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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Talk Like a Pirate Day?

Yar, me hearties, today be Talk Like a Pirate Day!

It's a fun thing, with a website here that has hints for talking like a (Hollywood) pirate, including a Pirate Speak Translator:

The pirate speaks,"greetin's t' all me buckos! Today be t' day! Drink rum, get plastered, fight with cutlass, eat meat and sail into t' sunset in search o' treasure!
It's a lot of fun, with hijinks and silliness , including ringtones for your cellphone, if you are so inclined, and I get a hearty chuckle out of it.  As a student of history, who writes about it, I know a lot about some of the pirates in history, and they are not a comfortable crew to hang with (almost literally, in the end). 

Colin Darch, captured by Somali pirates and held hostage, wrote a book about his experience.  A ladies' club invited him to come speak to them on the subject of pirates, and some of them, not understanding his involvement with pirates, came dressed as pirates.  When they realized the exact nature of Mr. Darch's involvement with pirates, they were red-faced and terribly embarrassed.  
Mr. Darch did not turn a hair, and we now have a photo of him with the ladies..

If you want to read the best pirate adventure (in my opinion), then read Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island.  It starts with a bang, goes slowly for a while...until you are on the high seas beside the narrator, Jim Hawkins, and you realize that you are on a ship manned by pirates, the former crew of one of the worst pirate captains in history, and you are hopelessly outnumbered.

AND the very worst of the lot, the calm, pleasant, capable Long John Silver, is running the show.

The pirates are vicious, cunning, amoral and colorful, and very, very dangerous.

The movie with Robert Newton  as Long John Silver is considered the best.  I don't agree.  It's a romp and good fun, but does not catch the ominous nature of the book. 

L to R Billy Bones, Blind Pew and Long John Silver
For my money, Charlton Heston's version, featuring Oliver Reed and a cast of character actors, is the best (though someone really needed to tell Jim Hawkins to spit the wad of mashed potatoes from his mouth and speak clearly).  There's a scene where they are escaping The Hispaniola and the pirates run out a cannon.  One of the crew stands at the rail, watching the rowboat as the heroes try to escape.

"Oh no!" cries one of the heroes.  "Israel Hands was Cap'n Flint's gunner!"  

Hands has not lost his skill, and the heroes end up wading to shore.  

Talk like pirate?  Hm, could be fun.  But I'll stick with the real Navy, thank ye very much!  (Enjoy your weekend!)

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