The Poopdeck

The Talk Like A Pirate Day Newsletter
Published when the fancy strikes
Ol' Chumbucket, ed.
ISSUE NO. 4 August 19, 2003
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You just never know what kind of mail Cap'n Slappy will be getting from time to time. This one may be our favorite.

This month Cap'n Slappy got a message from "Cap'n Lamb Shanks O' the good ship The Flapping Gums." Shanks wanted to know why the "Pirate Booty" panties had disappeared from our Web site's store. It was the first we'd heard about the disaster, and we are disappointed that the panties are no longer available, even though we've only sold one pair. (And wouldn't you like to know to whom?)

Our vendor, Cafe Press, changes items from time to time and we don't really know the whys or wherefores. All we know is that, at least for the time being, Cafe Press has dropped woman's panties ... wait, let us rephrase that. The panties with the proud legend, "Pirate Booty" across the bottom, are not available. The thong is still there, but it's the nature of thongs that you can't write much across the back, what with the whole point of a thong being that there isn't much back there. So there you are.

But that's not what we loved about the item. It was why Cap'n Lamb Shanks wanted the panties. She (or he, it's not stated specifically) is putting up a display of art - to wit, a novelty panties collection - at an artspace in Looe, Cornwall.

We have always been fascinated by what constitutes art, and this is a new realm for the Pirate Guys. If we could have our druthers, Talk Like a Pirate Day would be memorialized in a heroic oil painting of Cap'n Slappy steering his ship through a fierce battle, while Ol' Chumbucket leans over the railing being sick. But if this is what it takes to break into the world of art, who are we to quibble? While neither the Cap'n nor myself have much in the way of novelty underwear, we salute this enterprising artiste and wish her (or him, it's probably a her but it doesn't say) the best of luck. And, as the Cap'n said in his response:

"Hopefully we can facilitate a swift remedy so that the aforementioned unmentionables may be exhibited by the uninhibited!"


Some of you will have noticed some problems with our site recently. Hardest hit was the Ask Cap'n Slappy feature. The Web Wench has been struggling like a deckhand in the bilge trying to plug leaks to get these problems resolved, and has developed temporary workarounds. She explained the nature of the problem to me, something about our ISP (that we used to like a lot) suddenly and without warning deciding it was no longer going to support certain kinds of scripts. Having said that, I have exhausted my knowledge of the subject.

So this buggered up the Ask Cap'n Slappy for a short period. We also discovered this affects the ability to sign up for this newsletter. For now, you 80 people are the only ones receiving this newsletter, so please, pass it on!! [the Webwench notes: The Poopdeck signup is working now]

On the bright side, we have a few new features. There's a clock counting down the seconds to Sept. 19, and a new link to our friends at The Pyrate Pub, an online site where pirate re-enactors Aaarr and Avast to their hearts content all year long. In return, they've linked back to us, which is nice, because they're more established and we assume they get a LOT more hits than we do on a regular basis.


We have been working to spread the news through every media we can think of. Things like an art exhibit featuring rude Talk Like a Pirate underwear is just one of the many serendipitous things that have been transpiring.

- Kid's book

An unexpected bonus was a call from the people at Harcourt Children's Books, which is releasing a picture book for the wee ones called, "How I Became A Pirate." It's just cuter than hell, so sweet it'll give you cavities. They decided for obvious reasons that the best possible release date for the book would be Sept. 19. And they asked The Pirate Guys to be involved in helping promote it, which we are delighted to do. Like I said, it's awfully cute, and the illustrations are fantastic. As the father of many, many children, I've seen a few kids' books in my time. This is a good 'un. The Harcourt people have included all our press material in their press kits for the books, so word will be getting out rather farther than we had hoped. We'll be posting an ad for the book on our site as soon as our Web Wench gets a spare moment from battling Internet death worms.

- The littlest pirates

We also got a letter (in the actual mail! How 1980s is that?) from a pre-school in New Jersey asking how their kiddies can join in the fun. Cap'n Slappy got so excited he immediately wrote out a Talk Like a Pirate Day curriculum for the kids, and we whisked it off to N.J. Hope they enjoy it. If you're a teacher, there's lots you can do to make Sept. 19 fun in the classroom, and would a little fun kill ya? Write us through the Web site for ideas.

