Dig it, Moss-face. You're a comic book character, Robert Mosbacher.
You're the first secretary of commerce to make it into the adventures of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.But, dude, you might not like lending your name to a villainous shrimper with a harpoon leg, a black eye patch and a greedy heart.
The Ninja Turtles, in their February comic book adventures, are fighting mad at Cap'n Mossback, who cares little about their endangered brethren and more about the booty in the nets of his two vessels, the Sir Commerce and the Georgie Girl.
Could this be comic book revenge for Mosbacher's decision in 1989 to let shrimpers trawl without the trap-door devices that keep endangered sea turtles from drowning in their nets?
The courts may have quickly overturned his plans, and shrimpers are now required to use the devices, but the Ninja Turtles are still fighting mad.
In an episode called "Fight the Power," published by Archie Comic Publications and coming soon to a magazine stand near you, a Ninja Turtle tells Cap'n Mossback: "We are the elder gods of the Seven Seas! The mournful spirits of murdered sea turtles have called us to this world ... and none shall escape our vengeful fury."
"Dig it, Moss-face," says another. Adds a third: "And we'll kick the shell out of every one of you shrimps."
A creature called Man Ray, described by his creator as the defender of ocean life, is angry at Cap'n Mossback because his vessels are trawling without turtle excluder devices - trap doors that let air-breathing sea turtles escape from a shrimper's nets.
"Prepare to be boarded," warns one fighting Ninja turtle. "And prepare to be whupped," answers another.
Cap'n Mossback, who can't swim, is tossed into the ocean. To the rescue, though, is a giant sea turtle. "Is this ironic or what?" says one of the Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Dean Clarrain, writer of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures comic books, said Wednesday that he took part of Mosbacher's name for the villain, but that Cap'n Mossback is not based on the secretary.
Mossback is defined in Webster's New World Dictionary as an old fish, shellfish or turtle with a greenish growth of algae over the back, or as an old-fashioned or very conservative person.
Clarrain said he and his partner, Ryan Brown, "simply needed a name for a character."
At the same time, Clarrain said, "I was not happy with what Mosbacher had done, he was hemming and hawing (on the use of turtle excluder devices) for months, and I personally don't think he should have."
William Fox, assistant administrator for fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said Mosbacher "fully supports protection of sea turtles, marine mammals and all the areas of our responsibility."
Marci Robinson, Mosbacher's spokeswoman, said the secretary, whose wife's name is Georgette, thought the comic book was funny.
"He likes good fiction and good comic strips," she said.