Sunday, January 10, 2010

RESULTS: The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #223

NOTE: As I sift through the weekly crop of Anti-Captions, I occasionally feel like a substitute teacher in front of a class of unruly 8th graders. How else to explain the blatant and persistent disregard for the few rules we have to govern our humble little contest? CLASS PLEASE! Keep the captions brief (no longer than 25 words) and enter no more than five Anti-Captions each week. (And there is really no reason to include multiple Anti-Caps in one entry. Just go with the best one. )
Another request is this: Before tossing your Anti-Cap on the heap, read all of the entries already posted that week. Duplicate or highly similar entries serve no purpose other than to bore the shit out of people compromise the expediency of the judging process.
Are these unreasonable requests? Can I expect your cooperation or do I need to get Mr. Radosh in here? I can get him. He's just down the hall, you know.
ALSO: The other Guest-Judge, Harry, has asked me to post & judge next week's contest. He apparently has been picked up on an outstanding warrant something else to do.

Below are the winners for last week's contest along with my two-cents. Please leave a comment telling me what you think, how you came to think it and what you'd like me to think.
"Because they Need Another Seven Astronauts really fast...THAT'S why!" -- dwilk (JUDGE"S COMMENT: This is a reference to one of the most tasteless jokes ever circulated in the wake of a tragedy. Shortly after the 1986 Challenger disaster claimed the lives of seven astronauts--including a grade school teacher and a black guy-- some dolts quipped "What does NASA stand for?" The answer is the basis for this winning entry. Given the historical significance, the insensitivity, AND the fact that it somewhat fits the cartoon--it was an obvious pick. BTW: Other Challenger jokes:
*Where did Christa Macaullife (the teacher) spend her last vacation? A : All over Florida

*How did they know Christa M. had dandruff? A: They found her head and shoulders.
*How many astronauts can you fit into a Volkswagen Bug? A: 11, two in the front, two in the back, and seven in the ashtray.
*What did Christa M. say to her husband before she left that morning? A: You feed the dog, I'll feed the fish.)


"No Mr. Bond. I expect you to dry." --NAMBY (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Full Disclosure: I know NAMBY and was reluctant to put her on the leader board to avoid any conflict of interest. Still, this is a great Anti-Caption [and it was the first one submitted]. Not only does it advance the Bond franchise, it's anchored by a completely appropriate laundry-related pun. Also, notice how short it is. Short is good. About 14 hours after this was submitted, "Celeste" entered: "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to use lye." I appreciate the additional Bond reference, but let's face it, who the hell uses lye? This is to NAMBY's cap what Shemp is to Curly."

"It's a Westinghouse, so I'm westing. Not the others, though. They've been hacked to death by some maniac."--Steve_O (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Here we have a grown-inducing pun mingling comfortably with a sickeningly twisted image of carnage. Not much thought here, just adolescent humor. A classic Anti-Cap. Nice job Steve!)

"The New Yorker would have 'This is the best Manhattan apartment I could afford' coming out of my mouth, but the truth is that I can't come any other way."--David (JUDGE'S COMMENT: A nice little cheap shot at the evil empire "real" contest and an apparent sexual reference that makes absolutely no sense. Also: Apartments in NYC can really be very small.)

"It is an honor to visit Japanese 4-star hotel.--LK (JUDGE'S COMMENT: They really have extremely small hotel accommodations in Japan. You can sleep in a bed that they slide into a wall. It's like a slab in a morgue, only with 600-tread count bed linen. Mostly drunken business men use them. Extra credit for employing the fractured syntax routinely used to mock the Japanese. Berry ice.)

"Mommy Kate, if you and Daddy John get back together, will you have time to do our laundry and baths separately?"-- LV (JUDGE'S COMMENT: I like the image of a single mom washing her kids and her kids' clothing at the same time. It's both heartless and politically relevant. Still, I maintain that including the names "Kate" & "John" brings nothing to the party.)

"This is only going to make us more clingy." --Francis (JUDGE'S COMMENT: A nice short Anti-Caption with a very clever pun. Using the word "clingy" in this context is brilliant. Also if this Francis person is actually a woman, it's even better because women frequently make no distinction between "clingy" and "affectionate." Men do. )

"OUT, DAMN SPOT!! No, really. My dog is in here with me. Now, scram!"--Kathy H (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Like Steve_O, Kathy has concocted an Anti-Caption with a cleaver pun that also evokes a twisted image. Here we believe a dog--a small cute, lovable dog, I'm guessing--is spinning helplessly in a washing machine (or dryer). Poor little guy. I also love the word "scram." Kathy H. also weighed in with two comments that are worth noting. Think of them as "Honorable Honorable Mentions." )

[It's obvious this establishment is located in "LA," an overt nod to al in....]-- Kathy H (JUDGE'S COMMENT: I too noticed the backward "AL" in the window of this cartoon, but I figured no one else would. Thanks Kathy, even though I suspect you are--like most of those who use the name "Kathy" in cyberspace--a pudgy 40-year-old postal worker who roots for the Islanders and lives in his mother's basement. Good use of the word "overt," one of the few words that rhymes with "pervert"--but I guess you knew that.)

