The Dread Pirate Swisserhand

A Dale Coverly Speed Bump cartoon from 2012:

(#1) Not just the pirate captain of legend — Captain Hook from Peter Pan — with his hook, but one with a whole Swiss Army knife of tools as his (right) hand, in the spirit of Edward Scissorhands (this is where the prisoner says, “That’s funny, you don’t look Swiss”)

(Hat tip to Joelle Stepien Bailard)

Swiss Army knives. A fairly basic Swiss Army knife, the Victorinox Evolution 14 (pretty much the model I had as a kid), which, alas, lacks a hook:


This from my 7/22/18 posting “Swiss Navy”, which is initially about Swiss Navy sex lubes, then about Swiss Army knives (which “are genuinely Swiss; they are made by the Victorinox company, in Switzerland”), with illustrations.

Captain Hook. From Wikipedia:

(#3) Boris Karloff as Captain Hook from the 1950 Broadway presentation of Peter Pan (note hook in place of his left hand, as is very common in enactments of the story; this leaves the right hand available for swordplay and the like)

Captain James Hook is a fictional character, the main antagonist of J. M. Barrie’s [1904] play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up and its various adaptations, in which he is Peter Pan’s archenemy. The character is a pirate captain of the brig Jolly Roger. His two principal fears are the sight of his own blood (supposedly an unnatural colour) and the crocodile who pursues him after eating the hand cut off by Pan. An iron hook replaced his severed hand, which gave the pirate his name.

The peglegged Captain Ahab (a whaler, not a pirate) in Herman Melville’s 1851 Moby-Dick provided Barrie with the model for the Captain Hook character, obsessed not with a whale but a crocodile.

Long John Silver. Meanwhile, the peglegged pirate figure blossomed in the story of Treasure Island. From Wikipedia:

(#4) N.C. Wyeth illustration “The Hostage” (1911) for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island

Treasure Island is an [1883] adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of “buccaneers and buried gold.” Its influence is enormous on popular perceptions of pirates, including such elements as treasure maps marked with an “X,” schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen bearing parrots on their shoulders.

Treasure Island was originally considered a coming-of-age story and is noted for its atmosphere, characters, and action. It is one of the most frequently dramatised of all novels.

… Long John Silver: The [one-legged] cook on the voyage to Treasure Island. Silver is the secret ringleader of the pirate band. His physical and emotional strength are impressive. Silver is deceitful and disloyal, greedy and visceral, and does not care about human relations. Yet he is always kind toward Jim [Hawkins, the young protagonist] and genuinely fond of the boy. Silver is a powerful mixture of charisma and self-destructiveness, individualism and recklessness.

Edward Scissorhands. Back to hands (as with Captain Hook) rather than legs (as with Captain Ahab and Long John Silver).  My 11/30/12 posting “Nightmare stories” has a brief section on Tim Burton’s movie Edward Scissorhands. More details from Wikipedia:


Edward Scissorhands is a 1990 American romantic dark fantasy film directed by Tim Burton. It was produced by Burton and Denise Di Novi, and written by Caroline Thompson from a story by her and Burton. Johnny Depp plays an artificial man named Edward, an unfinished creation who has scissor blades instead of hands. The young man is taken in by a suburban family and falls in love with their teenage daughter Kim (Winona Ryder).

Both hands, not just one. And nothing but scissors, not even that useful corkscrew.

The Dread Pirate Roberts. My title folds all of this into the story of yet another fictional pirate. From Wikipedia:

(#5) Cary Elwes as the Dread Pirate Robert” in the movie The Princess Bride

The Dread Pirate Roberts is the identity assumed by several fictional characters in the novel The Princess Bride (1973) and its 1987 film adaptation. Various pirates (including Westley, the main protagonist) take on the role of Roberts and use his reputation to intimidate their opponents, before retiring and secretly passing on the name to someone else.

And so we get the Dread Pirate Swisserhand. Schnipp schnipp schnipp.



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