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Cap’n Crunch embroiled in controversy over rank

July 8, 2013
BETTY J. POKAS - Area Editor , Times Leader

A CONTROVERSY has arisen because Cap'n Crunch lacks enough stripes to qualify as a U.S. Navy captain so possibly, the veteran cereal seaman could do well to follow the lead of British Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson and "turn a blind eye" to the criticism.

Crunch already has something in common with the hero of Trafalger - his first name is Horatio as he properly is known as Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch.

The mythical captain was criticized by a Foodbeast blogger, who pointed out that Crunch is wearing the wrist stripes of a Navy commander, not a captain. The story went viral with major news sources reporting on the rank - and remember that word has more than one meaning - situation.

Crunch has three stripes of a Navy commander on his sleeve rather than the four displayed by a Navy captain.

Several news sources quoted Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Flaherty, a Navy spokeswoman, who said, "You are correct that Cap'n Crunch appears to be wearing the rank of a U.S. Navy commander. Oddly, our personnel records do not show a 'Cap'n Crunch' who currently serves or has served in the Navy."

Apparently deciding this was a sink or swim situation, Crunch himself held a "press conference" and at one point noted, "Regarding today's rumors ... of course, I'm a Cap'n. It's the Crunch - not the clothes - that make a man."

Since defending himself, Crunch can now turn a blind eye and deliberately ignore the situation.

Reports are that expression is believed to come from the siege of Copenhagen in 1801 when Nelson was second in command of the English fleet and was ordered to withdraw but pretended not to see the flagship's signals and did so by putting his eyeglass to his eye which had been blinded in an earlier battle. He reportedly said he did not see the signal.

Nelson by turning a blind eye achieved a major victory so possibly the same could be accomplished by Cap'n Crunch who has sailed the high seas since 1963.

During his talk before the press, Crunch appeared to be above board - not adrift - in pointing out some other inconsistencies.

"You may have noticed a few other things about me," he said. "I have four fingers. My first mate's a dog. My eyebrows are attached to my hat, for crunch sake."

Crunch pointed out his appreciation to his supporters, some of whom noted as the master of a ship, he is qualified as a captain.

After all, a glossary of nautical terms describes a captain as "the person lawfully in command of a vessel. 'Captain' is an informal title of respect given to the commander of a naval vessel regardless of his or her formal rank; aboard a merchant ship, the ship's master is her 'captain.'"

Crunch fortunately has been successful in warding off attacks by his foe, pirate Jean LaFoote, just as Nelson defeated Napoleon's forces at Trafalger. The captain's fans undoubtedly are willing to have LaFoote hustled off to the brig or forced to walk the plank.

Nelson and Crunch also are identified with fluids other than the briny deep. Crunch often is soaked with milk while the body of the British naval hero, who unfortunately was killed at Trafalger, was preserved in brandy and transported to Gibraltar, and the brandy was replaced with spirits of wine for a return to London for entombment in St. Paul's Cathedral.

It also pointed out that Crunch is wearing a Napoleon-style hat. There, however, has been no scuttlebutt in publicized reports that the captain is un-American.

Thousands of individuals, especially the younger generation, are fully in favor of Cap'n Crunch having smooth sailing in the Sea of Milk - regardless of the number of stripes on his sleeves.

Pokas can be reached at bettypokas@yahoo.com.

 
 

 

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