The Poopdeck

The Talk Like A Pirate Day Newsletter
Published when the fancy strikes
Ol' Chumbucket, ed.
ISSUE NO. 9 December 9, 2003
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Welcome back, me hearties, to the Poopdeck, the official electronic newsletter of International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Me friend Cap'n Slappy and I had a whale of a time last September 19, as I think we may have mentioned the day after, but frankly much of that day is now a blur, due ot the passage of time and the consumption of much more than a little ale. We hope you had as good a time as we're pretty sure we did.

After the increidble success of the day we wanted to keep the momentum going. So naturally, we took the next couple of months off. That wasn't the plan. We just did it. We actually had a plan. We had a meeting about the plan. All of us on Team Pirate - Cap'n Slappy, the Web Wench, the Official Lusty Pirate Wench and meself, Ol' Chumbucket - had our assignments. We promptly neglecgted them, other than to feel guilty about not doing anything for a little while. But at least give us credit for fessin' up. We had finished a two week period where we did something like 80 interviews (did you catch us on CNN? Neither did we. We were on the phone pretty much constantly.) and well, we needed just a bit of a break.

But now we're back and ready to begin the giddy climb to the heights again. We've got about 10 months to make sure next year's observance of International Talk Like a Pirate Day is even bigger.

So, as my old boss Joe Bologna (really, that was his name, I swear to God!) used to say, Let's get to work!


Not to brag, but this list is growing by leaps and bounds, and probably would grow even faster if I sent out editions more frequently. There are 647 now on the subscriber list, which is nothing to the 700, 000 that get Scott Adam's very funny "Dilbert Newsletter," but beats the hell out of the 20 or so that got the first edition of The Poopdeck. Thanks! And pass it on to your friends, if you have any.


Many of you have e-mailed us to ask when International Talk Like a Pirate Day will be celebrated in 2004. Let's be very clear about this. ITLAPD is like Christmas or the Fourth of July in that it is ALWAYS celebrated on the same day every year. In our case, that's Sept. 19, which is, of course, the birthday of Capo'n Slappy's ex-wife, Rhonda. We're not one of those "move it around to whenever it's convenient" holidays.

"But guys," you say, "This year Sept. 19 falls on a Sunday." Yes, that's absolutely true, thanks to the oddity of Leap Year. But don't let that slow you down a bit! There are three ways to make this work for you.

  1. Go ahead and celebrate on Sept. 19. Over the next few months we'll be offering plenty of tips on how to make the Lord's Day yer very own Pirate Day as well. The two are not incompatible. Or, well, actually yes they are, and that's why it's funny.
  2. Plan yer party to begin on Saturday evening (or afternoon, we're not picky) and, as the clock winds down, have a countdown and everyone shout out piratical phrases at the stroke of midnight. Hey, it works for New Years Eve!
  3. Do what we're planning to do - celebrate for the entire weekend! The International Talk Like a Pirate Day Weekend could become as big an event as Spring Break - and yes, we've written to MTV asking for coverage. No reply yet but we've got plenty of time.


Our Close Personal Friend, Pulitzer Prize-winner Dave Barry, is much to polite to have actually mentioned this to us directly (plus, he barely knows we exist) but he made a valid point in his Sept. 19 interview on NPR's All Things Considered. Dave likes the idea of Talk Like a Pirate Day (or at least he says he does, and that's all we care about) but he really wishes people would come up with a few more phrases to add to their vocabulary. "Arrr!" is a great start, and "Ahoy" is good, but after that there needs to be a bit more variety than just more Arrs and Ahoys.

Fortunately, there is a solution. Cap'n Slappy and meself have written a (we think) very funny book offering instructions on how to talk like a pirate. Unfortunately, we still don't have a publisher, but our agent Scott says we're still in play at a couple of firms. So maybe we'll be filthy rich soon ... or wait, we mean maybe we'll have our book published as a service to mankind to help everyone enjoy the holiday. Yeah, that's what we meant.

Failing that - well, we haven't thought much past that, but we'll make sure we get the word out to you. And of course, there's plenty of information both on our Web site (some of it might even be right. Who knows? It could happen.) and our links section will take you to plenty of other Web sites where people actually know what they're talking about.


It's not too late to order Talk Like a Pirate Day merchandise for all yer gift-giving needs! We've even added a few holiday oriented goods, including a Christmas ornament that you would certainly love to inflict on your tree. Check it out.

We'd also add that another pefect holiday gift is "The Dave Barry 2004 Calendar," which helpfully includes a mention of Talk Like a Pirate Day on the Sept. 19 page. We've already purchased several. It's the first calendar we've seen that you won't have to write in, TLAP Day on the 19th, so it's a very thoughtful gift both for your friends and yourself.


Yer editor (that means me) hasn't seen nearly enough of his ol' pal Cap'n Slappy these last few weeks, but it's for a good reason. The Cap'n has gone and gotten himself cast as the Pirate King in our local theater's production of "The Pirates of Penzance." Yes, on stage, live and in the flesh, Cap'n Slappy will be prancing and singing from Feb. 6 through 28 at Albany Civic Theater, 111 First Ave. W., Albany, Or.

Typecasting, sez I. But inspired typecasting.

Now, those who live in our corner of the globe might be aware that the Cap'n is not the strongest singer in terms of hitting the actual notes written by the composer. But he makes up for it with a gusto that can't really be described, but must be experienced. Just make sure you come equipped with the appropriate ear protectors. And the capering this man is capable of will astonish you, if not actually delight you.

Anyway, tickets are a bargain, even if you are scheduling flights from other corners of the world to see this amazing production - only $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors! Such a deal! And for those coming in from, say, Malmo, Sweden, for the event, the Cap'n might even be willing to put you up for the night. He's got a spare room.


Like I said above, we had plans and meetings about the Web site. Some of them have actually been accomplished. Others are still in the works. Here are some of the changes you are likely to see in the coming months (although be patient, because the Web Wench, another inspired thespian, is playing Martha in a production of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" in January, and has a lot of lines still to learn.)

  1. We'll be updating the FAQ to include questions we actually have been asked frequently, as opposed to the ones we made up at the beginning when we were trying to guess what you might ask a lot.
  2. Adding to the history of the day to include the amazing success of last September.
  3. Doubling the Talk Like a Pirate Day personaliy test to include a whole section just for women. Cap'n Slappy, by the way, wants you to know that he never meant to slight women by only having the one test. On the contrary, he just assumed the same test would work for both sexes and didn't want to be guilty of being politically incorrect by separating the sexes (the last thing Slappy'd EVER do.) But enough women wrote to say "Hey' where's our test?" that he decided to go ahead and make a separate one for the ladies. Or at least the women.
  4. Ask Cap'n Slappy continues, but now when asked a particularly vexing question on relations between the sexes, he is turning for advice to The Official Lusty Pirate Wench. TOLPW, as I likes to call her, is me wife, and let me tell you, she knows how to play the battle of the sexes and WIN. And makes me like it.
  5. There are several other changes coming as well, as soon as we find the list we wrote all this stuff down on at the meeting about the plan. Until then, enjoy whatever it is we've been doing. Or not, it's a free world.

-- Ol' Chumbucket, ed.