Have you ever watched ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and wondered, “What would it have been like to be a pirate back in those old days?”  Well, today is your chance to get in touch with your Inner Pirate. Today is ‘International Talk Like a Pirate Day!’ And, we thought it would be a good day to celebrate, in tribute to our pirate-themed playground, CP Swagger Shipyard!

This parodic holiday was created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and 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 pirate.  An observer of this holiday would greet friends not with “Hello, everyone!” but with “Ahoy, Maties!” or “Ahoy, me hearties!”

According to Summers, this day is the only known holiday to come about as a result of a sports injury. During a racquetball game between Summers and Baur, one of them reacted to the pain with an outburst of “Aaarrrgh!”, and the idea was born. In all seriousness, that game took place on June 6, 1995, but out of respect for the observance of the Normandy landings, they chose Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday, as it would be easy for him to remember. Go figure!

The holiday gained exposure when Baur and Summers sent a letter about their invented holiday to the American syndicated humour columnist Dave Barry in 2002. Barry loved the idea and promoted the day.  He also appeared in a cameo in their “Drunken Sailor” Sing Along A-Go-Go video. Then, growing media coverage of the holiday ensured that this event would thereafter be celebrated internationally. In fact, in keeping with true American capitalism, Baur and Summers now sell books and T-shirts related to the theme on their website.

So how can you celebrate this esteemed day, other than talking like a pirate (of course!)

This is the easy part! Everybody knows about sword buckling pirates along with their peg legs, parrots, and treasure chests and parchment maps.  Grab yourself an eye patch, bandana, baggy shirt and a little toy parrot or monkey. Make sure you use awful grammar and a funny old-world accent. You might even consider having a pirate-themed party!  You could have edible gold coins and balloon sword fights! And, don’t forget to get out Treasure Island or Pirates of the Caribbean and project them onto big screens OR play them on the family room television to set the ambiance.

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