So What’s the Good Pirate to do on a Day Such as This?

The Atlantic Squadron

“I go so far as to say that I do not regret having been his prisoner for some time… He is not a bandit, not a murderer, but a patriot forced into acts of brigandage to save his native soil and his people from the yoke of tyranny.”   Ion Hanford Perdicaris

During the spring political campaign of 1904,  in an effort to bolster his chances to be an elected president after assuming that office from his assassinated predecessor William McKinley–Theodore Roosevelt  sent several Marine companies and a squadron of naval warships steaming toward the North African port of Tangier in order to rescue the abducted  American playboy Ion Perdicaris from the clutches of Mulai Ahmed er Raisuni (the leader of the Jebala tribal confederacy in Morocco) and  referred to by many of his detractors as “The last of the Barbary Pirates.”

The celebrated hero of San Juan Hill would use the incident to prove to both his party and the public the effectiveness of his   “Big Stick Philosophy” when asserting United States power abroad. But for anyone who has been following Ken Burns’ latest  documentary film about the Roosevelts,  it is clear that Teddy, like so many overly ambitious politicians, was willing to forego some truth when trying to influence public opinion. As it turned out, the President learned early on that the supposed victim in the affair was not even an American citizen. Mr. Perdicaris had given up his US passport many years earlier so that he could firmly reestablish his Greek citizenship.That fact remained hidden from the American people until the 1930s.  Furthermore, while government officials blustered that they wanted Perdicaris alive or Raisuni dead, the captor and his captive had already established a respectable friendship, and the so-called “Last of the Barbary Pirates” had vowed that no harm would befall Ion Perdicaris while he was in his care.

Ultimately,  Perdicaris was set free after the United States Government secretly prodded France and England to put pressure on the Sultan of Morocco  to cede to the financial and political demands of Mulai Ahmed er Raisuni. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, his release was viewed as being the outcome of some very tough and well-orchestrated gunboat diplomacy. And as is so often the case when trying to decipher the dealings of mankind, it was difficult to distinguish between the villains and the virtuous.

But for you more principled pirates that are attempting to transcend the behaviors of those less than seaworthy scalawags in Washington, we offer the following revised code of  ethics.

  • Always put your best peg-leg forward.
  • Press your pantaloons.
  • Compliment the fit and finish of your shipmate’s puffy shirt.
  • Never fly your Jolly Roger above the Stars and Stripes.
  • Buy the next round of Grog.
  • Extend your hook to one in need.
  • Stand on the side of your shipmate’s good eye.
  • Share your booty with the less fortunate.
  • And always let your parrot have the last word!

Wishing all of our fellow buccaneers a most bountiful Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Click or strike the colors to view some past musings about the day. 

Richard Worley FlagHenry Every's Flag Calico Jack Rackham's Flag


 

Aaarrr!

Posted by: Chris Poh

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It’s Time to Let Out that Hearty Annual “Aaarrr”, Another Talk Like a Pirate Day is Upon Us

Errol Flynn from Captain Blood

“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be Pirates.” – Mark Twain

“The average man will bristle if you say his father was dishonest, but he will brag a little if he discovers that his great-grandfather was a pirate.” — Bern Williams, National Enquirer

Once more it’s time to preen the parrot, police the poop deck and press the pantaloons–“Talk Like a Pirate Day” has arrived. And with each passing year since (Cap’n Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket) set sail on their maiden voyage in the summer of 95, the day has become much more than just another excuse to pillage, plunder and over imbibe. The day now ranks close to St. Patrick’s Day as far as noteworthy yearly observances.

Like that grand day in March, it requires minimal preparation–although my own compulsive leanings do tend to find me spending an inordinate amount of time perfecting the pleats on my pantaloons, and achieving that impeccable edge on my cutlass. But for most, the day requires nothing more than uttering a few rather robust aaarrrs,  and raising a number of generous cups. Another much appreciated aspect of this seaboard celebration is the fact that it does not have attached to it that mandatory inclusion of relatives or family. On this cruise one gets to choose their own crew!

