The Edmond Sun

September 17, 2007

Arrr! Pirates swing into downtown Edmond

Local restaurant previews Talk Like a Pirate Day on Wednesday

Alice Collinsworth

EDMOND — Ahoy, matey, International Talk Like a Pirate Day is Wednesday, and ye’d best be gettin’ prepared for it.

Bruce and Mindy Baldwin, owners of Java Dave’s at 9 S. Broadway, did their part to get in the spirit Saturday by hosting a gang of swarthy pirates in their downtown coffeehouse.

Several members of the Redland Rogues from the Redland Fencing Center in Oklahoma City staged a brawl at the restaurant to get people in a pirate mood, said Chas Fagans, one of the testy pirates.

The group acts out stage combat scenes from historical times and places, carefully choreographing their action with authentic costumes and weapons. They travel to schools, medieval and renaissance fairs and other events throughout the metro area.

“But we love doing pirates,” Fagans said.

According to the Web site, two friends named John Baur and Mark Summers had the bright idea to institute a new national holiday, Talk Like a Pirate Day, in 1995. They declared Sept. 19 as the official date, because it was Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday and therefore easily remembered.

The two celebrated on a small scale until 2002, when they decided to contact syndicated columnist Dave Barry and tell him about their holiday.

Barry obligingly wrote a column about the event, and the news piqued the interest of pirate wannabes across the world. Now there are Web sites, books, magazines, songs, T-shirts and social groups dedicated to pirate speak.

Baur and Summers say pure silliness is the holiday’s best selling point, and they don’t intend to glorify the bad deeds committed by pirates of old. They just think it’s entertaining for people across the world to have a chance to say things like “Arrr” and “Shiver me timbers” in polite conversation.

As for the Redland Rogues, they found themselves banished to the street after “disrupting” customers at Java Dave’s, but they took it all in good humor, as did the restaurant’s owners.

“We like to do crazy things around here,” Mindy Baldwin said.

“We encourage everyone to talk like a pirate and have some fun in the middle of the week for Talk Like a Pirate Day.” | 341-2121, ext. 117

The Details

A quick guide to basic pirate speak

“Ahoy!” — Hello.

“Avast!” — Stop and give attention.

“Aye!” — Yes.

“Arrr!” — Can mean pretty much anything, from “My team is going to win it all” to “That was a clever remark you or I just made.”