The CAPíN WACKY Story

Part Two

Fetzenberg toiled over his drawing board day and night for months in a desperate effort to please his employers. Design after design after design was rejected - and in the cruelest ways. Whenever White received a design from Fetzenberg, he would glance at it, silently walk to the commode adjacent to his office, and flush it down the toilet. If Brockie saw a drawing first, he would look at it, shake his head in disappointment, and proceed to eat the design while locking eyes with the "scribbling monkey."

It was a frustrating endeavor for the young artist.

One day, after a design he particularly liked ended up flushed (by White or by Brockie - they both wound up in the same place eventually), Art decided to walk out of the office and go for a walk. He soon found himself down on the docks (the Amalgamated Humor headquarters are situated near the docks, because when the factory was White Brand Hazardous Chemicals the company could simply dump unsold chemicals into the water. "God has granted us the perfect dumping ground," White would say. "Out of sight, out of mind.").

While there, Fetzenberg encountered an old sea captain, similarly down in the dumps. The two decided to go grab a couple drinks together. As soon as the rum hit him, the sea captain, who introduced himself as Captain Wachinski, became very animated and recounted several colorful stories of his voyages on the water. As he listened to the story, Fetzenberg absentmindedly sketched the captain on the back of a napkin. Several hours and drinks later, Fetzenberg stumbled back to the office, deposited the drawing of the captain into his wastebasket, and headed for the bathroom.

At that same time, Brockie entered White's office, saying, "Listen, Cappy, this scribbling monkey we have working for us hasn't come up with anything. Let's lose him."

"I concur with your analysis of the situation," White said. "Let us fire Mr. Fetzenberg immediately."

Art Fetzenberg's original Cap'n Wacky drawing on a napkin from The Seaside Saloon.
Amalgamated Humor Archives

So it was that the two captains of industry found themselves in Fetzenberg's "office" (really a converted broom closet), waiting for the artist to return. While there, Brockie decided to indulge in his habit of nosing through employee's trash. It was then that he found, among other things, the drawing of Captain Wachinski. For a moment, he considered eating it, but then realized there was something about the old man's weathered face that connected with him. He smiled and handed the picture to White. White too found himself not wanting to flush the picture.

When Fetzenberg returned, he was alarmed to find his bosses waiting at his desk. Before he could say anything, Brockie shoved the drawing in his face and asked, "What do you call this character?"

Through his drunken haze, the best Fetzenberg could pronounce it was, "Cap'n Wacky."

And so it was one of America's most recognized, and beloved, corporate mascots was born.

As a footnote to the tale, Art Fetzenberg was paid $10 for his creation, and, having fulfilled his purpose, immediately dismissed from Amalgamated Humor.

Captain Wachinski, who never received a dime from the company, died at the age of 93 of complications resulting from liver damage, skin cancer, heat stroke, brain fever, and seasickness.

Continue to Part 3