idea ever. He was going to do a story on Talk Like A Pirate Day. No lie, he talked about that story for weeks. And then didn’t even bother to talk like a pirate when the day came.

If you plan to actually talk like a pirate today, I commend you. If you dress up like a pirate and go and party like you are auditioning to be an extra on Pirates Of The Carribbean Part VI, even better. If that’s not enough for you, go ahead and do a Google search pirate style, translate your Facebook page in pirate speak, visit McSweeney’s Pirate Store online or wear a stupid eye patch you bought from a dollar store.

Please, go all out and have a good time. I just don’t want to hear about it anymore.


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