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What about the Merchant Marine?

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on May 25, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Popeye the Sailor Man posted by Doug on May 25, 2003

: : : : my friend and I wer in a conversation and popeye was the subject, well we wer arguing weather popeye is a sailor as in navy or a sailor as in coast gaurd do's any one know the truth please help me proov him wrong (he was a sailor) write me at rigger03@hotmail.com

: : :
: : : :: My partner & father-in-law are unanimous that he was a sailor, but can give me no grounds for their ascertions.

: : : Personally, I don't care, cos Popeye was my hero and I wouldn't have cared whether he was a sailor or a coastguard. But you've got me curious now.

: : : BTW, your spelling sure is interesting - he he.

: : Written by Sammy Lerner, quoted in Popeye: The First Fifty Years by Bud Sagendorf.
: : I'm Popeye the Sailor Man
: : I'm Popeye the Sailor Man
: : I'm strong to the "Finich"
: : 'Cause I eats me spinach
: : I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.
: : I'm one tough Gazookus
: : Which hates all Palookas
: : Wot ain't on the up and square
: : I biffs 'em and buffs 'em
: : An' always out-roughs 'em
: : an' none of 'em gits no-where.
: : If anyone dasses to risk
: : My "Fisk" it's "Boff" an'
: : It's "Wham" un 'erstan'?
: : So, keep "Good Behavor"
: : That's your one life saver
: : With Popeye the Sailor Man.

:
: OK, let's give Popeye the dignity he deserves ... he says himself that he's "the sailor-man" or possibly "the sailor, man" and I believe that as Socrates made so eloquently clear, we must act on what we're told as though it is fact unquestioned until we are prepared to prove it wrong. So, as far as I'm concerned, he's Popeye, the Sailor, man!

I'd say it's likely that he was a member of the Merchant Marine. If he was a member of the Coast Guard or the Navy, he'd have superior officers and Petty Officers to report to. I remember him a kind of a free-lance sailor.

I don't know much about the Merchant Marine, but it's not an Armed Service, so that would give the character more flexibility to get into various situations.

There were probably cartoons during WWII that put him in the Navy, but that would have been a temporary wartime measure, in my opinion.