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  • How to Talk Like a Pirate Day Come to Be?
  • Tiger Lee
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How to Talk Like a Pirate Day Come to Be?

International Talk Like a Pirate Day be a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) n' Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon.  They proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pyrate.   The holiday, n' its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy.

According to Summers, the day is the only holiday to come into being as a result of a sports injury. He has stated that during a racquetball game between Summers n' Baur, one of them reacted to the pain with an outburst of "Aaarrr!", n' the idea was born. 

At first an inside joke between two friends, the holiday gained exposure when John Baur n' Mark Summers sent a letter about their invented holiday to the American writer Dave Barry in 2002.  As the entire universe knows, Dave Barry is a syndicated columnist n' the author of 4,000 books n' the 2nd funniest man in the universe.  Dave would be able to bring attention to Talk Like A Pirate Day in a way that Mark n' John couldn't. 

The first e-mail introduced us, told him about our great idea, Talk Like a Pirate Day. We knew he wouldn't be able to resist. Then we offered him the only thing we had, the chance to be official national spokesman fer the event. 

It's a great idea, Dave Berry said, 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 we answered would be crucial in bringing Barry aboard. We 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."

Growing media coverage of the holiday after Barry's column has ensured that this event is now celebrated internationally. Part of the success for the international spread of the holiday has been attributed to non-restriction of the idea or trademarking, in effect opening the holiday for creativity n' "viral" growth.

Baur n' Summers found new fame in the 2006 season premiere episode of ABC's Wife Swap, first aired September 18, 2006. They starred in the role of "a family of pirates" along with Baur's wife, Tori. Baur also appeared on the June 26, 2008 episode of Jeopardy, where he was introduced as a "writer and pirate from Albany, Oregon.

  • Tiger Lee
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