Celebrating International Talk Like a Pirate Day Friday, Sept. 17, the Payson library staff dressed up like pirates.
International Talk Like a Pirate Day was actually Sunday, Sept. 19, but since the library is closed Sunday, the staff moved up the celebration. The library hosted a day of pirate-themed fun, including a treasure hunt, costume contest, plank walking, and much more.
International Talk Like a Pirate Day was started in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Ore.
They proclaimed Sept. 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate.
An observer of this holiday would greet friends with “Ahoy, maties!” or “Ahoy, me hearties!”
The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy, according to Wikipedia.
According to Summers, the day is the only known holiday to come into being as a result of a sports injury. During a racquetball game between Summers and Baur, one of them reacted to the pain with an outburst of “Aaarrr!” and the idea was born. That game took place on June 6, 1995, but out of respect for the observance of the Normandy landings, they chose Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday, as it would be easy for him to remember.
At first, an inside joke between two friends, the holiday gained exposure when Baur and Summers sent a letter about their invented holiday to the American syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry in 2002. Barry liked the idea and promoted the day and later appeared in a cameo in their “Drunken Sailor” Sing Along A-Go-Go video.
Growing media coverage of the holiday after Barry’s column has ensured that this event is now celebrated internationally, and Baur and Summers now sell books and T-shirts related to the theme on their website.