September 19: International Talk Like A Pirate Day

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Ahoy there, mateys, it’s International Talk Like A Pirate Day! I’m sure all of you are making plans to celebrate the holiday; but do you know the origins of this blessed day?

Well, it all began back in 1995 when two friends, John Baur and Mark Summers (Better known by their pirate names, Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy) were playing racquetball. During the match, one of them strained a muscle and let out a loud “Arrr!” After a pause, the two resumed their game, but inspired by the fateful “Arrr!”, they began speaking in pirate jargon.

Baur and Summers found that the pirate lingo made the racquetball game more entertaining, and decided they should make the day of the game an annual holiday on which they would speak in “pirate.” There was one small problem, namely that that day was June 6th, or D-Day. Rather than risk seeming disrespectful, the two men decided to pick another date. Eventually, they settled on September 19, as that was Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday, and it would be an easy date to remember.

The day remained a private joke between Baur, Summers and their friends, until 2002 when Baur sent an email to the humorist Dave Berry, telling him about the holiday. Berry quite liked the idea of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and spread the word about the holiday in his syndicated newspaper column. Today the holiday is celebrated annually by goofy people all over the world, and in 2013, Michigan became the first state to officially recognize the importance of the holiday.

So, raise a glass me hearties, and toast Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy with a Dark ‘N’ Stormy. The Dark ‘N’ Stormy is the unofficial national drink of Bermuda, and a popular favorite of sailors everywhere. The official recipe is Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and ginger beer, but you can mix this spiced cocktail with any good dark rum.

Dark ‘N’ Stormy

  • 1 1/2 ounces Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
  • 4-5 ounces ginger beer

Pour the rum into a tall glass with ice and fill with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Tomorrow: The King of Westeros.

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