D’ye know what today be, mateys? International Talk Like a Pirate Day! I kid you not – as of 1995, it is a holiday, recognized by at least tens of thousands of Facebook users.
In honor of the day, I figured I could, if not talk legitimately like “one who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea without commission from a sovereign nation” (I’ve just come off of a summer locked in 16th-century England; great as it was, I’d like to be able to just talk like me, for a while!), then at least have a little informal talk about pirate-related things. Things like…
“Pirates of the Caribbean”! Show of hands, who among you loves these movies? I can still remember the first time I saw “The Curse of the Black Pearl” on TV; that moment when the moonlight revealed the accursed crew for what they really were… *shudders* It terrified me, but it didn’t stop my adoration of Captain Barbossa. And by the time we reached the climactic swordfight between Barbossa and Captain Jack Sparrow, Hans Zimmer’s “He’s a Pirate” heightening the swashbuckling ambience, that was it. I was hooked. The pirate’s life was for me!
I mean, c’mon: Pirates have swords! Who doesn’t love swords?!
“I know I love swords!” Will Scarlet cheers.
Of course you do, you Merry Swordsman, you! Also among pirate weaponry are pistols and cannons and, in the case of Peter Pan’s nemesis, a hook for a hand.
“And muskets, and bombs, and knipple shot—”
What kind of shot, now?? Where are you getting this, Will?
“The Pirate’s Realm dot com,” he says, pointing to one of our (apparently) shared computer’s open tabs. “They’ve got a page all about pirate weapons.”
Ah. Someone might enjoy that. Thanks, Scarlet.
“All very well,” Allyn-a-Dale walks over to chime in. “But you’ve yet to mention the most alluring element of piracy.”
“Thievery?” Will guesses.
Allyn shakes his head and answers (in pattern-conforming emboldened font, bless him), “Pirates have ships to sail the open seas.”
Or the Great Lakes, I say, recalling my voyage once upon the Tall Ship Windy. That was fun.
“Naturally, it was,” says Allyn. “Captain Sparrow actually put it rather lyrically, in that aforementioned film: ‘Wherever we want to go, we go. That’s what a ship is, you know. It’s not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails. That’s what a ship needs. But what a ship is… what the Sword-o’-the-Gale really is… is freedom.’”
A stirring recitation – although Jack Sparrow didn’t say anything about the Sword-o’-the-Gale.
Allyn coolly adjusts the cuff of his alter-ego’s elegant coat (which I hadn’t taken notice of his wearing, ‘til now). “He would have, were he Captain Gant the Second.”
Well, be that as it may, I’m all for big, beautiful ships and the sparkling sea. Thanks for joining in on the pirate talk, boys! Readers, feel free to toss in your two pieces of eight! What parts of piracy have you cheering “Yo-Ho”?