Ahoy Mates! It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day, Plus Secrets on How to Get Things Free
Grumpy old retiree gets excited about Pirate talking as well as harassing people until they give in
By Bill Kalmar, Retiree
Sept. 16, 2012 - For
those of you looking for a way to emerge from the doldrums of realizing that summer is almost over, let me suggest that you circle Wednesday,
September 19 on your calendar. No, it isn’t the first day of Fall which by the way is September 22. And, of course, the colorful changing of
leaves, cider, and caramel covered apples in the Fall are certainly high points, but I think there is something more important occurring, at
least in my warped mind – it is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Now what could be more exciting than that!
For you landlubbers who have been unaware of this holiday, this year will be the 10th anniversary of Pirate Day. It is
now considered an international event and, if you search the “Talk
Like A Pirate Day” website, you will quickly discover that pirate wannabes are celebrating this day in as faraway places as Rome, Auckland
New Zealand, Tokyo and of course numerous locations in the United States. Many of these towns are featuring costume contests and pirate
Now before we get sidetracked concluding that pirates are evil, “Talk
Like a Pirate Day” is dedicated to the friendly pirates found in most children’s movies. Film flicks such as “Muppet Treasure Island”, or
“Scooby-Doo In Pirates Ahoy”, or any of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” adventures present the friendly side of these sea goers. So having said
that let’s return to what makes this day so special.
First of all, it gives us pirate wannabes an opportunity to inject some swagger in our conversations. Who can resist
greeting friends either on the phone or in person with words such as “ahoy” – “avast” – or “arrr”. So for all you swashbucklers out there,
this is a time to maybe don an eye patch and assume a new identity for just a day. What could be more fun!
As an added bonus, the “Talk Like A Pirate Day” website also features Pirate Pick-Up Lines, pirate advice from Cap’n
Slappy and, of course, an opportunity to subscribe to the Poopdeck newsletter. And what with all the confusion we are undergoing in a troubled
world, isn’t a little silliness most welcome. I sure think so!
So now I’m off for a swig of grog along with a pirate’s favorite cookie – Chips Ahoy - while I prepare to scrape the
barnacles off the rudder of my skiff. And just for the record, I am almost 98% chum free. So shiver me timbers! ARRR!
Hey Dude - Just Send Me My Jacket!
And on another
subject, have you noticed that sometimes it is better to be a new customer or new subscriber than being a long time devotee of a particular
Every day you see ads and hear commercials about discounts or free memberships or extended warranties for new customers.
Some gyms waive the initiation fee, magazines offer a jacket or a back pack, some credit card companies waive annual
fees, and cable or Internet companies offer discounts as an introductory offer – all this for newbies but not for us long time customers.
Recently I subscribed to a weekly sports magazine only to discover two weeks later that all new subscribers would receive
an NFL jacket with their team’s logo for signing up. Naturally I contacted the customer service section of the magazine but was told I was not
eligible because I ordered the magazine through a school discount program and the offer was for “recently new” subscribers. Well, as a retiree
with time on my hands, I became their worst nightmare pestering them with e-mails.
Finally just to make me go away the company relented and stated that I would receive my Detroit Lions jacket. It has been
three weeks and I am still waiting. It may be time to bombard them with additional e-mails! Us retirees can be pertinacious! (I like that
Each time AARP offers an incentive for new members I contact their headquarters and ask for a similar product offer. What
usually works is informing customer service that I will cancel my involvement and then re-subscribe as a new customer. Seems to work every
time. Actually the incentive gifts are not that attractive but I consider it my personal vendetta against being taken for granted.
And while on the subject of AARP, lots of companies have discounts for seniors but rarely make it known. And these days I
think anyone over fifty is considered a senior. So make a point of calling all the companies you do business with and ask for the “senior
discount”. You will be amazed and delighted at how you can reduce your monthly expenses by doing so.
Coincidentally, don’t overlook the impact and value of the word “Cancel”. Companies do not want to hear that word and if
a customer happens to utter it, all kinds of options seem to emerge from nowhere. For example in most cases, the mere use of that word will
get you a discount with your cable television carrier and many other companies. Give it a try!
On the other hand, companies always like to receive positive feedback from customers. As such, I often contact the
customer service department of certain companies by using the toll free number on the product and then express my satisfaction with the item.
Discount coupons and even a certificate for a free product often are the result of the call. So give that a try too.
In the meantime, I’m contacting General Motors and explaining to them how pleased I am with my new Malibu. Maybe there is
a free oil change in my future!
Finally, if you see someone in a silver Malibu proudly sporting a Detroit Lions jacket, know that I have once again worn
down a company’s objections! Now it’s your turn!
L Bill Kalmar is retired in Lake Orion, Michigan,
and is the former Director of the Michigan Quality Council. He is a
frequent contributor to SeniorJournal.com. His opinions are his own.
Aug. 1, 2005 - Many senior citizens approach their
golden years and retirement with trepidation. Not me. I retired two years
ago after forty years in the business world and am now looking forward to my
next forty years in a lifestyle filled with excitement, fulfillment and a
schedule of my own making. Each day is a new adventure and I’m ecstatic to
be going along for the ride! Read