This is certainly one of the silliest celebration days of this month as everyone in the world is invited to talk like a pirate today. More than 20 years ago now, two guys were playing racquetball and inexplicably started encouraging each other using pirate slang. The day was selected because it was the birthday of the ex-wife of one of the guys, and later, popular columnist Dave Barry wrote about the event, and the rest, as they say, is history. We don’t actually have any recordings of actual pirates, so all of the slang associated with them today comes from books and cinema. It’s quite likely pirates talked pretty much like everyone else, but that’s no fun at all! It’s way more fun to think of them saying “shiver me timbers” or “thar she blows” mixed with a periodic “Arr!” Though the actual vernacular is a question of debate, it’s wildly thought that they did actually have parrots, so that’s what I chose to doodlewash for today. Whatever they actually said, I’m sure this little parrot pirate was happily chiming in along with them.
I’m not really hip to pirate speak, so I’m rather rubbish at celebrating this day properly. But I have to admire the concept. A day to just be absolutely ridiculous is a rather freeing and wonderful idea. What those crazy founders had discovered was that lapsing into a fit of pirate speak made their game far more enjoyable. I definitely think that it would! Anything in life is made more fun and interesting when you toss aside pretense and just act like a kid again. Or even a kid pretending to be a pirate, which is way cooler. As an actual kid, I enjoyed watching Disney’s version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. It was released years before I was born, but it had become a bit of a classic. The character name of Long John Silver, however, had already become more synonymous with a chain of fast food fried fish restaurants. This always made me giggle as though the restaurants had come along first and the character name was just an unfortunate choice. I actually did try to revisit the fried fish memory as an adult, but it wasn’t quite the same. That said, I did manage leave wearing a paper pirate hat.
I often wonder how weird my childlike tendencies will seem as I grow even older. Once the gray in my hair opaques all of the dark brown and the wrinkles become less of a cameo appearance to my face, but the entire show playing there. But, I simply don’t care at all. The only alternative is to act like those boring adults and I’ve no intention of ever doing that. Life isn’t something to sit on the sidelines and judge, it’s something to live with glee and wild abandon. Sure, I’ll always pay all of those silly bills and make sure to do the other basic bits of adulting required to survive. But after that’s done, I’m going to go outside and play a bit. Or stay inside and play with Legos. Whatever comes to mind in the moment. And to anyone who thinks I might ever be “too old” for such things, I’ll just nod at them sadly. It’s a shame they forgot how to access their inner child. But, I for one, am bound and determined to never lose that ability. So, even if I don’t quite know all of the lingo, I’m more than happy to celebrate the gloriously silly idea of talk like a pirate day!
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!