But before embarking on your own bit of  cavalier frivolity, please take the time to remember that there is a serious side to “Talk Like a Pirate Day.” Today is another testament to the fact that the only thing in life that is truly black and white is an unfurled skull and crossbones against that ever elusive horizon, and that most of our humble existence operates within those arbitrary shades of gray–a place where there is little difference between sinners and saints–and it is only the sanctioning by those higher authorities that separates the pirates from the privateers.

So as we make our  way once more toward safe harbor, let’s raise our tankards high and join in that familiar chorus as we wish our fellow shipmates and scallywags the fairest of winds and a following sea!

Posted by: Chris Poh

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Published in: Uncategorized on September 19, 2013 at 1:41 am  Comments (1)  
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Wishing All Me Hearties Another Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day

Avast me hearties, the sun is already long over the yardarm and we still haven’t wished our fellow buccaneers a happy “Talk Like a Pirate Day.” That’s what happens when you’ve spent the better part of the night before enjoying the benefits of your plundering ways. So before the sun sets over Tortuga, on behalf of  Cap’n Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket, the founders of this joyous celebration, we invite privateers everywhere to raise their colors, hoist their tankards and let out a hearty Aaarrr !

And of course to help with your pirate decor and decorum, this year we’ve included some alternatives to the usual Jolly Roger.

Richard Worley’s Flag 

 

 

 

 

 

Henry Every’s Flag

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calico Jack Rackham’s Flag

 

 

 

 

 

A Very Hearty Yo Ho from the Crew at American Public House Review!

Published in: Uncategorized on September 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Avast, me hearties–It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day

Pirates at Fort Adams - Newport, Rhode Island

Today the crew at American Public House Review hoist our tankards high to Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy) and John Bauer (Ol’ Chumbucket)–the brave brigands that founded “Talk Like a Pirate Day.” As legend has it, it was during a raucous game of racquetball on June 6th, 1995 that an epiphany born of pain inspired this heady holy day of  hooliganism on the high seas.

According to Cap’n Slappy, one of lads let out a loud piercing “Aaarrr” in response to an injury suffered during the game–and it was then and there that both lads agreed that the world must have an official talk like a pirate day. Out of respect for the observance of  D-Day (The allied landing at Normandy June 6th 1944) it was agreed that “Talk Like a Pirate Day” would be celebrated on September 19th each year. That date also happens to be the birthday of Cap’n Slappy’s ex-wife. “Aaarrr”

Rum Runner II - Newport, Rhode Island

This year we honor the day by taking our readers on another ride with Captain Mark Paltridge aboard the former nimble nemesis of the United States Coast Guard, Rum Runner II.  But before we shove off, you might want to fill your tankard with a suitable drink. Click here for a recipe in recognition of those that ran the rum during the years of  Prohibition.

Cap'n Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket

Cap’n Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket

 “Aaarrr”

 

Posted by: Chris Poh

A pirates wedding dreams come true!

This week the American Public House Review takes us on the most personal of journeys, as we head to Baltimore once again for a story of true love, promises, and lots of really good ale at the Cat’s Eye Pub.  (What, did you think the principal creative force behind a website dedicated solely to great taverns throughout the world would have his wedding reception at the Holiday Inn?)

Const10

Now I have only been to the Cat’s Eye Pub in the Fell’s Point section of Baltimore once, and that was on assignment to take the photo of the taps you see in the article.  But what I could clearly see in that short span of time was that this place suffers from an excess of personality and character.  Being a city and a center of commerce for the area, many places in Baltimore’s more popular destinations, like Fell’s Point, can be crowded with tourists and conventioneers.  That may also be true of the Cat’s Eye, but you can hardly notice them under the hooting and hollering of the regular set of Scallywags that call this wonderful place home.

Cats Eye Taps

So quite some years back, two nice folks came to Baltimore to be wed.  And to celebrate this momentous event, they chose to head to a place the groom describes as “a bit of Bourbon Street or the Barbary Coast”.  Calico Jack Rackham himself would be jealous of such a wedding reception!

