I don’t know about you but by this time of year my social conscience has worn very thin. It seems there’s a worthy cause for every day of the year, from the popular Red Nose Day, Jeans 4 Genes Day and Walk to Work Day to the lesser known National Condom Day (14 February, of course) and World Naked Bike Ride. (You missed it – it was 10 June.)
All commendable no doubt, but if I gave to all of them, I’d be a charity case myself.
But avast me hearties! Fear ye no more! International Talk Like A Pirate Day is upon us – aye, on 19 September. You don’t have to walk for miles, buy a bike, give anything up or go to the chemist. The aim of the day is simply to talk like a pirate.
‘Why?’ I hear you cry heartily. Because many years ago in the USA John Baur and Mark Summers were playing racquetball. I’m not familiar with racquetball but I’m guessing it’s not particularly riveting, because during the game they broke out into pirate lingo. Then it struck them – why not have a day when everybody talks like a pirate? The logical date was September 19, Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday.
But the road to international acceptance was not paved with gold booty. Despite their best efforts the idea was met with a high sea of apathy. Until 10 years ago, when humorist Dave Barry took up the cause and wrote an article about it in the Miami Herald, and since then the idea has taken off like the Jolly Roger after Mad Sally’s treasure chest. Dave was so overwhelmed by the idea he found it hard to list the practical benefits, so I’ll do it here.
*There’s no money involved. You won’t be asked to make a donation to a home for refugee one-legged pirates, so you can keep all your loot to yourself.
*You don’t have to wear anything special – eye patches and stuffed parrots are optional.
*You get a chance to be politically incorrect for a day. Your female colleagues can’t accuse you of being sexist when you sidle up and growl, ‘Arrrgh, me buxom beauty, how ‘bout we plunder petty cash and go buy some grog.’ And you can’t be insulted if they come back with ‘I’d rather drink out of the slop bucket, yarr pox-infested scurvy dog.’ And it’s probably the only time you’ll get away with calling the boss a bilge rat.
*It’s a good opportunity for some office team building. Turn your workplace into a pirate ship for the day. Assign pirate names and tasks – the office junior can make the coffee from the bung hole, the receptionist can be the lookout – ‘Customers ahoy!’, the sleazy guy in sales can clean out Davy Jones’s locker, and so on. Create a treasure map for people to find their payslips – failure means walking the plank off the top floor.
*If that sounds like too much work, yarr yellow-livered landlubber, you can turn it into a social occasion. Ask everyone in the office to bring in a dish starting with P. All the good foods start with P – pie, pizza, pudding. And don’t forget the traditional bottle of pum.
So, me comely wenches and brave buccaneers, dig deep and find your inner pirate, and have a swashbucklin’ good time! For more bounty, set sail for the official website.
Any other suggestions, me hearties, for a jolly old stoush on September 19?
Robin Storey is an Australian author from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. She is a certified book nerd and has no weird hobbies or unusual pets.