Katie's Mom: How to celebrate TLAPD

... and other tales

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On Talk Like A Pirate Day 2005, we received this missive. It was so good we decided it deserves a permanent place on the site, along with a few other choice TLAPD stories from our fans.

"You have my mother to blame for what I'm sending you, as she brought up Talk Like a Pirate Day in the first place. (She and her fellow teachers in crime are using it to teach piratical culture to their middle school students and pass out booty (er.. candy), a much-appreciated and mocked tradition begun last year. I'm emailing you from her address. Due to her influence and coercion - I was sent out to get the candy - and a case of insomnia driven by a denial of the coming work week, I wrote this. (And yes, I had to hear the "it's driving me nuts" joke again this year, too). Enjoy the day!" -- Katie

Here's the sound advice from Katie's mom, Joanne:

Did you know Sept. 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day? I know many of you have already planned your piratical celebrations, and some of you may already have own personal traditions in place. But just in case your busy schedule has intruded to catch you unawares on the eve of this important holiday, here’s some suggestions you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. You may find that employing the canny skills of the pirate boost your own agenda, as well!*

  1. Red and black is in. Not your colors? That’s okay! Pirate complexions invariably tended toward more sallow hues due the high incidence of scurvy. This is also your opportunity to incorporate any acne outbreaks or hairy moles into your overall ensemble. Use this day to display them with pride. Don’t be afraid to put your comb away for the day, either. Plundering the high seas leaves little time for involved daily hygiene routines.
  2. Accessorize. Pirates favored shiny metallic accents, preferably the timeless look of gold. The bolder the better... feel free to improvise! Pirates rarely consulted popular fashion, preferring instead to pioneer their own trends. If you’re male, this is a prime opportunity to try jewelry while maintaining your masculinity. Just think of it as wearing your trophies. A natural look works as well – you can’t go wrong with a good skull and crossbones. Hats are also important, but can be tailored to your individual taste. Scarves combine fashion and function; flattering headgear for many, they also serve to wipe off any unfortunate stains. It’s also recommended you invest in a sturdy, preferably thigh-length, boot.
  3. Consider carefully your pirate name. Tired of being Jane? Here’s your chance for a colorful change. Try putting an adjective or descriptive phrase in front of your name, first or last. For example, Rufus is now Bloody Red Rufus, or Mad Dog Rufus. The more visually evocative the title, the better. Alliteration slips off the tongue easier and makes your name, and therefore you, more memorable. (Try this at job interviews and you’ll get results).
  4. Talk with flair. Have fun with this! Change your "you" to "ye" and your "my" to "me." Pepper your sentences with "scurvy," "bloody," and "smarmy". End at least every other sentence with "argghh" and begin the other sentences with "aye." Show affection by assigning nicknames to others, such as "bilge rat" or "bastard." This is a great trick at work or cocktail parties if you can’t recall someone’s name. Remember, everyone finds an accent attractive.
  5. Don’t be afraid to advertise yourself! Let others know you’re coming, and that it’ll be on your terms. Create a personalized flag that relates to you (in red or black, of course), and attach it to your vehicle’s radio antenna. Make sure the flag is easily detachable for those times you’d prefer to drive incognito.
  6. Keep your mind active – challenge yourself! Create a treasure map for your office on pay week while you search for your check. Use your co-workers’ desks as landmarks. Invite your colleagues to join in the challenge by telling them to "find their own treasure, or walk the plank!"
  7. Delegate – it’s important you take care of yourself at home and in the workplace. Refer all inquiries and requests to your pet parrot. This works whether the parrot is live or stuffed. Either way, optimal parrot placement is on the left shoulder. (Be sure it is securely anchored – no one trusts an unsteady parrot). Insist others treat your parrot with respect and as your representative, or risk your wrath. It may be necessary for you to engage in hand-to-hand combat or swordplay at least once before your wishes are respected. Be firm, and your co-workers/family members will follow your lead. (You may wish to substitute a monkey or ferret).
  8. Value your assets. Don’t hesitate to bring your hooked hand to Human Resources to request your 50 pieces of silver for losing your appendage while fixing the copier.
  9. Offer to pioneer a new training series for your company based on piratical theory. Ideas for topics: "Walking the Plank: The How-To in Merging Companies and their Personnel," "Pillage and Plunder: Strategizing Sales Techniques," "Davy Jones’s Locker: You and your 401(k)", and "Pirates are People Too: Mediation and Interpersonal Relationships."
  10. Mutinies happen. When you’re escorted from your workplace, take it in stride. Pirates never worked well when accepted in the general population, anyway.

