Shiver Me Timbers: Dave Barry Talks Like a Pirate

Avast, me hearties! I’ll probably have to walk the plank since this comes a bit late, but for those of you who observed International Talk Like a Pirate Day this past weekend (along with Rosh Hashanah and/or Eid al-Fitr) I was positive you wanted to know that Dave Barry ’69 played a major role in the quirky holiday’s popularization.
While the idea surfaced in 1995 on a racquetball court in Oregon, and September19 was then adopted as the date since it was the birthday of the ex-wife of one of the inventors, it was not until 2002 that Dave B. caught the wind in his sails and featured it in a Miami Herald column. After that, the holiday rode the tides of popular media and became a favorite at many colleges, though we’re not sure Haverford students have yet adopted the cutlasses and eye patches, much less the lingo. The inventors’ web site got 19 million hits on a recent TLAP Day.
CNN quotes Dave as writing “As the name suggests, this is a day on which everybody would talk like a pirate. Is that a great idea or what? There are so many practical benefits that I can’t even begin to list them all.”
The holiday seemed threatened recently when the notion that pirates were a quaint but extinct historical curiosity was sunk by the resurgence of real and nasty piracy off Somalia, but Dave Barry, the inventors and Pirate Magazine (yes, there is one!) have righted the ship and the skull-and-crossbones flew in many venues this past weekend.
As Barry pointed out in an e-mail last Thursday, “I am extremely proud of my role in helping to promote International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which I believe has done more than any single other day to further the cause of international misunderstanding.”
We can’t predict that Dave will be going to Oslo any time soon to become the third Haverfordian to receive the Nobel Peace Price after Philip Noel-Baker 1910 and Henry Joel Cadbury 1903 (on behalf of the American Friends Service Committee).
And please don’t anyone try to hold the Nobel Committee for ransom in the brig,
but Haverfordians can certainly give a “yo-ho-ho” and take a swig from the rum bottle (as long as they are of legal age) in honor of one of Barry’s latest contributions to America’s cultural climate!
Cap’n Kannerstein ‘63