It’s Hallowe’en

Orson_Welles_Van_Vechtan_500
Orson Welles, photographed by Carl Van Vechten

“This is Orson Welles, ladies and gentlemen, out of character to assure you that “The War of the Worlds” has no further significance than as the holiday offering it was intended to be; the Mercury Theatre’s own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying “Boo!” Starting now, we couldn’t soap all your windows and steal all your garden gates by tomorrow night … so we did the next best thing. We annihilated the world before your very ears and utterly destroyed the Columbia Broadcasting System. You will be relieved, I hope, to learn that we didn’t mean it, and that both institutions are still open for business. So goodbye everybody, and remember, please, the terrible lesson you learned tonight. That grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody’s there, that was no Martian … it’s Hallowe’en.”

— Orson Welles, “The War of the Worlds” radio broadcast, Oct. 30, 1938; transcript from The War of the Worlds, Sourcebooks, Inc.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day: Talk Like a Real Pirate 6


“I cannot but take Notice of two among the Crowd, of those disfigured from the Blast of Powder just before-mentioned, viz. William Main and Roger Ball. An Officer of the Ship seeing a Silver Call [Whistle] hang at the Wast of the former, said to him, I presume you are Boatswain of this Ship. Then you presume wrong, answered he, for I am Boatswain of the Royal Fortune, Captain Roberts Commander. Then Mr. Boatswain you will be hanged I believe, replies the Officer. That is as your Honour pleases, answered he again, and was for turning away: But the Officer desired to know of him, how the Powder, which had made them in that Condition, came to take Fire. — By G—– says he, they are all mad and bewitch’d, for I have lost a good Hat by it, (the Hat and he being both blown out of the Cabin Gallery, into the Sea.) But what signifies a Hat Friend, says the Officers. — Not much answer’d he, the Men being busy in stripping him of his Shoes and Stockings. — The Officer then enquired of him, whether Roberts‘s Company were as likely Fellows as these. — There are 120 of them, answered he, as clever Fellows as ever trod Shoe Leather: Would I were with them! — No doubt on’t, says the Officer. — By G—– it is naked Truth, answered he, looking down and seeing himself, by this Time, quite stripp’d.”

A General History of the Pyrates, Captain Johnson

Privateer Day 2009

Photos: ACF