Yargh matey's, welcome to another episode of 'Behind The Helm'! I'm Connor Hicks (otherwise known as Captain Zuloo) and today, September the 19th 2009 be International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and to celebrate, we have prepared a very special suprise for all of ye. One of the founders of this here celebration, Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy) has agreed to be interviewed exclusively for Classic-Pirates.com. So let's make him very welcome as we set sail for another adventure on 'Behind The Helm'!
C-P: Welcome to the show Mark!
Cap'n Slappy: Ahoy Connor!
C-P: To get the ball rolling, who started Talk Like A Pirate Day?
Cap'n Slappy: John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur and Mark "Cap'n Slappy" Summers (myself)
C-P: And what begun such an annual event of piratical celebrations?
Cap'n Slappy: Talk Like a Pirate Day started as a racquetball accident. My friend,
John Baur and I were playing racquetball and one of us (we don't
remember which one) let out an "ARRR!" - we spent the rest of the game
taunting each other like pirates and decided there ought to be a day
when everyone talks like pirates. We decided on September 19th because
it is my ex-wife's birthday (the date was stuck in my head and I wasn't
doing anything with it anymore.)
C-P: And now it's an international event? How does that happen?
Cap'n Slappy: Dave Barry (Pulitzer Prize winner and syndicated columnist) wrote about
our little holiday in 2002. We got a web site, and
the rest, as they say, is history!
C-P: How long has Talk Like A Pirate Day been running for?
Cap'n Slappy: We started in 1995 but it's been international since 2002.
C-P: How should people celebrate the day?
Cap'n Slappy: We always thought the name was self-explanatory. You can put as much or
as little effort into it - from answering the telephone, "AHOY!" to full
costumes and parties. It's all up to the celebrant!
C-P: How did you originally celebrate the day?
Cap'n Slappy: For the first few years, we would simply call each other or some of our
friends at work and yell, "ARRR!" into the phone and hang up. Then came
rum ... and international attention ... and dressing up ... and making
C-P: You seem to be quite the Pirate fan - what caused that?
Cap'n Slappy: I used to enjoy playing pirates with my brothers and neighborhood mates
as a child. We had the whole "wooden sword and purple sash" thing
going. Growing up in Seattle, we had the popular "SeaFair Pirates" who
would create a little havoc during the summer months.
C-P: Great! And have you ever played with a LEGO Pirates set?
Cap'n Slappy: Of course! What kid grew up in this country without LEGO? But as the
fourth of five boys - by the time the LEGO got to me, we no longer had
a "set" of anything ... there were some pirates that hadn't disappeared
into sofas or the back yard - but they were mixed in with builders and
policemen and all the other hodge podge of LEGO characters passed down
by my three older brothers.
C-P: Aw, dammit. Did you know that The LEGO Group has brought Pirates back?
Cap'n Slappy: When Talk Like a Pirate Day started and the web site went up, we heard
that many of the pirate faithful were upset that the LEGO pirates had
been discontinued. There was quite a push to bring them back - I was
glad when LEGO did bring them back! Wouldn't seem right to let a whole
generation of kids grow up without LEGO Pirates.
C-P: Agreed! Do you like the new line or the old line better?
Cap'n Slappy: I haven't seen the new LEGO pirates! Are they cooler? (Is that possible?)
C-P: Well my personal opinion says that there is a lot to love about both the old and the new sets. You can find all of the new Pirate sets here. What is the main purpose behind Talk Like A Pirate Day? Is it just a bit of fun or does it have a deeper meaning?
Cap'n Slappy: It's just a bit of fun, isn't it? If you look at the pictures of pirate
parties around the world - it's kind of heart-warming. Adults playing
like kids. Perhaps that is the deeper purpose.
C-P: Adults playing like kids? The same could probably be said about our LEGO community! How well do you feel Talk Like A Pirate Day has been received?
Cap'n Slappy: Amazingly well! People from many cultures - many backgrounds all enjoy
playing a bit of make-believe for a few hours. No harm in that at all.
C-P: Of course not! Have you ever thought of getting back into the LEGO hobby as an
adult like most of us here on Classic-Pirates.com?
Cap'n Slappy: It's a great hobby - but my life is fairly full with my job and writing
and "being Cap'n Slappy" (making appearances - doing interviews -
drinking rum). I have several adult friends and acquaintances who have
huge LEGO collections - it can be quite the obsession!
C-P: And what a fantastic obsession it is! And where did your "Cap'n Slappy" screen name come from?
Cap'n Slappy: "Cap'n Slappy" was a name I used in my early days of game playing - like
Diablo or any game where you fill in a name. I found it whimsical and
decided to make it my pirate name.
C-P: And to wrap up, are there any other words you'd like to say about
International Talk Like A Pirate Day?
Cap'n Slappy: Keep spreadin' the word - and the word be, "ARRR!!!"
C-P: Thank you very much for joining us today Mark!
Cap'n Slappy: Thank ye fer havin me on the show!
C-P: No worries mate, all the best. We'll see you guys in the next episode of 'Behind The Helm'!