Talk Like a Pirate Day 2009 - arrrrrrr you ready?

The happy founders of Talk Like a Pirate Day, John "Ol' Chumbucker" Baur and Mark "Cap'n Slappy" Summers, sing a pirate song on YouTube.

It’s the most wonderful time of the yarrrrrr. Yes, it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Actually, it’s tomorrow, September 19. But that’s no reason we can’t prepare for this very special celebration a day arrrrly.

For those of you well-versed in what should be a federal holiday, you’rrrrrre all set for the festivity. (OK, we'll knock it off with all the arr's).

But that's basically all you have to do. Say "arrr" a lot. Do that and you're celebrating. Woo-hoo!

Easy to understand why this is such a big phenomenon, isn't it?

Well, like most other things that have taken off in the last few years, it's the Internet that's fueled it. Although it hasn't amassed the 126 million times the "Evolution of Dance" video has been watched, there are more than 1,500 "Talk Like a Pirate" videos on YouTube, and more than 12 million websites dedicated in some way to the holiday.

Now this doesn't compare to the 271 million websites that come up when you search for Christmas. Or the 35 million sites for Thanksgiving. But it clobbers Flag Day (1.3 million). And St. Patrick's Day (6.8 million). Even President's Day doesn't come close, with only 1.1 million.

Not bad for a "holiday" that's only been around since 1995 – and was started as a joke (obviously).

Humble beginnings

The humble roots of this special day go back to 1995 where two "normal" guys, John Baur and Mark Summers, were playing racquetball.

They don’t know why exactly they began to speak like pirates, but Baur suspects it might have come from an injury suffered during the game.

"One of us might have been reaching for a low shot that, by pure chance, might have come off the wall at an unusually high rate of speed, and strained something best left unstrained. 'Arrr!,' he might have said," Baur explains on his website.

"Anyway, whoever let out the first 'Arrr!' started something. One thing led to another. 'That be a fine cannonade,' one said, to be followed by 'Now watch as I fire a broadside straight into your yardarm!' and other such helpful phrases," he said.

The pirate lingo continued for a full hour. It was so much fun that they decided "that what the world really needed was a new national holiday, Talk Like A Pirate Day."

They celebrated it in obscurity for many years, but once national columnist Dave Barry picked up on it back in 2002, it took off. Big time.

New names

Since that time, Baur calls himself "Ol' Chumbucket." While Summers goes by "Cap'n Slappy." You'll see them on national TV, in bookstores, giving speeches, and of course, they're all over the Internet (video below).

So, if you feel like this is a holiday you must celebrate, you'll probably want to start on their website. They've got all sorts of pointers and how-to's. And you're going online tomorrow, you might want to get a pirate keyboard.

If you want to impress your friends with some pirate jokes, here's a one-stop location that should fill your needs.

But be aware, the jokes aren't that hard to come up with. IE: What's a pirate's favorite sport? Nascarrrrrrr! And what did the Pirate get for Christmas? A parrrrrrrrrrrrtridge in a pear tree!

One of our favorite pirate videos, however, is really very funny. It's a Saturday Night Live skit from a few years ago. Check it out here.

As for other videos, well, we can't post a lot of them (they're still funny though). But here's a relatively safe video with Chumbucket and the Cap'n. Hope you enjoy...

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