September 19 – It’s Time Again To Talk Like a Pirate!
All around the world and even hundreds of miles above it, people celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day every September 19.
International Talk Like a Pirate Day is the only holiday on the calendar that encourages people to babble like buccaneers for the sheer, anarchic fun of it. It’s been celebrated by millions of people on all seven continents – yes, even at the South Pole – and on the International Space Station!
The holiday was the brainchild (if that’s the right word) of John Baur and Mark Summers, two friends from Albany, Ore., who were playing racquetball when, for reasons that aren’t clear to either of them now, they started insulting each other in pirate jargon. They decided to start Talk Like a Pirate Day, and picked September 19th because it is Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday. The date was stuck in his head and he wasn’t doing anything with it anymore, so it would be easy to remember, Summers said.
From such unlikely seeds was born an international sensation. The two friends – who now go by the pirate personas of Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy – have swashed their buckles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Puget Sound, from Los Angeles to Chicago to Philadelphia. They’ve performed at a glamorous Las Vegas resort, at libraries, bookstores, museums, schools and at several seedy bars.
Together they have written two books of pirate advice, “The Pirates Life: Unleashing Your Inner Buccaneer,” published by Kensington, a hilarious sequel to their first hit, “Pirattitude! So You Wanna Be a Pirate? Here’s How!” published by New American Library. Mark is also co-author of “Pirate Santa,” and John wrote the young adult adventure, “Chrissie Warren: Pirate Hunter.” They’ve also written a series of pirate “caper” stories available online.
Cap’n Slappy still calls Oregon his home. Ol’ Chumbucket is now ensconced in New Orleans, after a four-year sojourn in the Caribbean.