Leisure time during my early teens were spent on reading The Hardy Boys, Agatha Christie and Tintin besides some other works which I don’t recollect as much to make a mention here. I developed an instant liking for Tintin’s adventures. One of the protagonists of those adventures is the topic for this post – Captain Haddock.
He is Tintin’s ally and the yang to Tintin’s yin. Marlinspike Hall, Marlinshire is where he stays – it’s a luxurious estate and venue of some really hilarious Captain Haddock moments. It takes a while for you to warm up to him just like the whisky and rum which happen to be his favorite drinks. He first appears in ‘The Crab with the Golden Claws’ and forms part of Tintin’s subsequent adventures. The beard adds to his charm and his acerbic wit and sarcasm often complement Tintin’s ideals.
The frown in his face suggests he is short-tempered. And boy, there is a whole vocabulary of Captain Haddock’s swear words! My favorites are kleptomaniac, anacoluthon and bashi-bazouk. He is also the owner of such interestingly coined phrases as billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles and ten thousand thundering typhoons. I remember laughing my heart out when I first read these!
My favorite Tintin adventures featuring Captain Haddock are ‘Destination Moon’ and ‘Explorers on the Moon’. He accuses Professor Cuthbert Calculus (another humorous character) of ‘acting the goat’ at one point in ‘Destination Moon’. The poor professor suffers amnesia when trying to prove his worth to Captain Haddock. He uses the same phrase to help Calculus regain his memory! In ‘Explorers on the Moon’, he gets drunk and decides to go on a spacewalk and even has a brief flirt as the satellite of the asteroid Adonis. Some really funny moments those were!
You just cannot remember Tintin without remembering Captain Haddock. That was the kind of influence Captain Haddock had.