A few weeks ago I gave a shout out to my buddy Mike for his impending attainment of Captain’s status. This is a great honor; I take being a Captain quite serious.
This got me to thinking about other Captains that have inspired me over the years. While there were a few actual Captains, like Mike, that have inspired me I unsurprisingly realized that the majority of Captains I admire are fictitious creations, like me.
I managed to narrow my favorite Captains down to a Top 5 list for the viewing pleasure of my loyal readers here at the Quarters. Enjoy!
Top 5 Fictional Captains That Inspire Me
1. Captain Kangaroo
When I was a kid I tuned in faithfully every week for the wacky hi-jinks of Captain Kangaroo. The Captain, along with Mister Rogers and Sesame Street, made up the holy trifecta of PBS kids shows on channel 9.
Truth be told, my favorite was always Sesame Street. But there was always something about the Captain I was drawn to; he made me excited and nervous at the same time. Even as a child I could tell there was something not quite right with Captain Kangaroo. Maybe it was the bushy eyebrows, the bright red suit, the bowl-cut-moustache combo, or perhaps his crazy smile.
Whatever it was, it gave Captain Kangaroo an edge that most kids shows didn’t possess. Just look how wild and slightly scary he looks next to Mr. Rogers.1
Captain Kangaroo was a weird guy, but I was the kind of kid that really appreciated weirdoes. My childhood idols were known for being strange: Steve Martin, Gonzo, Cyndi Lauper, Duckie, etc. As a Captain that is known for being odd, I have to give props to the original. Captain Kangaroo, you’re the craziest!2
2. Captain Hook
When I was really young, I had the same affinity for heroes that most boys my age shared. As I got a bit older, I began gravitating more towards villains. Luke Skywalker became boring compared to a complicated guy like Darth Vader. Nowhere was this more evident than in Peter Pan.
For most of my formative years I found the Disney version of Peter Pan pretty dull. Peter always seemed like the know-it-all cool kid that made fun of weirdoes like me. Characters that always win are boring.
Eventually I was drawn into the story through bumbling protagonist, Captain Hook. Here was a guy that I could relate to. He had problems. He was obsessed with trivial things. He was scared of crocodiles. He had the best song in the movie. Years later I discovered that the Captain Hook in the original novel is even better, much more mean and vile. My kinda guy.
To this day I still prefer Villains to Heroes. I still love Captain Hook, and I’m happy to report that my nephew shares my enthusiasm. Before Ben could speak in complete sentences, he was known for chasing the cat around his house with a plastic sword yelling “I Hook!”
I paid Captain Hook tribute back in 2005. He was and still is the best Halloween costume I’ve ever worn.
3. Captain Caveman
I never really watched this show when I was a kid. However, thanks to a late-nite slot on Cartoon Network I caught it on a semi-regular basis in college.
There was a lot to love about the show. The plot featured a hairy protagonist who hangs out with three hot chicks and randomly goes crazy and loudly yells his name. What’s not to like?
Actually, this show sums up my last few years of college rather nicely. I had rather long hair, I frequently did crazy things, and yet I was inexplicably surrounded by beautiful women all the time.
Thankfully I have moved past my Caveman days from college. But I still love that crazy little hairy bastard. Captain Caavveemmaannnnnnn!!!
4. Captain Morgan
Speaking of things I loved in college…
I started a long courtship with Captain Morgan back in college that has only recently tapered off. Here’s a Captain that knows how to get the party started. I got to hang with him at Mardi Gras and he’s the best! He’s cool, has a great smile, and looks great with his leg propped up on anything. Plus, he espouses the virtues of the magic elixirs known as dark and light Rum.
Rum is such an easy alcohol to love. It’s high on alcohol content and light on taste. Captain Morgan mixed with Cola is damn near impossible to resist. For years I was able to convince myself that by drinking Captain Morgan and Diet Coke I was somehow making a “healthy” choice. Because we all know that getting shitty-drunk on rum is an important part of living an fit and active lifestyle.
My sister is still a big rum drinker, but she prefers low-quality nemesis of Captain Morgan.
We both ended up with a little Admiral Nelson in us before heading to Busch Stadium Tuesday nite. It caused us to go a bit wild as was witnessed by our merciless heckling of Pirates right fielder Eric Henske3, and by unfortunate pictures such as this.
5. Captain Stubing
I have never claimed to enjoy The Love Boat. The entire series was just a bit too campy and 70s for me. It was the celebrity reality show of the 70s, where washed out Stars would go to make guest appearances. The only episode I ever remember liking was the one where Andy Warhol was the guest star.
With that being said, I did enjoy two of the characters immensely: Isaac the Bartender and Captain Stubing (Your Captain!)
That Captain Stubing was all man, especially when compared to the rest of the idiots running around that mobile orgy. The Love Boat was one big party, and Stubing was the man in charge. Who could possibly argue with this?
Over the last few years, I have often found myself taking over the roll of Captain Stubing with many of my friends and associates. It seems that everyone is usually looking for fun activity (something exciting and new, if you will…) yet no one wants to be in charge. I began volunteering to a plan activities in college and noticed that I have natural ease in this capacity.
This was especially true when I began boating in Florida. During my time in the Sunshine State I took my job as Captain quite seriously. And I still do now, even though I’m land-locked back in Missouri. Being a Captain requires true grit. Luckily Mike and I are chocked full of it!
1 In retrospect, Mr. Rogers had a mailman named Mr. McFeely. That’s super creepy! Definitely the scariest thing ever on a kids show.
2 I take that back. Making a coffee table out of candle wax, that’s definitely the craziest!
3 Hey Henske, YOU SUCK!!!