It's that blessed time of the year when people feel the urge to start speaking in what can rightly be described as an outdated vernacular (no, not Latin). Ahoy mateys, once again the 19th of September has smartly come ashore and it be time to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Unless you've been out to sea for the past few years, you should know that Talk Like a Pirate Day has become a huge hit from what started as a silly way to trash-talk during a game of racquetball (you can find out more at www.talklikeapirate.com). It has also become a day of celebration for many married couples. Sally Babcock of American Greetings Interactive says that their "Talk Like a Pirate" eCard was the second highest send for the month of September last year.
David and Julie Holder, both 36, have been married for 12 years and this is the second year hosting a pirate party on the holiday. Last year, they invited their closest friends and, well, did what pirates do best. David remembers how a few hours into the party, they ran out of grog (that would be alcohol to ye landlubbers) and had to make a quick run to the store. When the store clerk asked if they needed a bag, David remembers pointing to his female friend, dressed in full pirate regalia, and saying, "Yar, we brought our own." "And for some reason, she is still our friend," David says.
But that’s what the day is about. For couples, it’s a fun way to get together or share something silly. "This year we’ll probably do what we did last year and just send funny e-mail chains to each other and some other friends in pirate-ese," says Cheryl Smith, 32. She says her husband, Sean's ability to e-mail her like a pirate won her heart completely when they were dating. "He had a hidden scallywag in there and I never knew it," she says.
"The thing I think we both really like about the holiday is that it's completely nonsensical, but so very close to our hearts," says Casey Miller, 26, who celebrates every year with his wife Erin, also 26. "I guess the best part is that sometimes the holiday carries over for a few days, and instead of calling each other things like, 'Honey' or 'Babe' we call each other 'Scurvy Wench' and 'Mutinous Sea-dog.'"
Perhaps egged on by the popularity of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean films, the holiday has come to mean more than just a day of rowdiness for some. Documentary filmmaker Ed Bedrosian has spent the last two years following real life pirates in the modern and historical worlds. His new film is set to wrap production this October and he’s planning to enter it in film festivals nationwide.
"What we’ve learned through this film is that people are attracted to the outlaw. They always have been. And pirates were outlaws," he says. "But the whole pirate lifestyle has been romanticized. It’s no wonder that people like to reenact the golden age of piracy. You get to enjoy the romantic elements of life at sea without enduring any of the hardships."
Maya Talisman Frost of Real-WorldMindfulness.com thinks that Talk Like a Pirate Day has great sex appeal for couples. "There’s nothing like playing with language to tickle our formidable frontal lobes—and lots of others places," she says. "It’s why we like to put on a German or Italian or Cockney accent when we’re engaged in role play. Language takes the game to another level, and helps us hear—and therefore perceive—our partner in a sexy new way."
"When you take away inhibitions and add salty talk you really can’t go wrong," says Lisa Suhay, author of The Mermaids and Yellow Jack. "Even if he’s not Erroll Flynn or Johnny Depp and she’s not Keira Knightley, they can still talk the talk."
So do a little jig and grab some rum this Tuesday, matey. Call your wife a wench and your husband a sea-dog. Scrub ye decks and drop the ballasts, ye landlubbing…hornpipe…grogs… well, we’ll just leave the pirate talk to you.