Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #231

Note: This week's Anti-Cap contest had more entries than a busy porn star. By midnight Tuesday there were 126 submissions. The system was never in danger of crashing, but this is a pretty brisk level of activity. Typically, Anti-Cap participants are far more lazy restrained then that. This mini-surge is most likely because a doctor commenting on a caveman in a hospital bad lends itself to captions that are cruel, asinine obscure, obvious or irrelevant. In other words, ideal Anti-Caption fodder.
Because of this initial ground swell of interest, I started to narrow down the field on Tuesday. From past experience, I know that as the pile grows so does the stink it becomes more difficult to give each cap all the careful attention it deserves. I realize an inordinately large number of caps are being honorably mentioned this week, but I think people who enter enjoy that positive reinforcement. It turns out there were quite a few caps that were not that crappy. My wife also helped with the sifting. Which is why...
We have a first in Anti-Cap history: A tie for first place. I wanted one cap, my wife wanted another. I thought it best to call it a draw. I picked Walt. She went with Rob. (I don't trust anyone who's name is also a crime.) Here then for your amusement. My picks and two-cents. All the cool kids leave comments.

The American People are telling me that they want him bankrupted and inadequately cared for.-- Walt (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Great insight into the health care debate, Walt. History will recall this as an era when sheep people acted contrary to their self interest if something shiny caught their eye. I truly believe that.)

"He keeps muttering, 'Forgive them father for they don't know what the fuck they're doing.''"-- Rob (JUDGE'S COMMENT: My wife thought this was funny and said it should win. She was emphatic, more so than I'm accustomed to. She mutters the same thing when I try to fix things. Then it's not so funny. )

"Look, Em, I don't know what was in the time portal or those slippers, but that thing is part Cairn Terrier and part alcoholic girl from Kansas."--Zeke (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Yes, I get the Wizard of OZ bizarro world thing, I like it. Very clever. But Dorothy wasn't a drunk and Judy Garland was a victim. Extra credit for knowing Toto's exact breed.)

."His vitals are good and once a day we give him spare change."--Rob (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Because that's all these bums want. Insensitive AND funny. Remember if you feed the hungry you are a saint. If you ask why they are hungry, you are a communist. )

"Look on the bright side. He's still the odds on favorite to fill the Mets' fifth starter position."-- Tim H (JUDGE'S COMMENT: I am a lifelong Mets fan so naturally I have that love/hate thing that Mets fans have. I do remember when they really sucked dead dog balls, but I also remember when field level box seats at Shea where $4.50 and Jane Jarvis played the organ. Where have you gone Neil Allen?)

Okay, here's the freak. Now where's my five bucks?-- Austin D (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Tarantino's Kill Bill had a hospital worker charge a buddy to have sex with a comatose but still radiant Uma Thurman. She wakes up and kills the SOB. Now THAT'S some funny shit.)

"Oh you know, a shave and an infusion and he'll be good as new, Mrs Reagan."-- TG Gibbon (JUDGE'S COMMENT: But he's like totally dead! I've been to his grave site. My wife and I went to the Reagan Museum in Simi Valley not long ago, but on principle we wouldn't pay the admission. We roamed the grounds, browsed in the gift shop and then went to the Costco nearby, True Story.)

Shave and a haircut: five grand."-- mypalmike (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Expensive, yes. But in fairness you also get Jello afterward.)

It's al in la and he had a rough weekend."-- Kathy H (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Actually "lethargic" is more likely. Remember, lying in bed, watching TV and taking drugs is not just for those convalescing.)

"I must warn you, miss. The flowers -- and the patients -- here are obscene."-- Tim (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Unimaginative and uninspired but it keeps alive a perennial anti-cap so I'll allow it.)

The visiting hours here are anthropogene. --Richard H (JUDGE'S COMMENT: If this was Scrabble you'd have to take your tiles off. There is no such word, but "anthropogenic" means "relating to, or resulting from the influence of human beings on nature" so I guess that apples to visiting hours but it doesn't rhyme with "obscene." UPDATE: "Why are you making this an honorable mention?" my wife asked. "Because the effort here is easily seen," I said (to myself).

“We’ll have him back on his hands and knees in no time.”--dwilk (JUDGE'S COMMENT: I believe this is more social commentary, but it's hard to say if it's compassion disguised as ridicule or just ridicule. Either way, we are again reminded that oppressed, disenfranchised people who often suffer from mental illness no-good bums are expected to maintain a certain position in life.)

"Your permission to release from captivity, Ms. Goodall?"-- yangxiao (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Nice try and a good obscure reference, but Jane Goodall was fixated on gorillas, not cavemen. A funnier joke might have suggested this is her husband, boyfriend or, even better, lesbian lover.)

We are now in recovery mode for the intern who gave him an enema.--boneguy (JUDGE'S COMMENT: You have to probe deep, but there is humor here. They go from "rescue" to "recovery" when the subject is presumed dead. So apparently the intern somehow became lodged in the patent's ass [I'm guessing]. Even so, it's more likely to have been a nurse. An intern in a hospital is a freshly minted doctor, not some college kid getting lattes and Xeroxing.)

Overdosing is so simple even a caveman can do it.”-- Rob (JUDGE'S COMMENT: I knew the Geico thing would come up. Maybe this is an anti-drug statement If it's not, Rob is just a lazy thinker.)

"Well, you can hardly blame him for being steamed. Those Geico jokes went stale years ago." -- Kronk (JUDGE'S COMMENT: We all agree the Geico jokes are old news so why persist?)

He's a caveman, you're easy...put it together."-- Wile E. Chipotle (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Okay, this one is funny because even a cavemen gets to "do" her. I also like the ellipses.)