Other tales of inspiration, adventure and derring-do from our fans

Arrrrrder in the court!

"I've been a fan of Talk like a Pirate Day for a few years now,but on that day in way back in ought-five (Last year) I had just started a new job as a Court Room Clerk. The atmosphere is supposed to be very professional in a court so that people take it seriously.

"This was a Small Claims Calendar, and the Pro-Tem (Like substitute Judges) for the first Calendar didn't appear. Eventually after I found a substitute for him, I knew that I had to keep people's attention for about 40 minutes, so...since it was Sept 19th...you know what happened.

"By the time the fellow took the bench, and called the cases up, several of them swashbuckled their way to the bench to go forth with their matter...often speaking in a surly manner in which I am sure that you are familiar.

"It wasn't just funny...it was a friggin pajama soaker.

"In the afternoon, the 2nd Pro-Tem was late, and I assumed he would not appear also, so while I took roll, I just included the Pirate thing with the rules of court. (While I was speaking, the pro-tem had quietly come in, and listened to this entire speech) I could have been fired for this, if he had been stuffy about it, but not only did he not mind, he jumped right in.

"People approached the bench and greeted him as "Yerrrrr Honnerrrrr"

"He even drew cartoons of parrots on the forms he faxed back to court with judgments (which I had to hide to keep my job) and his secretary and staff still talk like a pirate when they call me anytime.

"This September 19th (2006) is a day I've been looking forward to all year, and have special arrangements to be in a different Dept all day for one reason only...because I get to do "Traffic ARRaignments"...that's got to be among the finest words for any pirate.

"Anyway, thanks for the effort you put forth into this most splendid of holidays. (This and Scotchtoberfest are my favorites)" -- Black Dog Paul

Dreams come true

Sandy Jacobson had dreamed of acting from a very young age, but a near-fatal car accident at the age of 6 put an end to those dreams - she thought.

After a long hospitalization and reconstructive surgery, she grew up, got on with her life ... and then, after another auto accident and subsequent job loss, began searching around for work as an assistant director or production assistant in film or TV. She had a few interviwes, but no bites, and she was beginning to think the dream was still in vain.

That's when a producer tipped her to a "particular audition," and suggested she go.

" I had no resume, no headshots, etc. I put together a pathetic resume ... I ran into a friend, whom I hadn’t seen in 9 months. He took my photo with his cell-phone and e-mailed it to me. THAT was my headshot.

"I showed up for the audition, and the line went around the block. I wanted to run, but I “had” to be able to tell the producer that I’d followed his suggestion so I stayed. It turned out that 2500 people auditioned that day for “Pirates of The Caribbean II & III.” The Casting Director, later told me that she had received over 20,000 submissions. I was one of 10 people cast for my role a “Pirate Wench.” ...

" I don’t expect to have a career as a “film star” but I have since worked in a total of 4 feature films, done 4 episodes of one particular T.V. show, and continue to get other acting work. ..

"My next project, is to reach out to local hospitals where kids have gone through their own crisis and hopefully speak to or work with them to give them and their parents some hope and suggestions on creating as quality a life as possible...

"This summer I finally had the opportunity to go to Walt Disney world. And for me, the “ideal” souvenir was a replica of the Coin Necklace that was the last piece for ending the curse. So, today, to celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day 2005I will be wearing the necklace." (See a photo of Sandy in her PoTC garb on our TLAPD gallery)

Before she even heard of us

"Having been only recently alerted to the presence of ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day’ by my brother (who, I assumed, stumbled upon it quite by accident), this will be my first annual celebration of the lingo, but by no means my first enthusiastic usage. Several years ago, I worked for a telemarketing company, making unsolicited phone calls (usually in the early morning or about the dinner hour) and consequently being ‘cussed out’ for my lack of sensitivity. ... my tale of piracy begins in much the same way as yours, in that, for whatever reason, my brother and I began ahoy-ing and avast-ing each other to the fullest extent of our abilities, and for no real reason whatsoever.

"As I’m sure you’ve discovered, once you begin talking like a pirate, it’s really very hard to stop, no matter how inappropriate it may be in various settings. It is due to the addictive nature of the slang that I found myself have-at-ye-ing and me-matey-ing my various associates at work the following day.