Posted by: Dave McBride

You’ll find the good captain in the tavern

So, you’ve come seeking adventure and salty old pirates, aye?  Sure, you’ve come to the proper place…

The USS Constellation

Those immortal words are from Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean and serve as a welcome warning to those who have arrived for what lies ahead.  This week we take you back to the city the British used to refer to as America’s “Nest of Pirates”, Baltimore.

WharfRat9

In Fells Point, Baltimore’s immersive old port section, the history seems to come up through the cobblestone in the streets.  Walk along its roads and you could swear you hear the whispers of privateers conspiring to raid a British merchant vessel coming from one of the numerous taverns.  Has the brash Captain Thomas Boyle come back to add to his tally of sunken British ships? 

WharfRat15

Captain Boyle was perhaps America’s most famous and feared privateer captain. He commanded the clipper Chasseur, a ship born and bred in Baltimore, the city that boasted America’s largest privateer fleet during the War of 1812.   With it he wreaked havoc upon British commerce.  During the war, while taking many prizes along the coast of Great Britain, he even sent ashore a proclamation to the crown that declared a blockade of the entire conutry…by only his ship!  Yes, we can imagine the good Captain taking great pride in his own sense of humor.  Soon Fells Point and all of Baltimore would refer to the Chasseur as the “Pride of Baltimore”. 

WharfRat21

Now I can’t say this for certain, but Captain Boyle, or at least the large majority of those who served under him, probably enjoyed a mug or two of grog after a long voyage.  If he were around today, I would point the good captain in the direction of the Wharf Rat.  It is  certainly a place where a group of privateers could grab a few pints and make the rafters roar.

Posted by: David McBride @ American Public House Review

One Man’s Pirate…

Errol Flynn from Captain BloodLike so many of my fellow countrymen, I couldn’t help but feel some degree of personal pride and satisfaction knowing that our boys on the fantail of the Bainbridge had bested those freebooting  buccaneers from Somalia. And with the liberation of  Captain Richard Phillips another chapter in this nation’s struggle against Africa’s nautical thuggery  has been brought to a successful close. With the speculation already in progress as to who should be cast in the role of the good captain, so that this tale of treachery on the high seas can be delivered into the comfort of our living rooms, we would do well to remember that one man’s pirate is another man’s privateer.

On the streets of Mogadishu and in villages throughout Somalia the members of this ad hoc ragtag navy are the heroes. If this chaotic shattered nation had any form of functioning governance these seafaring brigands would be operating with a Letter of Marque. The rape of the fish stocks  and the dumping of toxic waste in Somalian waters by foreign concerns fostered the  relationship between starving  fisherman and the street militias whose common goal it was to drive the invaders from their shores. Unfortunately the resulting financial bounty associated with their initial efforts cultivated the current climate of  criminal  behavior.

“For inside the body of many an honorable privateer lurks the soul of a dishonorable pirate.”  Captain Chris “Yo Ho” Poh

Our own history reveals a more than accomodating attitude towards piracy when it served our national interests. From the early eighteenth century during the infamous Triangle trade, through the American Revolution and into the War of 1812 we allowed the maritime mercenary to do our bidding. Perhaps the customary eye patch is less accoutrement and  more  metaphor  for what happens when nations turn a blind eye to the improprieties of scoundrels.

So here I am once again facing that simple fact that we live in a world where there is no black or white other than what we hoist up the mast before firing that first shot across the bow. A Jolly Roger

So I will, as I have done so many times in the past, embrace my inner pirate by pouring myself  a pint of Clipper City Loose Cannon Ale and singing a few verses of “A Pirate’s Life For Me.”

Clipper City Loose Cannon AleYo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.
We pillage we plunder, we rifle and loot.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.
We kidnap and ravage and don’t give a hoot.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.
We extort, we pilfer, we filch and sack.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.
Maraud and embezzle and even high jack.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.
We kindle and char, we inflame and ignite.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.
We burn up the city, we’re really a fright.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

We’re rascals, scoundrels, villains and knaves.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.
We’re devils and black sheep, really bad eggs.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.

We’re beggars and blighters and ne’er do-well cads,
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.
Aye, but we’re loved by our mommies and dads,
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.
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Posted by: Chris Poh, Yo Ho

 

 

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