[NOTE: Apropos of nothing, but an anagram for ANTI-CAP POLICE is CIAO, CAT NIPPLE. Thank you for your time.]-- Kathy H (JUDGE'S COMMENT: No, Kathy, thank YOU for YOUR time. You painstakingly, if somewhat clumsily, fashioned the first anagram in Anti-Caption history. I think it also marks the first time "apropos" has been used, but certainly not the first time we've seen "nipple." I found a photo of "Kathy H." She's just as I thought she is.)

"I don't know why they call it 'Delicates.' It's a vicious cycle."--Grant (JUDGE'S COMMENT: This too is a good little pun, but the actual preferred expression is "vicious CIRCLE. " It refers to a series of fixed circumstances that perpetually yield a negative outcome. i.e.: assholes produce asshole kids who grow-up to be assholes who produce asshole kids...and so on.)

"I hope you're haunted by the faces of your Tide with Febreze Freshness 2X Ultra Concentrated Detergent victims."--Virgil Q (JUDGE'S COMMENT: We like to reward the chestnuts. Also good use of actual brand names and a hat tip for using "you're" correctly. So many people use "your." These people are barbarians to me.)

You idiot, there are four signs that clearly say,
" ____
___" --JohnnyB (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Nice pick up on the signs displayed above the dryers [which could be front loading washers, by the way]. The cartoonist simply assumed he could draw a few lines but Johnny B called him out on it. He even added an extra sign just to be edgy. Now, if only Johnny had come up with something funny to say about it.)

"The towels here are quite clean."--Tim H (JUDGE'S COMMENT: I want to encourage the perennials, even the ones that are bit dry [Get it? Dry?]. I remember an Anti-Caption cartoon from a while back that was set in a hospital. Two older men were commenting on a crash test dummy that was heavily bandaged and being pushed in a wheelchair. My Anti-Cap was: "The healing powers here are extreme" Didn't even get a lousy stinkin' honorable mention--but that was before I was named a judge.)

"Sorry, but the rules say you can only fill five washers. And, we know your IP address."--Dex (JUDGE'S COMMENT: I am assuming Dex is NOT mocking the rule. And, yes, we do know every detail of your life. This is something Dex--who had two outstanding parking tickets and a cyst on his buttock-- knows all to well.)

"The reversed letters in the window really put the 'AL' in 'LA,' if you see what I mean." --Trout Almondine (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Like Kathy H., Trout also saw those tell-tale letters on the window and rendered this Anti-Caption. It always nice to think people appreciate my efforts.)

"Everyone hide! alinla has come to bastardize another anti-caption contest!" -- Brian L (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Well, maybe not everyone. But why would she implore the others to "hide?" They are already inside the dryers. And won't "piggy-back," "usurp," or "hijack" work better than "bastardize?" )


JohnnyB said...

I understand that "brevity is the soul of wit" and that over-long anti-caps probably won't win. That basic rule of humor seems sufficient to me and an official word-limit seems arbitrary and begins to make the contest take itself too seriously (as this comment shows that I take it too seriously). What is the consequence of violating the length rule? Getting stuffed in a dryer?

Joshua said...

My favorite was the honorably mentioned:

You idiot, there are four signs that clearly say,
" | | | |
___" --JohnnyB

By the way, I didn't even know there was supposed to be a word limit, but the rule is somewhat self-enforcing since nobody is going to read your two-paragraph opus anyway.

What should be prohibited is the verbatim quoting of some lyric from somewhere. Never clever and rarely even relevant.

Richard Hine said...

I'm just worried that Kathy H might be upset to have her identity revealed.

al in la said...

Responses by al in la

"The basic rule of humor" does not prevent J.D. and others from posting the Magna Carta as an entry. The consequence for rule violations is a trip to Gitmo or a deleted Anti-Cap (depends on my mood.)

As a judge I am obliged to read even the "two paragraph opus" entries. It's royal pian in the ass. A verbatim quote can be great if it is short and witty.

I baffled as to why you insist this person is a "her."

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al in la

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