Talk Like a Pirate Day: It's ARRR Not ARRRGH, Whether You're Unsinkable, Looking for a Pirate Guide for First Graders, or Just Two Pirate Brothers Meeting a Mermaid...
That's right--it's "Arrrrrrrr!" on Talk Like a Pirate Day, not "Argggggh!" If you've been saying "Arggggh!" all of these years, it's more likely you've been prepping to watch Lucy pull the football away from Charlie Brown. For more tips and information, assuming you like pirates and don't despise them for their vile crimes against humanity, you should probably check out the Talk Like a Pirate official site. (They also have a book out.)
As you can see from this map I've pirated off of that site, not only is Antarctica bigger than the other continents and about to devour us all, but Talk Like a Pirate Day parties are rapidly becoming an international phenomenon.
And here's some booty I've pirated this year to help myself and others better understand Talk Like a Pirate Day. If you're new not just to pirates but life, you could do worse than pick up A Pirate's Guide to First Grade. (If you're reading this and in the first grade, please get off the intertubes right now and go raid a treehouse or something. No, wait. Raid a groundhouse. Climbing into a treehouse could be dangerous, and you're not really a pirate...yet.)
According to Pirates Weekly, I mean Publishers Weekly, "this story follows a boy and his entourage of ethereal salty dogs through the first day of school. “Me great scurvy dog slurped me kisser when I was tryin' t' get me winks!” The protagonist's fruitful imagination turns ordinary routine into a high-seas adventure complete with a small, skirted buccaneer walking the plank during recess. In the end, where does X mark the spot? Treasure abounds in the library, with the chance to experience the adventure of the written word. The illustrations have a vintage feel, complete with boisterous grog-drinking, scabbard-waving, and bubble-pipe-smoking pirates."
But what if you're not in first grade? Where can you get your piratical fix today while you're terrorizing your neighbors by stealing their gold coins and rigging their yard-arms? You should probably graduate to The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier, a wonderful graphic novel published by the always swashbuckling First Second publishers. Indeed, when I asked the publisher's first mate, Gina Gagliano, to comment, she said, *&#^*@@#%$!!! Bilge rat! Lubber! Grog!" before tossing me overboard. (If you don't believe pirates will like this, check out this photo.)
Still need convincing? Hooklist, erm, I mean Booklist, wrote in a starred review: "The excitement centers around a cursed skull stolen from the lair of two deep-sea crustacean witches. Like all who look upon the skull, Walker's beloved Grandpa falls deathly ill when he finds it, and the boy sets out to return the skull from whence it came. In two of the more impressively clever feats, the inventive lad turns a pirate ship into a proto-all-terrain vehicle and uses an enormous blank canvas to recreate the night sky...this comic really is just about everything you want from a rip-roaring adventure: exciting, deep, funny, and scary, with tremendous villains and valor galore."
But if that's not your style, and you're one of those hip, modern pirates you'll want to try one of two books: Terese Svobova's new novel Pirate Talk or Mermalade, cunningly released just a few days ago, or dive into Fast Ships, Black Sails, the pirate fiction anthology edited by me and my pirate wife, Ann, that features original stories by Garth Nix, Michael Moorcock, Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, Carrie Vaughn, and more.
What's Pirate Talk about? Pirates Weekly writes, "Told entirely through dialogue, this quirky tale of period pirate wannabes makes a jeu d'esprit of the privateer life even as it baldly de-romanticizes it. Its protagonists, two unnamed brothers (one of whom might not be male), put out to sea from their Nantucket home in 1718 bedazzled by fantasies of gold doubloons and buccaneer booty...Svoboda (The Ask) plays these travails mostly for laughs, presenting them as ongoing pratfalls in the brothers' klutzy comedy of errors."
So, there you have it--a full gamut of piratical choices before you walk the plank into Monday's hectic workday. (Coming into work with a sword is not recommended.)
I'll leave you with this image: your faithful correspondent as Steampunk pirate, from a portrait created by Krista Brennan for the forthcoming Steampunk Bible...apparently, I have a winged cat. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!