My Old Kentucky Homesite

Don’t Call Me “Captain”

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 07/27/2010

Here’s an old Jewish joke:

A Jewish man buys a yacht, and starts wearing nautical attire. One day, he goes to visit his mother. She says, “So what’s with the sailor suit all of a sudden?” He says, “I told you I bought a yacht. So now I’m a captain.” His mother gives his outfit a good once-over and says, “OK. By you, you’re a captain. And by me, you’re captain.  But by a captain, are you a captain?”

All of which is by way of introduction. Thanks to the sponsorship of a reader who stumbled across this post, but who may want to remain anonymous (although he can feel free to identify himself in the comments, if he’s not too ashamed), I received an official document in the mail today. Tearing open the envelope in excitement, I found a proclamation, beautifully printed in about eight different typefaces, on heavy paper, and signed by Steven L. Beshear, Governor:

To All To Whom These Presents Shall Come, Greeting: Know Ye, That
Honorable Larry Wallberg
Is Commissioned A
* Kentucky Colonel *
I hereby confer this honor with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities thereunto appertaining.

In testimony whereof, I have caused these letters to be made patent, and the seal of the Commonwealth to be hereunto affixed. Done at Frankfort, the 22nd day of July in the year of our Lord two thousand and ten and the 219th year of the Commonwealth.

Christ’s Dad made the world in only six days. But apparently, it took Jesus 1,791 years to create Kentucky. Which only goes to prove: don’t trust your kids to do what you can do cheaper, better, and faster. And with less manpower.

By the way, in case you’re wondering: I don’t know whether or not any gods have ever been designated a Kentucky Colonel. I kind of doubt it, because I’ve never heard of a song called “Nearer My Kentucky Colonel to Thee” or “I Guess the Kentucky Colonel Must Be in New York City.” Maybe he would have been recognized if he’d done a better job creating Lexington’s traffic flow.

Be that as it may: I’m now happy to have something in common, besides overeating, with Babe Ruth, Winston Churchill, and Elvis. (No, it’s not that I’m dead.)

According to the Colonels’ website:

The Governor’s order creating the commission states that the commission carries with it a responsibility to be “Kentucky’s ambassador of good will and fellowship around the world.”

Keeping that obligation in mind, I take a solemn oath to continue to spread the good news far and wide, on behalf of my adopted state, that it is possible to live a rational god-free life and still reap the innocent joys of digging into a bowl of Chocolate Cheerios in the morning. So from now on, I’ll thank you to address me as Colonel Godless Yankee Commie Homo-supporting Baby-killing Bastard.


20 Responses to “Don’t Call Me “Captain””

  1. Ralph said

    I’m impressed. I was only a captain in the army reserve.
    Kentucky Captain doesn’t sound just right. Kentucky has a number of negative connotations that I find offensive such as redneck, hillbilly and married to your sister. In keeping with the political corretness of our time I would like to be called:

    Bluegrass American Captain.

    Your chosen title is much more descriptive except for the term “Bastard”.

  2. Ralph:
    … except for the term “Bastard”.
    Unfortunately, I know a whole lot of people who would disagree with you on that.

  3. the chaplain said

    Since you outrank me, I’d better start saluting you; I was only a captain in The Salvation Army.

  4. Welcome Brother Colonel! Did he show you how to grow the official facial hair?

  5. Chappy:
    I outrank you, all right, but my army never saved anyone. Come to think of it, neither did yours.
    But you did serve coffee; the only thing I do in the caffeine-pushing line is give directions to the nearest Starbucks.

    I’ve already got the beard and the glasses. Now I’m trying to find out where I can purchase a white suit and one of those red ribbon-ties. To be honest, though, people with Jewish grandmothers would never dream of frying a chicken. But if you write quickly, I can get you in on the ground floor of my new company, with a franchise for Colonel Wallberg’s Kentucky Boiled Chicken Soup.

  6. BrentH said

    I am not ashamed. I’ll admit that I’m the one who aided and abetted in establishing your colonelcy (I looked it up, that is actually a word).

    I rememeber the old Starlite Drive-In Diner when I was a kid growing up in Lexington, KY. It was on the corner of Pasadena Dr. and Nicholasville Rd. where a current KFC is. It was one of the earliest restaurants to serve the Colonel’s famous chicken with the secret 11 herbs and spices. Every couple of years, the Colonel would drive up there in his big white convertible El Dorado. Kids like me would wait to meet him and get a picture taken sitting on his knee. He was sort of KY’s own version of Santa Claus. I vaguely remember that he gave me a lollipop or something (maybe a KFC pencil – cheap bastard).

    Larry or rather Colonel Wallberg (Sir! Yes Sir!), I can’t wait for you to pick up the baton and establish the KBC Soup empire (or rather military junta).

  7. Brent:
    Well, now that you’ve outed yourself, I expect that you may have to resign your commission when I’m stripped of mine.

