TLAPD, however, has got me thinking about the persistence of pirates. Why do they capture our imaginations (yes, pun intended)? There is plenty of real and dangerous piracy out there on the seas, yet saying the word "pirate" invariably conjures up not desperate Somalians but 17th-century treasure takers, with eye patches, beards, puffy shirts and peg legs. It seems we would all prefer to keep our pirates safely in the past and in fiction.
It's odd not only because we have the real thing in our midst, but also because we should be dealing with our everyday pirates ... the ones who easily pillage what should be precious to us. These pirates aren't after money or possessions. They take things that are far more valuable.
Some pirates are after our awareness and appreciation of the world around us. They don't want you to see the full moon, hear an opinion other than your own, feel an ocean breeze. It's a large crew, captained by technology. Mates include your smartphone, the Internet, air conditioning and the ear buds that insulate you from the world.
There there are those dastardly pirates of self-confidence, sneakier because they disguise themselves as airbrushed beauties in magazines; clerks, waiters and preachers who give you those "you don't belong here" looks; sometimes even your parents and teachers! Listen to them and consider yourself robbed.
Other pirates steal your generosity of spirit, making it so much cooler to be mean than nice. Their ships are most numerous in schools, but they persist throughout life.
Worst of all are the pirates of your time. They appear everywhere: in phone menus, on television, among your colleagues, at understaffed grocery stores. Watch out! Pirates!
So maybe Talk Like a Pirate Day isn't so silly after all. We can use it to talk back to all those black-hearted, rum-roaring scoundrels who would make us less than we are.