Like any scurvy cur worth their sea salt, Unreal was passed out behind a barrel of rum when International Talk Like a Pirate Day -- celebrated annually on September 19 -- rolled around.
When we came to the next afternoon and realized the folly of our ways, we readjusted our eye patch, ran our bloomers back down the mast and avasted holiday co-founder John "Ol' Chumbucket" Bauer.
Unreal: This year marked the tenth anniversary of Talk Like a Pirate Day. Were there any extra-special events besides, you know, talking like a pirate?
Chumbucket: Well, once you've talked like a pirate, what else is there? It's a little bit like Santa Claus on Christmas. You're so busy feeding the franchise that you don't get a lot of time to do many special things yourself.
Has Talk Like a Pirate Day become overcommercialized? Have we as a peg-legged people lost the true spirit of talking like a pirate?
I've seen a few online greeting cards, but Hallmark hasn't come out with a line yet. But I went into a store the other day and they already had a Christmas display up, so I'm not too worried about Talk Like a Pirate Day becoming too overcommercialized. We're still getting sat on by the monster of December.
How can we keep Talk Like a Pirate Day in our heart all year long? Or should we?
We don't want anyone to go, ahem, overboard, like most modern-day pirates who have an underdeveloped sense of ethical business practices. But we are emphasizing now that you exercise your Pirattitude every day of the year. Whether you talk like a pirate or not, if you've got that swagger and you've got that growl, then you've got Pirattitude in your heart and all the world's your ocean. That sounded almost poetic, didn't it?
Well, pump Unreal's fist and blow up our beach ball. When we learned that a St. Louisan had been chosen to appear on the Seattle stop of the 2005 QVC Decade of Discoveries Tour, Unreal was rockin' with hometown pride. But when we dialed IonKids frontman Bob Frank's digits to get a post-concert report, it gradually became evident that we'd gotten our wires crossed.
Turns out the DoD Tour was just another installment of the QVC shopping network's ceaseless spiel. Frank wasn't rockin'; he was hawkin' an electronic child monitor/locating gizmo he'd invented called the Safety Base Unit and Wristag, at $158 a pop.
Unreal: What can you tell us about your group, IonKids?
Bob Frank: We've been around for three years, so the main thing we're doing now is going from being a virtual company to hiring more people, expanding our operations, licensing our technology and dealing with all the day-to-day activities that come with a growing, early-stage company.
Oh, so the Internet had a lot to do with getting the word out about your band?
Ninety-five percent of our stuff is sold over the Internet. We have found that to be the most effective medium for us, because it allows people to not only see the product but to see demonstrations of how it's used and capture all the relevant information that they need. The word of mouth on our product has just been remarkable. Especially for the special-needs communities.
So, what are the groupies like on a Decade of Discoveries Tour?
I don't know about that. I think if you're a gadget groupie, you're either reading Walter Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal or you're reading Wired magazine or Popular Electronics or something. I don't know if gadget groupies go see QVC.
No one's chopping up cocaine with Ginsu knives and snorting it off Jeff Gordon collectible plates?
No, I don't think Ginsu knives were used to slice up cocaine lines.
Seriously, you didn't collect any panties?
There wasn't anything like that. But one guy had this thing called Hot Dog To Go, which is a hot-dog cooker that plugs into your cigarette lighter so you can cook hot dogs while you're driving.
Somebody Buy My Crap
Item: VH1 Divas Live CD
Condition: Never opened
Issue: September 11
Unreal: Didn't you try to sell this same CD a few weeks ago?
Dave: Yeah. My wife and I got into a huge fight about it. She called me a cheapskate and said no one would buy this trash. But I have three of these CDs I'm trying to sell. That's $15!
Does she know you're at it again?
No. I got pissed and told her that someone bought the whole shot the first time around. Truth is I never got one call.
Do you think it's because the album sucks?
No, it's got Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Aretha Franklin. I just think that for five bucks you can go to a CD exchange and pick one up for about the same price. Difference is mine are brand new.
What's your Bargain Box strategy?
I always put boldfaced bullets in my ad. It makes them stand out. You could make a living buying stuff in the Bargain Box and selling it for a profit. It's a gold mine.
How have you profited?
Once I had some roofers working on my house and they ordered too much stuff -- shingles and asphalt paper. They were loading it back onto the truck and I was like, "Wait a minute! Where are you going with that?" My wife was yelling at me to let them clean up their crap and leave. But I put it in Bargain Box and made $60 off it.
LOCAL BLOG O' THE WEEK
"Trials and Tribs of Crits"
About the blogger: "I am a young, free, open, innocent, spontaneous, unpredictable, wanting-to-experience-the-world, fresh, unbiased, spunky, optimistic, loving, free spirit TRAPPED in a 31 year-old Kate Spade-buying, PB & J-making, mini-van-driving, flower-arranging, carpool-organizing, potty-training, PTA-ing, subdivision-heading, home-decorating Suburban Stereotype Body."
Recent Highlight (September 10, 2005): As for Prince Charming... through his long standing relationship with my breasts... he has seen the good (at 19), the bad (breastfeeding TWO 10-pound boys), and the ugly (end result of breastfeeding two 10 pound boys). Still... every time he gets near Them, he gets the same pre-teen-sneaking-dad's-Playboy look.
Became brutally aware of this phenomena when we hit Vegas this summer with a huge group of friends. Typically I dress on the more conservative side, but it's VEGAS!! The first night I sported a much lower cut shirt than I would ever even attempt to pull off in Midwest Suburbia and a new Miracle bra. I have to say, the bra DID work freaking MIRACLES. Even I was impressed as to what a little bra could do, as it managed to transform my sad, south-bound 31 year-old boobies into the PERFECT cleavage?! But let's face it... it's Vegas. Compared to the rest of the city... I still looked like the flying nun next door.
Regardless, the reaction was bizarre. By the end of the night, I had gone to 1st base with like 30 different people. Men had conversations with my boobs ALL evening IN FRONT OF MY HUBBY (who mind you, forgivingly sat back and shook his head as if he understood the weakness).
The pinnacle... in a drunken stupor I attempted to have a conversation with a nice Spanish man at NYNY. My drunken, broken spanish created frustration on both ends as he spoke ZERO English. I attempted to find out where he was from and what he did... met with looks of confusion and disconnect. Ironically, however, he was able to build a bridge when he managed to utilize the Male International Language by winking and stating "Nice Boobs". Are you fucking kidding me?! I swear, that is NO joke. The reaction that evening was so extreme... my girlfriend actually tried to BUY THE BRA OFF OF MY BACK. =) Ha ha
Know of an Unreal-worthy local blog? Send the URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.