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Arrr! Federal Way celebrates International Talk Like a Pirate Day | VIDEO
Dead men tell no tales. But the live ones dress up like pirates and read to children.
Enterprise Elementary School celebrated International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which comes every Sept. 19. Since that falls on a Sunday this year, Principal Margot Hightower decided to celebrate on Friday. As part of the celebration, Superintendent Robert Neu dressed as a pirate and read stories to the students.
Dozens of second-graders, several dressed as pirates themselves, listened attentively to Principal Hightower, who was in full pirate regalia as she announced their surprise guest.
As Superintendent Neu, aka The Dread Pirate Roberts (a "Princess Bride" reference) came out to the excited shouts and "ARRRS!"
Neu told corny pirate jokes: "Where do pirates go for dinner? Arrrby's!"
Then it was time for storytelling with "How I Became A Pirate" by Melinda Long, also known as Neu's personal story.
Then it was time for the opening of Neu's treasure box, containing his gold, which he generously shared with the students.
History of the day
John Baur and Mark Summers started the day in Oregon back in 1995. While playing racquetball, Summers was going for the ball when he "strained something best left unstrained" and shouted "Arrr!" The game continued with several more pirate-like quotes, and the men realized it had made the game much more fun. They decided, then and there, that they needed a new national holiday called Talk Like a Pirate Day. They chose Sept. 19 — the birthday of Summers' ex-wife.
For the next seven years, they celebrated the event mostly by themselves. They happened to e-mail legendary humor columnist Dave Barry, who wrote about the idea. The men started getting recognition, doing interviews and hosting parties. One year they did 80 radio and TV interviews in 36 hours.
"The Pirates of the Caribbean" movies really kicked off their own pirate obsession craze. And of course, it's all just fun.
"Everyone enjoys playing the bad boy from time to time," said John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur in an e-mail from the Caribbean. "Pirates get to swagger and growl, to go over the top. They can be loud and rude and not give a damn what anyone thinks."
Pirate books to read (according to "Ol' Chumbucket") include:
• "The Pirate Life: Unleashing Your Inner Pirate" by Cap'n Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket themselves.
• "Empire of Blue Water" by Stephan Talty
• "The Pirates of Pensacola" by Keith Thomson
• "The Book of Pirates" by Howard Pyle
• "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson
• "The Pyrates" by George MacDonald Fraser