"Hey kids," I whispered loudly as they passed through the lounge room. They immediately forgot whatever they were supposed to be doing and gathered around me and my laptop. "Do you know what today is?"
"Is it your birthday?" asked Miss5.
"No. Even better," I told her.
"Is it a holiday?" asked Master7.
"No. Not quite that good. Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day," I told them. They were mightily impressed. "Today, instead of saying 'hi' when you see a friend you have to say 'ahoy'. And instead of saying 'yes' you have to say 'aye'. And 'my' becomes 'me', as in 'Where's me homework?' And you have to call your teacher 'Cap'n'. What do you think?"
"Can I write this down?" asked Miss8.
When Tracey came into the lounge room a few minutes later she brought with her a nasty looking frown. Instead of putting on shoes and socks the kids and I were all looking at my laptop screen. "What are you doing?" she asked me.
"We're watching an educational video," I told her.
"About what?" she wanted to know.
"I'm teaching them another language," I told her. Her look was disbelieving. I paused, knowing I'd have to come clean. Given everyone still had their pajamas on I suspected this might not go down well. "It's a video on how to speak pirate."
She paused. "How long does it go for?"
Looking at the screen, I said, "Another five minutes."
"I don't think so," she said. "But we can chat about it while everyone gets dressed." It was a better response than I'd expected. I guess Tracey realized how important it was the kids showed up at school speaking pidgin pirate, so they wouldn't appear foolish in front of their mates. "Just add 'Arrr' to the end of all your sentences," she told the kids.
"What's my pirate name?" Miss8 wanted to know.
"Sea Witch?" I suggested, again referring to my laptop. Let me just say, there is a wealth of pirate information out there if you know where to look.
"Captain Sea Witch," she said, instantly liking it.
Miss5 decided she would be Captain Pee Pot. "Like pee pissy piss potty poo," added my gutter mouthed young miss. Nothing is as funny as toilet humour to a five year old. Especially five year old boys, although by the time they become seven year old boys their sense of humour is far more refined.
"I'll be Captain Hairy Deck," said Master7. "And what do I call these?" he wanted to know. He'd ducked back into the lounge room, naked, and was pointing at his junk.
"Your sea urchins," I told him after consulting a pirate speak list. "Not that I think you'll have any reason to," I shouted after him as he ran back into his bedroom.
I quickly named Miss2 Captain Squid Lips and my darling wife Captain Black Bearded Woman. We even named our canine friend, Jazz - she's Hair Of The Dog for a day.
After twenty minutes of saying 'arrr' a lot the kids were prepped and ready. They even made Tracey write their pirate names on their lunch boxes.
"Wait a minute," said Miss8. "Daddy doesn't have a pirate name."
"I'll be Captain Jolly Rogering," I told her.
"No you won't," said Tracey.
"Captain Long Plank?"
"No." She was smiling. Never a good sign.
"Captain Hard Mast?"
"You can be Captain Limp Wood," Tracey said and winked at me. The wench! But the kids all cheered so that was settled.
I'll consider it a warning shot across my bow.
A pirate's life sure be the life for me. Have fun everyone! Arrr!
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International Talk Like a Pirate Day
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