    I can’t wait for you to pick up the baton and establish the KBC Soup empire ….
    Yes, there’ll be a free baton in every matzo ball. Or maybe a lollipop, or a pencil. Something has to hold those things together. But I haven’t decided what yet, because I’m still trying to come up with the recipe. At the moment, I’m leaning toward only one secret herb and/or spice: salt. Oh, shit, I gave it away!

  8. Sarge said

    Ya got me on rank.

    I am a major in civil air patrol, and sergeantmajor in our reenactment group. I am actually a retired army Sergeant First Class. After a hot summer reenactment, I really show my “rank”, or so says my wife. At least until I get to a shower and change clothes.

    I mey Col. Sanders, too, but just once.
    There were a bunch of burger joints called Topp’s Drive-Ins in the Baltimore/Washington area, and KFC (or whatever it was then)bought them out and changed them over to the chicken place.
    I played in the band at the grand openning of the local one and Sanders showed up for the ceremonies. Shook our hands, said he enjoyed good music for a change.

    And they confirred this honor on an atheist…wow, someone didn’t do their homework! The State is about to fall! Fall, I tell you! The enormity…

  9. Sarge:
    The State is about to fall! Fall, I tell you!
    Yup, I expect that every thunderstorm in August will be blamed on my colonelcy. Actually, I’ll gladly accept responsibility for the noise, but the lightning will definitely be Brent’s fault. And if we happen to get snow, you can point the finger at Going. Of course, you-know-who would be the culprit if it suddenly started to rain chickens. I’m not sure what kind of precipitation might be caused by Kentucky Colonel Johnny Depp, but it would probably look like something out of a Tim Burton movie.

  10. Postman said

    Let me be the first to congratulate you on your promotion! [Note: You may have to move this comment to the top of the page.] Mazel Tov! Like others here, I’ve never held so exalted a rank, only climbing to “sergeant” and “designated driver”, and I, too, once saw and spoke to THE Colonel… though only in the way that so many people have seen and spoken to THE God. By overdosing on His product and conversing with Him in a grease/guilt/fairy-tale induced vision.

  11. Postie:
    I promise that when I open my Kentucky Boiled Chicken soup restaurants, I’ll bring you some greasy knaidlach in person. And there won’t be any guilt involved, unless you turn up your nose at my cooking. “Sure, why should you eat my food, when you can go out and spend two hundred dollars on a fancy hamburger? You remember how the chef at that restaurant used to diaper your tuchis when you were a baby?”

  12. So you’ve been promoted from Major Pain? Congrats!

  13. Does this mean that you now have to proselytize for bourbon, thoroughbreds and blue grass? And certain basketball teams?

    And by the way, where is the nearest Starbucks?

  14. Philly:
    Yup. Next step: General Anesthetic.

    No, I don’t have to proselytize for BOURBON, BLUEGRASS, THOROUGHBREDS, and THE WILDCATS. What gave you that idea?

    I also don’t have to mention KENTUCKY NATIVE GEORGE CLOONEY in every post.

    FYI: The nearest Starbucks is about four minutes away. The second nearest is about six minutes away. Then there’s one about nine minutes away. Apparently, Lexingtonians drink a shitload of coffee — perhaps under the mistaken impression that it will wake them up.

  15. I got a commission once, but I never made it to colonel. Not even New Mexico Colonel. Come to think of it, we probably don’t rate a full colonelcy with our paltry population. Maybe a captaincy. In Spanish. “Capitán Neuvo Mexicano.” Somehow that makes me think of a fat Sergeant preparing to be assailed by Zorro. So never mind.

  16. Des:
    Doesn’t Zorro carve a big red godless A with his blade?

  17. Sarge said

    Larry, I have been on occasion, in my youth, a “Shabbas Goy”. My payment was a meal next day, prepared by a wonderful lady who could have taken an axe head and rendered it a succulent treasure of a meal to be savored, raved about.
    Last winter they knew I was in a lot of pain and could do little for me, but at one point I smiled and relaxed a bit.
    They asked what was going on (an intern was, inexplicably, actaully right there! I’m sure he was reprimanded later for such a lapse) and I took my pad and pencil (mouth wired shut) and wrote in Homeresque terms: “Thinking of Jew-food… like it…mmmmmmmmmm, deerrrr maaahhh (please add appropriate gargling noises)”

    Half a century and it STILL can evoke peace and happiness within me.

  18. Sarge said

    Just in case you were wondering, the Homer I aped was NOT the one of Iliad/Oddesey notoriety.

  19. I just noticed I misspelled “Nuevo.” Sad.

  20. Sarge:
    Ah, stuffed derma. If you call it “kishka,” you’ll really sound authentically East European. But DON’T steal it!

    Well, your fat Sergeant Garcia probably couldn’t read, so you’re OK.

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