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Avast! Talk Like a Pirate Day draws nigh.

on September 18, 2009

Avast me, hearties! It’d be the 19 o’ September, and ye know what that be bringin’? Aye, it’d be International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

September 19th is a holiday you won’t see marked on your calendar. International Talk Like a Pirate Day (hereafter referred to as ITLAPD) is a day when the pirate-enthusiastic community is encouraged to greet its respective self with “Ahoy!”, refer to people as “scurvy dogs” or “wenches,” and of course, express discontent/joy/agreement/and a multitude of other uses with the celebrated “Arr!”

Why?  You ask.

Because it’s fun.

ITLAPD is the creation of two guys, John Baur and Mark Summers, or “Ol’ Chumbucket” and “Cap’n Slappy,” respectively, who came up with the idea while playing racquetball back in 1995.  A pulled groin muscle gave way to the first “ARRR!” and they spent the rest of the game shouting in ‘piratese’ to each other.  They decided to celebrate the day annually on September 19, because it was Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday. According to Summers, “The date was stuck in my head and I wasn’t doing anything with it anymore.”  However, the ‘holiday’ did not reach international status (or really, go anywhere) until syndicated columnist Dave Barry wrote about ITLAPD in his column in 2002.  It has since merged into the cultural phenomenon of pirate-minded folks, complete with its own nod from Apple, the AyePhone app.

To celebrate the day, a few local establishments will don eye patches and serve up the grog. Check them out:

To sail the high seas and celebrate ITLAPD in full-on, I’m-on-a-boat, pirate style, here’s a San Francisco sailor advertising a two-hour boat gig.

McGrath’s Irish Pub in Alameda will feature live music, “wenches and scallywags welcome:”

If you’re up for a drive, the Northern California Renaissance Faire hosts a Pirate Invasion Weekend.

For the younger crowd, the Pirate Store at 826 Valencia in San Francisco (also known as the storefront for a great complex of kid-centered writing classes and homework help)  is a must.

If you are interested in brushing up on your piratese, throwing a buccaneer ball, or are just plain curious, check out the official Talk Like a Pirate website.


  1. Jodie Harris on September 22, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Love the writing, hope to see more from you!

  2. Kate Richlen on September 23, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Everything Mary Flynn writes is entertaining and valuable. I absolutley love her writing in this article!!!!!

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