- No Letterman this year

So far no luck with any of the late night talk shows, although we live in constant hope. Letterman's staff liked the stuff we sent them (at least they SAID they liked it, which is good enough for us) but they are dark that week, not taping any new shows. Still, radio stations are beginning to line up, and if we have to spread the word one market at a time, that's how we'll do it. We don't care if anyone wants to talk to us personally. We just want everyone to be indulging in pirate talk for the day.

- More art news

The Farnsworth Museum in Maine (no, it's not named for the crusty old character actor, the late Richard Farnsworth. This one is a major repository of paintings by the Wyeth family, including lots of pirate illustrations.) is holding a pirate event expected to draw more than 400 kids. It's scheduled for Sept. 18, and they didn't even KNOW about Talk Like a Pirate Day, which comes the day after. Well, they do now and they're terribly excited about it and are trying to tie in their promotional activity. As one publicist said to us, "It's like a great big pirate snowball." We like the image, if only because the weather's hot.

- In the press

The Edge, in The Oregonian, is the best daily feature in any newspaper we know of, always excluding of course, the work of our close personal friend, Pulitzer Prize Winner Dave Barry. And for the two weeks building up to International Talk Like a Pirate Day, the Edge will be running a pirate haiku - or pi-ku - competition. So start brushing up your poetry skills now and prepare to enter, because first prize is a pair of "Well Blow Me Down Boxers" from our Web site! You can check out the Edge at Here's a pi-ku thrown together by your editor. Readers of Ask Cap'n Slappy will recognize the theme, but the haikuization of it is all my own. Why are sixteen men On the chest of that dead man? Is that what killed him?

- Spread the word! -

The point is to get as many people as possible talking like pirates this Sept. 19. So SPREAD THE WORD!!

We'll send out a list of where and when (and if) we'll be on the air any place so that those interested and nearby can tune in if they want to. The list also will be posted on our Web site for those who want to tune in.


Yes, we know, nobody who has to GO to school is particularly happy about the impending resumption of classes. Make it a little easier on yourself by going in Pirate Style. We're putting a few new items up on our Web site's store in the next couple of weeks, including the official Chumbucket, a Talk Like A Pirate Day Cap'n Slappy Lunchbox. Too cool, or what?

We're also planning a T-shirt specific to this year's event. You don't want to be without that.

So go ahead and check out the booty store at It's sure a lot easier and probably cheaper than actually making a pirate costume.


As we draw nearer to this year's event, we've been hustling our flabby butts off trying to get things set up so that we make the biggest possible splash this year. And there are a lot of people who have been helpful, not just among our circle of friends (who are supportive yet dumbfounded that people are paying attention to us) but people around the world in the online community.

At the risk of sounding maudlin and the greater risk of forgetting some deserving people, we want to thank: The Official Lusty Pirate Wench, The Web Wench, the Donnellys (who took the picture,) Reed, who recorded the sound files and burned CDs for the digital press kit we have mailed out, Scott for setting up the KZEL interview, and the members of Cap'n Slappy's Pirate Players, who helped put together a video for Letterman's staff (which didn't get us on the show, but was a lot of fun to do.) They are Patti, Jan, Kris, Leonora, Anya, Pat, Janet, Dean, Mirinda, Paul, Erin, Alexandria, and Tori. Also Steve and Sarah at Harcourt, Scott at PMA Lit & Film, to the whole online crew at and all the people who have written to us and are working to build the buzz so that this year's International Talk Like a Pirate Day will be the most amazing event on the planet.

And of course, all the thanks in the word to our close personal friend, Pulitzer Prize-winner Dave Barry, even though his lawyers would probably prefer we not call him that, but who got us the jumpstart we needed to wreak havoc around the world. As one correspondent noted last Sept. 19, "you have caused international chaos." What more could a couple of yahoos like us ask for?