September 18, 2009

Pirate day started as friendly insults

The men who created Talk Like a Pirate Day in Albany, Ore., say the idea began as a string of pirate insults and grew to become a worldwide celebration.

Matt Cap'n Slappy Summers, 46, who still lives in Albany, and John Ol' Chumbucket Baur, who now lives in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, said Talk Like a Pirate Day, which falls on Saturday, began in 1995 as pirate-style bantering on an Albany racquetball court, CNN reported Friday.

We just grew up in a time and place where we saw the wrong movies, read the wrong books, Baur said of the pirate fixation he shares with Summers.

The men said they decided to turn their idea into an annual Sept. 19 event and the holiday gained major national attention in 2002 when it was the subject of a Miami Herald column by humorist Dave Barry.

This is not what my parents would have chosen for me, but when the wave comes up, you ride it, Baur said. We do it for fun. We don't pretend that this is serious.