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It's getting so you can't swing a cat these days without hitting a pirate, and by pirates we don't mean people who steal computer software or download songs illegally. We're talking standard issue, swaggering, plundering full-on swashbuckling buccaneers!
Have you noticed that? Somehow pirates have worked their way into the public consciousness in a way that has made them a ubiquitous public image. I've seen them recently in Taco Bell ads, an ad for some wireless phone company, and most recently in an ad for FedEx. Then there was "Steve the Pirate," a character in the movie "Dodgeball." He was the guy who played on the dodgeball team and acted like a pirate until the writers lost interest in him and he sort of wandered off, leaving audiences to wonder, "What was THAT all about?" If they had made him the center of the story instead of a tranquilized Vince Vaughn, it might have been a better movie. But I digress.
With the buzz already building for the "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel, which hasn't even begun filming yet and won't be out for another year and a half, more or less, we can only expect the interest to grow.
The reason is simple, of course, and all of you know it. Pirates are cool, they're fun. Pirates swagger and do what they like. They're more free than anyone. That's why we're all drawn to them, along with a growing number of people all around the world.
But why do I mention this? Good question. It's simple, really. I'm asking all of you, when you notice pirates characterized in movies, on television and especially in advertising, to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to report in. I just want to keep an informal tracking poll to see where and how the trend goes and grows. You're my eyes in the crow's nest, so to speak. Thanks for helping.
As Jezebel, the Web Wench, keeps reminding us, we have a blog. We've hardly written a thing in it for over two months because we've been working on the new book (more about that in a moment) so our monthly entries have been along the lines of "Sorry we haven't been blogging, we'll get back to you shortly." Jez says that's not good enough to maintain actual interest in the thing. As usual, she's right.
Well, "shortly" is finally here. Starting Monday, Jan. 10, Cap'n Slappy and I are going to start a little project. We're going to tag-team a pirate story in the blog. Nothing fancy or profound or even publishable. Maybe not even something good, we just don't know. It's just a little something to keep us going until we get going on our NEXT book, which we've already got in mind but we're not ready to start working on.
I'll be writing installments on Monday and Wednesday and Friday. Cap'n Slappy will be taking over on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. On the seventh day, we rest.
We haven't planned anything. We haven't talked about plot or structure or length or setting or anything. We're just going to plunge off into the unknown, playing it by ear, using it as a writing exercise while risking ridicule and abuse from our friends (We do too have friends!) by making it public.
We will from time to time also have things to announce or mention in the blog, especially as our plans firm up and we have news we want to get out. Those will continue to be headed "Ship's Log of the Festering Boil." The story will be headed ... well, that's another thing we haven't discussed. I guess since I get first crack, I'll be the one who gets to name it. Whether that stays the name is anyone's guess.
JUST 255 days until International Talk Like a Pirate Day!!!
And some of you have already been planning. We've already gotten our first notice of a TLAPDay event being celebrated this September. In Coos Bay, Oregon, a group of Harley riders will be celebrating with a run and party! Or was that a rum party? Or both? Hard to say with those Harley bilge monkeys. They've promised to send more details as they come. Anyway, they're already laying plans. We hope you are too. And let us know as soon as you do, so we can post them on our calendar.
In the meantime, we've got a couple of engagements lined up for the winter and early spring, and summer is getting booked up fast. We are working on our own plans but it's a little early to announce them. We need to have a few things signed first. But you can bet we'll be busy this summer and into the fall, traveling around to support the holiday and promote the new book. So there's a good chance we'll get the chance to meet up with you sometime between now and September 19th. We're looking forward to seeing you!.
Last Friday we finished and sent off the manuscript to Lanky Lady Liz, our editor at Penguin, for our new book, which will be out late this summer. We beat the deadline by two hours!
If we do say so ourselves, it's even funnier than our first book, which we've been told is pretty damn funny. And it's certainly longer, which ought to count for something. At least it's longer now. By the time the editing process is over, who knows how long it'll be?
(This, by the way, is not to say there's anything wrong with "Well Blow Me Down," which has been selling very well and if you haven't got your copy you'd better hurry because supplies are limited, as the saying goes. You can order it through our Web site, www.talklikeapirate.com. You don't want to be the only pirate without a copy, do you?)
The working title for the new book is still, "Pirattitude: So you wanna be a pirate? Here's how." Or words to that effect. We're not entirely sure how the process works, this is our first time with an actual publisher, so the title may stay that way or become something completely different.
Either way, we think that if you liked "Well Blow Me Down," you'll like "Pirattitude" even more. (Conversely, if you hated our first book you'll probably hate this one that much more. It's the risk we take.) But in any case, it's on its way. We'll update you on the process and when we've got a firm release date you'll be the next to know.
After something like 30 years of meeting deadlines, our close personal friend, Pulitzer Prize-Winner Dave Barry has taken leave of his column. Dave BlueBarry Beard helped launch Talk Like a Pirate Day into world orbit when he wrote about it in his Sept. 8, 2002, column. Since then he has been extremely supportive, and when I finally met him last September he couldn't have been more gracious and kind. Hell of a guy. A true champion of good beer. And a great presidential candidate.
Dave has launched a one-year sabbatical from the grind of producing his weekly column, and who can blame him? But he'll be missed. My dad used to say that the newspaper is "just the same old thing happening to somebody else." For close to 30 years Dave was one reason that wasn't true, the funniest, most original and DIFFERENT thing in the paper every Sunday. Now for at least a year (and longer if he decides he likes his new lifestyle) we're going to have to find a new source for booger jokes and other strange and hilarious reports.
The newspaper won't be the same without him.
Good luck Dave. Enjoy the time off. But not too much, because millions of readers around the world are hoping you'll come back refreshed and as funny as ever.
--Ol' Chumbucket, editor
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