The Capt'n Has Left The Building
Words: Matt Evs
You may have heard Louie Barletta talking about a character named Captain Ron in the past and wondered who the hell he is and what exactly he does for Lou. Just think of Ron as a special agent who laces Mr. B up with good times. When he should be buckling down and concentrating on his video part, Louie can be caught hanging out with the Captain more than ever. If you ever see the two together, be afraid.
How important is the Enjoi video at this stage in your life?
Back stage all the way! That reminds me of this time we were at my house. It was me, G-Juan, Jose Rojo and the Ricantula of Death (a.k.a., Ricky Espinoza). We were getting crazy, listening to trailer rock, when all of a sudden the Capt'n had this bright idea of dressing up like Bon Jovi and singing "Living on a Prayer" at a karaoke bar down the road. Seriously, the ideas that guy comes up with sometimes…
Have you put in work on this Bag of Suck video or is it you just flailing your body over your board and seeing what happens?
Um, sure. Nobody wants to get caught trying, right? What if all you got isn't quite up to par? It's like the Capt'n used to tell me, "If you're always counting stairs, you'll always end up on the same staircase, either one step ahead or one step behind." I guess I just don't do the stair thing.
So, what made you stray from the pack and go off on your own European adventure?
Well, my summer adventure basically started off with a last call by the Capt'n advising me that it would be in my best interest to leave San Jose behind and travel around Europe for the summer. The details are hazy to say the least. Oh wait, a boat ride to Finland, a plane to Spain, a train to Italy and a Fiat the size of a Ford Festiva to Sicily, no money and no place to stay. It was the adventure. We spent a whole month on the road without getting a room or shower—straight bathing in the sea. It was great. Thanks, Gio. I had a filmer friend who was already out there and I brought my camera gear so we just went for it, straight renegade style. If you can't backpack it, leave it. If it was skateable, we skated it. It was rad—Europe with no distributor who doesn't even skate to tell us where or when to go.
Don't you think your relationship with the Capt'n should've come to a halt by now?
Yeah, probably. Honestly, I don't see him much except when he comes out at night with some hair-brained, half-baked ideas. I hardly ever pay any attention to him. It's like last night when he was going off about how great it would be to get The Kid to barbeque up some burgers for us. It had to have been almost 2 in the morning. Who barbeques at 2 in the morning?
Do you feel that Euro peeps hate on you for being American?
Yeah, hopefully just as much as when SoCal guys come up here to San Jose to rape and blow-out our spots. The reality of it is no different. Man, the other night while the Capt'n and me were going off about how awesome skating is, we started to brainstorm about starting our own skate country. Who cares if you're SoCal, NorCal, European or Guamanian? We have the resources to make our own country. How many doctors, architects, carpenters, waiters, engineers, mechanics and soldiers skate? Why don't we just pick a spot and declare it ours? Burnside on a metropolitan scale? Soil has been won and lost for less noble causes.
Why don't you get that going? Select your government and soldiers and run with it.
Sure. But what kind of government could possibly be run by skaters? Power corrupts everyone in one way or another.
What about communism?
I don't know. Is that where you get bread and wine for free from Jesus? It's awesome. Matthew 19:26 or, wait, is that the one misconstrued word that was meant to describe a form of socialism? Sorry, I know nothing about politics. To quote the Capt'n: "It bugs me to think that we as Americans were derived from a group of oppressed peoples seeking freedom under our own terms and conditions and, consequently, are now pushing our own terms and conditions onto others." But don't get the Capt'n started; I don't even think he's from America. Besides, it's not like we're changing our original constitution with, what are those things called, amendments or mentos or something weird and trade-restricted like that? The Capt'n and me used to go rounds and rounds arguing about Stalin's misrepresentation of Engels and Marx's little book. And how "Give us your weak…" doesn't apply here anymore. I don't get it. I say, "Why live in a society where everyone has to pull their own weight where as here you can just do nothing productive for the collective, hope to become a 'famous' rich person and die with the most material things possible?" That sounds awesome. Buy Coca-Cola, own more than one gun and eat fast food like it's going out of style. Wait a minute, why should we try to start another country when ours is so perfect?
Are you a photographer?
