On June 6th 1995, 2 fellas named John Baur and Mark Summers had a little crazy moment during a game of racquetball. As they were playing they started using piratey whenever one did something. And as with most crazy ideas this was the day the International Talk Like A Pirate Day was born.
At first it wasn’t really international, hell it wasn’t even national and the date had nothing to do with the current date Pirate Day is held on but it was a start. To be a festival day they needed a date and choosing June 6th is a big no-no (go to wikipedia to see what happened). Mark came up with September 19th cause well there is nothing on that day anyway, except for his ex-wives birthday but we can all forgive him for that.
7 Years passed and the International Talk Like A Pirate Day, was more of a Friends-of-ours Talk Like A Pirate Day, things would probably have continued indefinitely on that low-key note until John, Mark and Brian were little old pirates in the Home for Retired Sea Dogs. They had a national holiday that almost nobody knew about.
Except for one happy accident. One day in early 2002, John chanced upon Dave Barry’s e-mail address. As the entire universe knows, Dave Barry is a syndicated columnist and the author of somewhere between four and 6,000 books and the second funniest man in the universe.
The first e-mail introduced them, and told him about their great idea — Talk Like a Pirate Day. Then they offered him the only thing we had, the chance to be official national spokesman for the event.
Then within a day they got a reply from Dave himself.
It’s a great idea, he said, (actually “very excellent” were his exact words, in case you’re keeping score.) But then he asked the fatal question.
“Have you guys actually DONE anything about this? Or are you counting on me to carry the ball here?”
Very perceptive of him. The way they answered would be crucial in bringing Barry aboard. So they decided on the truth, with a lot of ass kissing thrown in.
“Well, we’ve talked like pirates every Sept. 19, and we’ve encouraged our several friends to,” John wrote in reply. And Mark put it in perspective when he wrote, “We are dinghy-sized-talk-like-a-pirate kinda guys, but you, Dave … you are like a frigate-huge-sized-talk-like-a-pirate kinda guy.”
In early September, John got a phone call from the feature editor at the local paper, someone he had worked with for several years before leaving the newspaper business. She sounded confused.
“John, I was editing this week’s Dave Barry column and it’s about … Is this you?”
It was. The nationally syndicated columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning writer of “distinguished commentary” (the Pulitzer committee’s description, not his own) became convinced of the great potential of such a holiday. Or maybe he had run out of fresh column ideas and didn’t want to do another one on toilet training his infant daughter. Either way, he had written the column.
And hell broke loose.
At the moment Talk Like A Pirate Day truly is an International festival with people from around the world participating in a tradition where your English skills don’t matter that much as long as you sound like a pirate.
Just use your imagination on the 19th of September
And you can participate too, it’s very simple and the official website for International Talk Like A Pirate Day has a lot of information for you to start with: http://www.talklikeapirate.com/
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