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why did the superflu come to be called "Captain Tripps" ?

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Thread: why did the superflu come to be called "Captain Tripps" ?

  1. #1
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    Default why did the superflu come to be called "Captain Tripps" ?

    Hi all! I'm new to the forum. I still remember back in 1980 I was working in a restaurant and went next door to a convenience store. While there I spotted this book for sale called The Stand. I`d read a couple of Stephan King short stories that I thought were pretty good and I recognized his name on the book title , so I bought it. Just like everyone else here I was riveted by the story .
    I`ve read The Stand many times since then and one thing I`ve never figured out is why was the superflu was called Captain Tripps .
    One of the things always liked about Mr Kings writing is all the creative little details he throws in . Calling the super flu Captain Tripps is a good example of what I mean.
    I think I`m going to like hanging out in a chat room where everyone`s as big a S.K. fan as I am.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: why did the superflu come to be called "Captain Tripps" ?

    Sorry to be pedantic, but it's "Trips," not "Tripps."

    I've never been 100% clear on why it was named that, either, but I know it's got something to do with Jerry Garcia.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: why did the superflu come to be called "Captain Tripps" ?

    ...Captain Trips was one of the nicknames of Jerry Garcia....and since the Dead toured the world(like the virus), maybe that's it...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: why did the superflu come to be called "Captain Tripps" ?

    Weren't there a character from another book somewhere called Captain Trips as well? I dunno not sure i'm tripping out now going to have to look that up!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: why did the superflu come to be called "Captain Tripps" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by GNTLGNT View Post
    ...Captain Trips was one of the nicknames of Jerry Garcia....and since the Dead toured the world(like the virus), maybe that's it...

    I understand a case of Capt. Trips tourin' with "The Dead" wasn't necessarily a bad thing

  6. #6
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    Default Re: why did the superflu come to be called "Captain Tripps" ?

    Captain Trips first appeared in Night Surf

  7. #7
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    Default Re: why did the superflu come to be called "Captain Tripps" ?

    Forgive the mental images I'm about to possibly invoke here, but I'm going to go out on a limb and verbalize what I've imagined the origins of the name to be:

    Multiple trips to the bathroom, if you're suffering from the super-flu described in the story.

    I suppose that if you've been witnessed making said trips, you'd be the "captain" thereof.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: why did the superflu come to be called "Captain Tripps" ?

    Found this:


    What is "Captain Trips"?
    EditHistoryDelete
    "Captain Trips" is merely one of the more prominent nicknames for the virus that ravages humanity in The Stand, with another nickname being "Tubeneck" (named for the final stage of the virus, when the throat area of the victim turns black and swells up, killing the victim and forming a kind of "tube" around the victim's throat). The project that created the virus is called "Project Blue".

    Captain Trips is highly lethal, with a 99.4% infection and fatality rate (this figure is given by General Starkey, who was in charge of Project Blue - neither the book nor the movie provide any indication of how he or his project arrived at this figure). Its lethality is derived from its nature as a "shifting-antigen" virus, meaning that as soon as the body's immune system has shifted to a defensive posture to fight off the virus (providing antibodies, etc, as in the case of the normal flu virus), the virus shifts to a different form, and continues to do so until it finally overwhelms the victim's immune system (at which point, the victim enters the final "tubeneck" stage, and dies).

    Captain Trips is also highly contagious, spreading from victim to victim in relatively close contact and rapidly spreading out of control (it gets carried across the United States in a matter of hours to days, simply by face-to-face contact). This is particularly because it takes days for the virus to kill the victim after the initial mutation after killing the Project Blue staff, and during that period its symptoms are virtually indistinguishable from normal flu symptoms (which, in the book and movie, ultimately leads to the compromise of the CDC and Stovington medical facilities - in the case of the former, a nurse with flu-like symptoms ignores a warning to report any such symptoms to a supervisor, and infects everyone there).

    The conditions upon which its release occurred are never completely specified. The obviously shown reasons amount to a series of mistakes and screw-ups, like Charlie Campion's narrow escape from the base where Project Blue was located. Flagg may have had a role in this, although it is never exactly specified (the movie implies this more than the book).

    The book points out that Captain Trips was not the only Shifting-Antigen virus made - others included Super-cholera, Super-Legionaire's Disease, and so forth.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: why did the superflu come to be called "Captain Tripps" ?

    I'd bet King was trying to think of possible names for the superflu and came up with Captain Tripps out of the blue, Grateful Dead link or not, and liked it when it hit him.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: why did the superflu come to be called "Captain Tripps" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lily Sawyer View Post
    Forgive the mental images I'm about to possibly invoke here, but I'm going to go out on a limb and verbalize what I've imagined the origins of the name to be:

    Multiple trips to the bathroom, if you're suffering from the super-flu described in the story.

    I suppose that if you've been witnessed making said trips, you'd be the "captain" thereof.

    If what you are saying is true then the name could have easily been Captain Throne........

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