Hell yeah! I try to shoot only naked girls, but I always set my ISO and shutter speeds wrong and the next morning all my negatives are solid black. I do remember parts of this one awesome night where the Capt'n and me scored these two fine chicks. The Capt'n was out smoking. I don't smoke but I went out to hang with him. Out of nowhere, these two chicks rolled up on us and were all like, "What's going on inside?" I stood there all motionless (if you can't already tell, I don't do well with questions) and, besides, her voice kind of struck me as odd, but the Capt'n took the reigns and was like, "Oh, in here?" all casual as he motioned inside with his head. "Poker in the front, liquor in the rear," he stated. I vaguely remember drinking and thinking, "This girl has some big hands," but somehow we ended up back at her place. I seem to recall hearing as I was running down the street, cursing that damn Capt'n, "Whatsa matter, sugar, scared to liquor in the front and poke her in the rear?" Well, at least I got a sweet photo out of that one.
What the hell is the point of all this?
I asked the Capt'n that same question the other night. To my amazement, he was wearing a Mexican wrestler's mask like El Vortex. Instead of reading poetry, he started to recite lines from Camus' The Stranger. You never know what to expect with the Capt'n.
A lot of people think you act differently around the Capt'n, that there is "Sweet Lou" and "Lou With The Evil Grin."
Sweet Lou? I think he hangs out with The Kid a lot. I see them pal around a lot together. You can say they have quite a few mutual acquaintances. Evil Grin Lou, on the other hand, rarely rears his ugly head—or at least I'm usually gone by the time he shows up. Man, I think he only comes out when Ron is out having a night on the town. When those two get together, oh man. One night, Ron and Evil Grin Lou decided to go hogging (which I learned the next morning is when you go out and score the largest porker at the watering hole.) At some point I came home for a minute to find Ron and company naked, wielding a foot-long screwdriver. There was some duct tape, mouth gags and beef jerky. I can't really remember the rest of the details; I was only there a minute and then I broke out. I love you, M.J. Anyhow, yeah, that evil grin usually means he and Ron are scheming up something that is absolutely no good.
How often do you see your children?
Almost every night. I hate it that your chick doesn't like to swallow.
I love it when your chick does!
Ha, I knew that question was coming. Wait, was that even a question? Dude, to be honest, one day I woke up and Capt'n Ron was like, "You need to move on." Osiris is a company, a big company. I guess I just felt like I was another tooth on the cog. Duffs just has more of a family type feel, and I feel like my ideas and individuality matter there. It's like I'm part of something that goes beyond an interpretation of someone's misrepresentation at a sales meeting. Does that even make any sense? To be honest, I've never had much. Everything I have, I earned. I even kept my old job for the first two years of being pro. I just always thought it was the right thing to do. "Money for nothing and your chicks for free" sounds great in theory, but I was born into the working class, and that's the class I'll die in. I'm realistic; that's just the way I am. Osiris was great. Traveling in rock-star busses, being treated like nobility. For a hot second I felt like royalty and was treated like a star, but that's not me and I felt like I was cheating my own destiny by staying with them. I just want to be able to say on my deathbed that I didn't buy my stake for posterity's sake; I earned my place in history.
You will be remembered as a great scumbag.
I heard the Capt'n is pissed that you never remember hanging out with him. He wants to kick your ass.
Who cares, that guy sucks anyhow. All he does is give crappy advice that I'm inevitably always held accountable for. Too many times we can't go out on this night because of so-and-so or we can't go there because the Capt'n got us kicked out. That guy is more trouble than he's worth.
I think you could take him one-on-one if you could step out of his shadow, but he seems to rule your life.
Well, I'd rather have something that represents good times with my buddies ruling my life than to have money, greed or insecurities rule my life. Wait, what does "a crutch" mean again? Never mind.
What are some things you've bought off the Internet?
I think the best was one night after we went hogging, the Capt'n and me were surfin' the 'Net and came across a magical tall boy of King Cobra. Being that King Cobra is the Capt'n's favorite malt liquor, I was obliged to buy it. To make a long story short, I bought it, drank it, turned into a King Cobra tall boy and partied the night away with Caswell Berry dressed in a bathing suit and the Capt'n wearing that ridiculous wrestling mask. Man, I sure hope I was just making that one up but I feel like it all really happened. Weird.
Well, I know that there have been some more random-impulse buys off the Internet, Capt'n-induced or not. But maybe we shouldn't get into that.
Yeah, I wouldn't want people to think I have a make-believe pal that coaxes me into buying things off the Internet that no normal person would be caught dead with.