Share story

Hi ho, Silver! Wait, Ahoy, Long John Silver! Avast, whatever. It’s the annual international Talk Like a Pirate Day, when landlubbers and land sharks alike are allowed to let their inner pirates roam freely, enchanting (or, possibly annoying) friends, family and coworkers with their pirate accents/lingo.

You may be asking (or clutching your head in agony) who started such a thing? The website lists two guys named John Baur and Mark Summers as the instigators of it, with an official date (1995) and everything. Who can claim something like “Talk Like a Pirate Day”?  Aarrr, this is not an Al-Gore-and-the-Internet thing. They are real guys. I used to sit next to Baur about a lifetime ago in an Oregon newsroom far, far away. An actor and director, he was always cracking us up with funny voices and improv antics. We worked until 1 a.m. or so, and by 12:30, we would laugh at nearly anything. Don’t ask what we did with Gumby and the waxer. John was always on the run with his growing family, multiple jobs/hobbies and the like, so it’s no surprise he managed to squeeze in something like this. Also adding cred: Dave Barry’s column about it. “As an influential newspaper columnist, I have the power to ”make or break” a national day,” Barry wrote. “You may recall that almost nobody celebrated Thanksgiving until I began writing about it in the 1970s.”

Happy TLPD, John, wherever you are.