Albert Kook

From Plastic Tub

Persian-American, 1732-1783. Sunni Mystic and Brooklyn Drug Dealer, circa 1764. He forgot to show up, but if he had, he would have floated in, surely. He is, too, a pig -- but a dapper one. He receives a pair of rusting tweezers in a compact.

A favorite of the latter day Clampers, despite himself. Described by contemporaries as "a fellow of finest breeding, always suspiciously nice to your mother" (as extrapolated by Stan Lee ( in his controversial 1962 play, On Human Sass).

Supplier of necessary items of leisure for Guvernor Morris and young gang member A.W. Slippers. His gang included, most prominently, Copernicus Trowbridge.

A Slippery Past

Not much is known about Kook except that he distributed the opium supplied to him by Trowbridge. He is known to have been a Patriot, but never let a good cause get in the way of business. He always burned the British and dealt with them primarily as a way of "shitting in the soup," as he is quoted as saying by Thomas Jefferson. His contacts were extensive and high; because of his discretion, however, he remains a shadowy unknowable figure. Stimes Addisson was a Kook-o-phile, mainly because of Kook's connection with his ancestor Slippers, but he never turned up anything more than a short reference in a letter and an obituary. Kook died of consumption in Rhode Island.

Complex Complexion

He was a very dark fellow, swarthy, and was once accused of being a negro. Although he himself seems to have had no problem with African-Americans, either in his dealings with Freedmen or Slaves (which he neither kept nor dealt in), Kook took offense at the remark and took a man's nose off with his sabre in a surprisingly hard-fought duel. His opponent, Wynthrop Dunlop, a gentleman, conceded defeat and renounced his claim publicly. Kook was in fact a tall, pinched-face fellow with a long knot of curly black hair, but he is said to have been taken for a Greek. Fact is, he was born in Smyrna by a Lebanese Christian father and a Sunni mother of unknown origin; the family fled to England after their Egyptian interests had been repeatedly sacked by Corsairs.

School of Hard Knocks

Kook became one of many sailors impressed into the Royal Navy about 1845, where he learned seamanship with some of the best if not cruelest Captains. He was a quick study, respected and for this reason, distrusted by his superiors. Although the details are sketchy, Kook seems to have been involved in some angry talk which bordered on the mutinous some time a few years later. Kook was keel-hauled, and he infuriated his officers by surviving, barely. He had been sentenced -- but spared.

Applying the Lessons

Kook jumped ship one night in Boston, which he despised. He made his way to New York and dreamed of going back to his homeland. But he made some unexpected friends. The first of these was Copernicus Trowbridge, a crazy Scottish pilot who could take a boat anywhere. Later, Guvernor Morris entered the picture, and his life took a dramatic turn into the shadows.

An Obnoxious Professor

His contacts with Crispus Attucks have led some to finger him (falsely) as part of an underground revolutionary circle, but recent evidence suggests he was in fact a rum-runner intent merely on profit. Dr. "Alamo" Jane Jenkins, of the University of Boston, says in her course materials that Kook "was an invisible sign, a cipher of nothing whose shadow's shadow sheds light of a plethora of significants heretofore shrouded in darkness."

Known Works

Eyes Closed, Hands Closed, novella.

The Testimony of Albert M. Kook, Gentleman: Being an account of his Travels, Travails and Misfortunes.


Young Albert was terrified for years of rounded, smooth objects.

Albert Kook mastered hundreds of knots, including the Boneyard, Blind man and a simplified form of the Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.