Captain Cupcake and the Cambie Hotel - Kate Reid


I pulled up to the bar at the Cambie Hotel in Nanaimo

There were meatheads mouthing off on the street, they were pissed up and fist-fighting

There were Harleys parked outside and a bumper stickered pick-up truck that read:
Ass, grass or gas: no-one rides for free.


And I thought to myself, this could turn out to be one hell of a night

I better leave my car engine running and tie my shoes up real tight

But this one guy inside the joint caught my eye, he was kinda skinny and scrubby-looking,

He was laughing and clapping along in time


And when I was done singing, he came up to me and I swear to you that itÕs true

He said, I drive a tugboat for a living, IÕm pulling all the big ships through

I work the Georgia Straight everyday but weÕre a pod of peas, me and you

And then he said and winked, IÕm not as straight as you might think



IÕm a cross-dressing, tug-boating, roughneck from Nanaimo

I work the high seas in high heels, IÕm a tough guy in disguise

Oh, they call me Captain Cupcake, I come from Vancouver Isle-oh

And I hang out down at the Cambie Hotel


I thought that I misheard this guy so I said, what did you just say

Then the trans-rock-surf-punk band plugged in and began to play

And my curious new friend checked out the lead singer of the band and elbowed me saying,

Man, I look better in a miniskirt than that guy does any-day


Anyways, Kate, you may be wondering to yourself just how does a guy like me

Get a job driving a tugboat, when IÕm kind of a dude-looks-like-a-lady

Well I grew up hauling payloads big and small, IÕm as good as any man

I know these seas like the back of my manicured hand




One night, he said I went down to the Cambie for a beer

I couldnÕt believe my eyes as I walked inside, oh, I was utterly hypnotized

See there was this stunning waitress running the bar, she was dressed to the nines

She was mesmerizing, she could launch a thousands ships of mine anytime


Meanwhile, the boys from the boats sat up at the bar and they smoked and joked

And drank whiskey and poked fun at me and my femmie garb

Well, youÕve got style Cupcake, but make no mistake, they laughed,

SheÕs way out of your league

YouÕre an odd catch and youÕre no match for a classy broad like that


So Cupcake sat alone with his beer at a booth in a dark corner of the room

And sheÕd work the floor of that run-down saloon, night after night, like it was some high-fashion runway

SheÕs captivating and IÕm capsizing, head over my five-inch stilettos, he thought

Little does this little lady know, that she really floats my boat


Then one night, the boys were putting back the draught, they were plastered and making passes at her

And everything IÕd been holding inside me exploded, I finally snapped, he said

I stood up and told them off and then in the next breath, I turned to her and confessed

YouÕre the most beautiful woman IÕve ever seen and IÕve been wondering

Would you marry me?




Then much to the boysÕ surprise and well, I was certifiably tongue-tied, he said

When she threw her arms around me and said You know, the first time I laid my eyes

On you honey, I knew you were a different kind of man from all the rest

So if we can wear matching wedding dresses, then baby, IÕll say yes.