The Poopdeck

The Talk Like A Pirate Day Newsletter
Published when the fancy strikes
Ol' Chumbucket, ed.
ISSUE NO. 36 (the other one) - Jan. 25, 2007
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236 days until International Talk Like a Pirate Day!!

In this issue:

Books and Books!

1) First, the big news! Mad Sally, the Official Lusty Pirate Wench and my lovely bride, has her own book deal!

She's just inked a deal with Collectors Press of Tigard, Oregon, to write a guide for women who yearn to add a little pirattitude to their lives. The book is due out in September. We'll keep you up to date on what's happening with it.

You saw Mad Sally last fall on ABC's "Wife Swap" pruning a garden with a cutlass and trying to install some pirattitude in a very stiff family that lives in fear of looking different. So you can guess the sort of things her book will talk about.

2) Thanks to all of you for driving the sales of "Pirattitude!" way beyond what our publisher, New American Library, expected. In one year the book has had six printings! The New York Times called our book "a nonstop yuckfest," and the editors of Maxim Magazine made it their book of the month. It's still available (click on the link to Amazon from our books page) and – dare we suggest? – it makes a great gift.

Meanwhile, we continue to push ahead with several other projects and will have more to announce very soon!

Pirate Guys in New Orleans – and elsewhere!

1) Come join us in New Orleans this spring for Pyrate Con, the big bash in the Big Easy! Cap'n Slappy, Mad Sally and Ol' Chumbucket will be part of the festivities from April 20 through April 22! And there'll be lots of fun – a pirate parade that starts at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, "the most atmospheric bar on Bourbon Street," a buccaneer ball at which a king and queen pirate will be crowned, workshops, speakers, dancing and musical mayhem. It'll be a blast!

For more info go to

Hope to see you there.

2) A South Carolina Sojourn – Details are still being worked out but Cap'n Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket have just agreed to be at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on or about Sept. 19 this year to be judges at the Ripley's Aquarium Talk Like a Pirate Contest. We're not absolutely sure what day it'll be yet, but probably on Talk Like a Pirate Day itself. Details will follow as soon as we work 'em out. But it looks like the Pirate Guys will be in the Palmetto State for the holiday this year.

No link to give you yet, but we'll keep you updated as details develop.

Ol' Chumbucket's Book Club

"Blackbeard," by Angus Korstam, published by Wiley.

Everyone knows all about Edward "Blackbeard" Teach, the Bristol-born sailor who became the most notorious, murderous figure in the history of piracy. The problem with this picture is, everything in the previous sentence may be wrong – and a lot more stuff we "know" about him as well.

For instance, no one knows Blackbeard's real name for sure. Might have been Teach, might have been Thatch, or Tach, or several other possibilities. And there is no record of any family in Bristol with a name like that at the right time. And, despite his fierce reputation, there is no record of his actually killing anyone.

What Blackbeard was, according to historian Angus Korstam, was a brilliant figure and charismatic leader who knew the value of good PR. He cultivated the reputation as a pirate no one wanted to cross paths with, so when anyone did run into Blackbeard at sea, he was quick to hand over the booty just to keep from annoying the pirate. And most of the time, he let them sail away with their lives.

The first half of the book is s little slow. Korstam is a historian, and as he explores Blackbeard's murky early history he misses no opportunity to go into lengthy detail about the period and the role of privateers in the politics of the time. But once he gets into Blackbeard's more well-recorded story – the blockade of Charleston and the wreck of the Queen Anne's Revenge, for instance – the book hits a nice pace and reveals a lot of things you probably didn't know. Such as – his famous death off Okracoke Inlet? Might have been closer to legal murder than the justified ending of a criminal career.

"Blackbeard" isn't always a colorful, swashbuckling saga, but it's fascinating, and does a nice job of balancing myth and fact and showing why the things we "know" aren't always so. A good addition to any pirate fancier's library.


We'll have lots more news for you soon!

-- Ol' Chumbucket