Damn Ye, Yellowbellied Sapsuckers! (Talk Like a Pirate Day!)

September 19th used to be just another nondescript day at the wrong end of Summer. For landlocked Mid-westerners, the best you could hope was for it to be sunny and moderately warm.

Then two guys who “sit around and drink a lot of beer and just talk a lot out of their [arse]” made a holiday out of talking like a pirate.

You see, about fifteen years ago, they played some raquetball, one of them got a leg cramp and yelled “Arrr!”, and they figured that exclamation must be what murderous sailors being hunted to extinction by world superpowers sounded like.

This created an excuse to call people, yell antique obscenities into the phone, and blame it on the occasion. As a bonus, if you selected your ex-wife’s birthday to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day, you had all the pretense you need to make her absolutely miserable. Incidentally, if you created an international phenomenon which will serve to make it YOUR day more than hers for the rest of her life, yo-ho-ho to you, sir.

Pirates were sailors, murderers, and thieves of varying ability, but their primary skill set was drinking, making up new words, and dying with great frequency. They also shared a keen sense of fashion and disdain for typical employment opportunities.

This Saturday, we celebrate their lexicon by finding ways to inject pirate speech into every conversation possible. We’ll focus on a few ways to pirate-ify consumer transactions. Dressing like a role-player or comic convention attendee is not required, but is encouraged. Speaking through gnashed teeth will result in a more authentic conversation, as well as consulting a guide on how to talk like a pirate.

Avast, Ye! — Stop. Use: This could be used to decline a five week trial subscription to an entertainment magazine while purchasing an XBox 360 game, or rejecting the eight year extended warranty on your iPod Shuffle.

Bilge — The lowest, least used, and typically most disgusting part of any ship. Use: “Found me this copy of ‘The Lake House’ DVD in the bilge. No great shakes, eh?”

Cut of Your Jib — Thinly cut foresails (jib sails) on a ship enabled captains a good deal of precision, captains who needed that extreme precision were usually pirates aiming at other ships. Other captains didn’t usually like this, and so didn’t like the cut of the pirates’ jib. Use: When a cashier eyes you and your fistful of coupons with dread, drop an “ARRRR!” followed by something about them “not likin’ the cut o’ my jib!”

Booty — Treasure, anything of value. Use: All items, of any value, must consistently be referred to as Booty. If anyone looks uncomfortable, say it even louder.

Speaking of booty, it’s time to go plunder some. Sail over to our Talk Like a Pirate Contest thread, share some loot with your mateys, and fight for your share of the spoils.

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