Why Shiver Me Timbers, It’s that Time Again

Wallace Beery & Jackie Cooper in Treasure Island

Seriously, do I really need to remind me hearties  that September 19th is International Talk like a Pirate Day? Now as to whether or not pirates actually ever talked like someone spiked their grog with ground glass is a matter I’ll leave to the linguists to decide. But ever since Wallace Beery’s legendary portrayal of Long John Silver in the 1934 classic Treasure Island, the supposed parlance of the privateer would find its way into the performance of every swashbuckler that ever raised a cutlass while under sail on a  Hollywood sound stage. And in 1952 piratical interjections would be taken to new heights by Robert Newton in the film Blackbeard, the Pirate. 

Robert newton in Blackbeard the Pirate

Click on the image of that bearded, wild-eyed, old captain of the Queen Anne’s Revenge for this year’s crash course in swagger and pirate speak.    

Now that you’ve become adept at the art of the Arrghs, let us review the recently revised pirate code of conduct:

  • Always put your best peg-leg forward.
  • Remember to 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 your crew 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!

But before you get all caught up in the “yo-hos” of the day, remember that a good number of our fellow shipmates have been facing some pretty rough seas as of late. Who would have thought that a couple of blowhards named Harvey and Irma could cause more hardship and devastation than all the scourges and scalawags that ever sailed the Seven Seas? So before you weigh anchor, why not pass on some of those spare doubloons to those who need your help and support? And remember that a savvy captain never sets sail without a good navigator.

Click on the image below to learn more about hurricane relief.

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Now that you’ve done your crew proud, it’s time to raise the roof and the rum!

Ye Have a Very Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

And while you’re at it, why not sing like a pirate while listening to these two old nautical favorites?

Posted by: Chris Poh for American Public House Review

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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

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

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