"My boss Bruce (now ‘the Brave’) at first informed me that this was all due to my various emotional deficiencies. However, come lunch time, he swept through the break room with a hearty Y’arrrrrrrrrrr and plundered my bag of chips. Before long, we had an office full of pirates, and this continued until I abandoned ship some months later.

" The over-powering nature of pirate-talk brings one particular instance to mind, and it is to share this tale with you that I write this email. One fine day, Bruce the Brave stops by my cubicle between calls and asks what manner of booty I had brought in today (i.e. what were my sales at). I replied that the seas had been empty and the plundering poor, and that I had but seventy-five doubloons in my ship’s hold. This being a meager sum, he proceeded to call my mother (oddly enough) a scurvy bilge rat. I turned to him to make some comments of my own to the same effect, when the beep in my headset alerted me that I was back on the lines.

I turned back to my computer screen, but neglected to switch off ‘pirate mode’ and promptly greeted my unsuspecting victim with a “Y’arrrrr, good marnin’ to ye……d’arrrrrrrrrr, crap,” upon which note I hung up. My boss, being the man he is, and it being arguably half his fault, was in hysterics, and I myself was caught up in piratey giggles for some time (piratey giggles sounding thusly: hee hee heeyar, hee heyar, hee hee)." Yours most sincerely, and with a touch of scurvy, Rachel the Rrrrred (spelled with plenty of Rrrrrr's)

P.S. It is my opinion that Y’arrr be the affirmative (as in “Y’arrr, it be a fine day for ye ta be swabbin’ the deck, me strappin’ cabin boy”) and that D’arrrrr be the negative (as in “D’arrrr, I dinna see the iceberg, Captain, I was elbow-deep in me grog”)

P.P.S. While I greatly enjoyed Katie’s mom’s ‘TLAPD at work’ spiel, my inner stickler needed to correct a bit of her info. She mentions requesting your 50 pieces of silver for losing a hand, when, according to the Pirate Facts found at http://www.beaglebay.com/pirate_facts.htm, one was entitled to 600 and 500 pieces-o-eight for losing a right or left arm, respectively. Don’t sell your limbs short, Katie’s Mom!!

Pirates build morale in Kosovo

"I just wanted to write and tell you about our TLAP International celebration. I'm a soldier currently deployed under the UN Security Council Resolution #1244. I'm a member of Task Force Shadow on a peace keeping mission in Kosovo. We are an aviation unit based primarily out of Pennsylvania. The majority of soldiers are National Guard soldiers who have been pulled from their homes and jobs. We are on a mobilization for 18 months, with 12 months in country.

In order to help to give the fellow soldiers a relief from the stress of the deployment, we decided to celebrate TLAP day. The decision to support the activities came from our Task Force Commander (LTC Stefanowich). He was excited about the day and wanted to ensure that we observed it. Through his determined efforts and those of S4 office (CPT McCord, SSG Blosser, SPC Selapack) we planned a fairly involved TLAP day. The only downfall was that we had to celebrate it a day early (the 18th) due to mission requirements.

A couple of the activities that we had on that day included a treasure hunt, pirate paraphernalia for sale, a viewing of Pirates of the Caribbean, and a high seas battle. The treasure hunt entailed a map with a verse that the willing participants had to decipher and find their way to the treasure. The highlight of our day was the high seas battle. We had two wooden ships constructed and placed them on opposite corners of a volleyball court. Then we used water balloon launchers to send “shots” at the opposing team. The rules were simple: If you got hit with a water balloon, you were dead and out of the game; if the ship got hit 10 times, it was sank and that team lost. The volleyball net in the middle made it difficult because the shots had to be arced in order to score a hit. All of the events were a great success.

Many of the individuals here on the Forward Operating Base have never heard of TLAP Day, so we have helped to spread the word. We have had a ton of compliments on our activities and celebrating of TLAP Day. We even had some shirts made that say Talk Like a Pirate day, Kosovo. The celebration occurring in the Balkans (Kosovo is a province of Serbia) helps to add another country to the list of TLAP celebrations.

Attached is a picture of my team for the high seas battle, “The Bilge Rats”. Our team managed to go undefeated. Even with eye patches and fake mustaches, we had good aim." -- SPC James, Selapack, Task Forece Shadow - KFOR6B, Camp Bondsteel, APO, AE 09340