354 Days Until Talk Like a Pirate Day
In this issue:
Cap'n Slappy's After Action Report
It has been a couple of weeks since Cap'n Slappy staggered in from the Great White North amid vague rumors of wild good times, piratey fun and camaraderie in Alaska, where he was the guest of Captain Chuck, the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and hundreds of pirates.
Like the creature of nature he is, he sought surcease in the arms of Morpheus (that is, he slept) hibernating since his return. He might still be asleep if his gigantic dog, Buddy, hadn't needed to be let outdoors. While he was awake on that task, we finally badgered him into preparing this after-action report on his adventure.
The Fairbanks Caper - by Cap'n Slappy
From the moment I was greeted at the Fairbanks airport by Cap’n Chuck, Hard-Hearted Hannah and Professor Channon (“to peg-leg or not to peg-leg”) Price, Alaska was a whirl of pirattitude!
Before I left for the north, Ol' Chumbucket had cautioned me a couple of times to make sure I got some rest. He's traveled with me and knows it can get ugly when I don't. But even when I had a chance - I just couldn't. Too much going on - too many people wanting to "play." How could I rest?
Between interview calls and lots and lots of activities set up by my wonderful hosts, who were apparently worried I wouldn't be absolutely delighted every single second I was there, I didn't have any real sleep in three days. It was great, and they were great hosts!
The first morning we were off on a media blitz from radio station to radio station around downtown Fairbanks, then we were off to visit the mayor of North Pole. He escaped us initially, but we tracked him to a hotel-conference center where we forced him to pose for several pictures. We also raided Santa’s house in North Pole. Unfortunately, Santa was also out, but this did not prevent me from takin’ a seat in me rightful place – and for a brief, shining moment, Cap’n Slappy WAS Father Christmas (at least to an unsuspecting Asian tourist who seemed confused by the pirate sitting on Santa’s throne – slappin’ his knee in invitation.)
After a visit with a long-time friend from home who now lives in Fairbanks, and a brief rest, we were off to a three-hour book event at Gulliver’s Books. Lots of friendly folks stopped by and the store owner, Dave, couldn’t have been lovelier! Crusty but lovable.
A quick regroupin' and we were off for a night of drinking and pulled-pork sandwiches at The Silver Gulch and a right good raidin’ o’ their Oktoberfest celebrations! The place was jammed with a splendid gathering of pirates and townsfolk as well as the Oktoberfest band in lederhosen. We were joined by three guests from Mongolia in a rousin’ display o’ multicultural mirth when, en masse, we all took part in, “the chicken dance.” Good food, great beer, strange rhythmic movements! Me drinkin’ partner for the evening was the ever-so-lovely and plenty saucy Lisa “The Song Wench” Sporleder. And the place was freakin' PACKED! People were acting like I was "somebody." Very strange. I'll never get used to that.
The following day was Talk Like a Pirate Day itself, and we went to the campus of The University of Alaska at Fairbanks where I joined me mates in the Honors Program for breakfast and a brief lecture on pirate linguistics. I was also treated to a multimedia presentation o’ the facts and fables o’ Fairbanks history by renowned scholar, Terrance “The Terrible” Cole – head of the History Department at UAF. Brilliant and wildly entertaining!
Afterward, it was off to BARRRRRnes and Noble Bookstore for another book event where we were ably assisted by Van and Nick. There was a brief break to freshen up me piratey hygiene before headin’ back to UAF for the evenin’ show! Cap’n Chuck had organized the festivities at which one o’ the fellas what had interviewed me the mornin’ before – Cap’n Charlie O’Toole – served as Master o’ Ceremonies. Terrance “The Terrible” Cole and his twin brother, Dermot “The Dagger” Cole joined me for an evening of unrehearsed high jinks and mayhem. We were joined by the finest steel drum band within two-hundred miles of either side of the Arctic Circle, “Pantheon” as well as my friend, “The Song Wench” – who showed us why she is, in fact, “The Song Wench.” The show was broadcast on the interweb as well as across Alaska. Picture NPR’s “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” pirate themed and rum soaked.
After the show there was one more radio interview before returnin’ to Cap’n Chuck and The Fair Phyllis’ home for a SUMPTUOUS FEAST! Among his many, many talents, Cap’n Chuck is also a splendid cook! Good food, good company – a grand time.
A few hours later, we were back in the limousine heading toward the airport. The thermometer on the bank sign said the temperature was 24 degrees. Twenty-four hours later, I would be back in the Willamette Valley – in temperatures vaulting into the mid nineties. I wished I could take just some of those cool degrees with me – but the cool memories of warm-hearted folks are mine forever.
- Cap'n Slappy
The rest o' Team Pirate – Mad Sally, Jezebel and meself – want to thank the entire state of Alaska for taking such good care of our friend and showin' him such a good time.
With the holiday now passed, The Poopdeck will now resume its more leisurely and peripatetic schedule, but it will be out from time to time. We'll keep you appraised of what we hear of in the pirate world, and help you get ready for next year's celebration.
The next issue will also include an installment of Ol' Chumbucket's Book Club with a review of "Heart of a Pirate.'
Until then, fair winds to ye, and a following sea!
-- Ol' Chumbucket, editor
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