Today is, apparently, Talk Like a Pirate Day.
I don't know how I missed this earlier. I can't believe it's not printed on my Audobon Backyard Birds calendar. And it wasn't in the newspaper.
Maybe if I'd turned on the TV. I think this sort of thing is right up Channel 3's alley. They've probably got Beverly Kidd on location somewhere in a tricorn hat and an eyepatch.
You may say, Jill, isn't this the sort of ludicrous hilarity in which you typically revel? Well, if you do, you'll have to speak up, because I can't hear you. Maybe consider sending it by e-mail next time so my ears don't strain.
But I digress. I do indeed enjoy a bit of juvenile frivolity every now and then. But I do not participate in Talk Like a Pirate Day.
There are two main reasons for this, which I shall elaborate for your reading pleasure. The first is that, despite the recent pop-culture success that it has enjoyed, I do not think piracy is funny or cool. Perhaps if actual piracy was a thing of the past I could bring myself to laugh about it. But there are plenty of places in the world where actual human beings are attacked, brutalized, and killed by actual pirates, and I don't find it the least bit funny or cute. These pirates do not have a skull-and-crossbones flag on their ships, and they do not dress like Johnny Depp in one of the wildly popular Disney films based on an amusement park ride. Real pirates are much more dangerous and ruthless than that. They are cruel, they are terribly violent, and some of them are downright evil.
So forgive me if I don't think that pirates are cute or funny or simply pop-culture. I haven't been able to forget an article I read about a British civilian who was savagely and brutally slain in front of his terrified wife. Maybe when I can, I will find pirates cute and amusing.
The second reason I will be speaking in my normal hybrid of American and British English today is because of the TV show "Wife Swap." Yes, "Wife Swap." I'm rather embarrassed to admit that I have actually seen that show, but the fact remains that I have actually seen probably a dozen episodes. There was a time when I needed something to fill my TV-watching gap of 4 to 6pm, and Lifetime had the answer in the form of shrill, nasty women torturing the families of other shrill, nasty women.
In one episode, one of the families involved in the swap is headed by a man whose real name eludes me because he insisted on being called Chumbucket. Yes, *the* Chumbucket. The one responsible for this august occasion known as Talk Like a Pirate Day.
How can I describe Chumbucket? Out of touch with reality is the first phrase that comes to mind. Chumbucket, and his wench - I mean, wife - are a good argument for fewer personal freedoms in America. They dress like pirates (or rather, like the Disney version of pirates), talk like pirates (or rather, like Disney pirates), annoy their neighbors, and raise their psychologically damaged children by ignoring their problems, allowing them to curse wildly, and teaching them that there is no reason to aspire to do anything to contribute meaningfully to society (or "pirattitude," as they call it). They stage pirate plays in the backyard of the hovel they call a house, they have pirate friends (Say hello to Cap'n Slappy), they wave swords. Here's a family begging for matching prescriptions for lithium if ever I've seen one.
I won't go into detail on the episode featuring this family. Suffice it to say that Chumbucket and Mrs. Chumbucket are two of the most reprehensible human beings I have ever encountered (and I went to a community college). The fact that one of them created this holiday and stands to profit from it, even in a non-monetary fashion, repulses me like a pus-oozing face wound.
So no, I will not be talking like a pirate today. And be advised, those of you who know me, that if I hear that you have spoken like a pirate today, you will land on my spreadsheet of respect somewhere in between Dr. Phil and the man who invented Esperanto. And I think we all know how I feel about Dr. Phil