Best Life-Size Monument to Captain Morgan

Driving along Hillhurst in Los Feliz, you may have one day been startled by the appearance of a giant Captain Morgan. But how can this be? Weren’t the Marlboro Man and the Tidy Bowl Man and all their sinfully too-large kin outlawed during the last spasm of righteous indignation masquerading as social justice? It would seem not.

He’s stood larger than life and in our collective faces — but for how much longer? Cap ’n’ Cork liquor store general manager Joby Yobe(!) fills in the details: “He was donated to us by Captain Morgan Rum Co. for our grand opening on December 15, 2004, weighs about 200 pounds, stands about 7 feet tall and is one of only a handful in existence. After he was given to us, he became our unofficial mascot and is now a part of our store.” Recently, the Captain — touting Original Spiced Rum with muskets and saber at hand, one foot perched on a barrel of booze, completely masculine ascot and heavy breeches besides — was sunning himself on the sidewalk when a code-enforcement officer informed the Cap ’n’ Cork that the Captain’s inadvertent blocking of traffic on the sidewalk constituted a safety hazard. Three hundred bucks’ worth of safety hazard.

So now, the endlessly mirthful Captain relaxes by the freezers in back, unperturbed by issues like permits or the rumors of another, similar Captain in a liquor store in South Pasadena. What does he think of all day? Silver Spiced Rum? Parrot Bay, the quicker-liquor-upper with hints of pineapple and a certain I-don’t-know-what? Private Stock, Captain Morgan’s “high end” rum? And when did this turn into a viral advertisement for Captain Morgan?

In time, Captain Morgan became, by volume, the third- (up from number four!) largest brand of spirits in the United States, and the seventh- (up from number 11!) largest in the world. In 2005, 6.5 million 9-liter cases were sold. Top five Captain Morgan markets: United States, Canada, Great Britain, South Africa and duty-free shops everywhere. Just think: There are now entirely new generations of people who can drink a concrete statue of Richard Burton under the table. Thank you, Captain Morgan!

CAP ’N’ CORK 1674 Hillhurst Ave., L.A., (323) 665-1260 or

LA Weekly