"Of course he's on IV. Didn't you notice the huge stone letters outside the door?"--Walt (JUDGE'S COMMENT: A reference to last week's cap. I commend Walt for his extensive search to find humor. I had a morphine drip once. )

E. coli.! You crazy bitch! How the hell are you gonna beat that?-- CRC (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Why the switch from "bastard" to "bitch," I wonder. But this is actually a pretty good addition to the Fusilli-you-crazy-bastard franchise.)

Name's Fusilli. He seems to be a crazy bastard. We're trying to ascertain how the hell he is.-- JohnnyB (JUDGE'S COMMENT: This doesn't suck either. )

"Mrs. al in la, all he keeps saying is 'Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 ate 9. Ha, ha, ha!' Do you have any idea what that means?"-- Tim H (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Okay, in last week's comment's I miss-stated a riddle that is seldom heard outside of a sandbox setting. Also my wife prefers Ms. al in la. )

"I agree, Mrs. Jack -- if I may call you that. Wolfman has never been the same since disco jumped the shark."-- Talentless (JUDGE'S COMMENT: I protest this! Wolfman Jack [real name Robert Weston Smith, 1938 – 1995] was actually quite debonair. Growing up in Brooklyn, I listened to him on WNBC in the 70's and was a big fan. I only post this cap because it made me think of one of the best DJs to ever spin a disk. RIP Wolf-Baby.)

I don't care if he DID create Mad Magazine - he can use a bedpan like everyone else!--Slack-a-gogo (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Excuse me? Once again I must rise [metaphorically] to defend a boyhood hero of mine. Mad's long-time publisher William "Bill" Gaines [1922 – 1992] did have that Grizzly Adams thing going, but he was also genius and a great American.)

"You're just lucky he isn't a 69-year-old who played for a Los Angeles team. They're dying like flies these days."--Elgin (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Apart from Willie Davis, who twice led the N. L. in triples and died on Tuesday, I am unaware of any other 69-year-old Dodger who was recently dispatched. Basketball great Elgin Baylor, who may or may not have posted this, is still with us. )

I'm consulting with Dr. Allen L. Alien. Multiple anal probes are likely.--Anonymous (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Or not. )

The sedatives here? Ketamine.--P. Fizer (JUDGE'S COMMENT: If we had an award for a classic cap that's both appropriate and obscure, this would be a slam dunk. I looked it up: Ketamine is a powerful sedative, as is this contest.)

"I'm going to suggest a treatment plan of radical trichotillomania."--Trent (JUDGE'S COMMENT: As it happens this is very creepy, not really funny and completely illogical: trichotillomania is hair loss caused by compulsive pulling or twisting of the hair until it breaks off. I doubt this is something you can induce in someone. I only include it to encourage the use of big words.)

"I'm afraid your husband has a terminal case of being a fat disgusting fuck."-- t.a.m.s.y(JUDGE'S COMMENT: I asked my wife and she swears she didn't post this, so my only question is why would the women in the cartoon need to be told this by a doctor? Typically the wife is the first to know this kind of thing.)

We just call him "re in er."-- Dex (JUDGE'S COMMENT: I'm not sure what the "re" means but I think "er" here is "emergency room." It is a play on al in la so I have to give it some props. In the off chance that anyone gives a shit, the name originated when I used to call in to a local late night radio talk show. The host would refer to me as "al in la." It stuck, I guess. I use lower case because it creates an understated graphic symmetry that I find consistent with my zen-like persona, which is occasionally interrupted by bouts of angst. Yes, my first name is indeed Al, and I do live in L.A. So there.)

Strange. Since he’s been here I have an overwhelming desire to renounce my identity, stop shaving, let my hair grow, sell the Porsche, step out of the handmade John Lobbs and trade my Brioni suit and tie for filthy burlap. And now he is muttering about medical school, stock options, condos and refers to HIMSELF as Dr. Trevor Prescott and to ME as Og. And he laughs.-- TimR (JUDGE'S COMMENT: This was posted at the stroke of 8 on Saturday night. The premise is that the physician has been transformed into a Yankee fan neanderthal, and vice-versa. It makes no sense and it's not really funny, ironic or even edgy. The brand name dropping is impressive but, realistically, it brings nothing to the party. But I think Tim put some serious effort in this and I want encourage that. Indeed, he came well prepared, but unfortunately his presentation was not up to contemporary professional standards. His anti-caption lacks the range of tonal color necessary to make it consistently interesting. Full time consideration of another endeavor might be in order. )

Come on in, Mrs. Winchler..." mypalmike (JUDGE'S COMMENT: This refers to a New Yorker Caption Contest cartoon from Dec. 06. It has a suit and tie guy behind a desk talking on the phone. Next him is an identical desk that's vacant. A name plate that says "Winchler" is prominent on both desks. I bring this up because my entry in the Anti-Caption contest that week was a fucking slam dunk: "Of course I understand management's productivity goals for the new year. So I guess they also assume adding another toilet will increase the number of times I take a shit." Didn't even get a lousy stinkin' honorable mention. Any idiot can get an honorable mention. Wanna know what won that week? "T.A. Winchler Name Plates, Ltd. Greg speaking." I knew someone would have take over this contest, so I made a few calls and had Radosh hired as a scribe for some TV show. If you have read all the way to this point please leave a comment saying "so." Thank you and good night.)


JohnnyB said...

al - Merlin Olsen, who played for the Los Angeles Rams, died a couple days ago.

P. Rovillus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Walt said...


al in la said...


Wile E. Chipotle said...

so. (I read all the way to that point.) Incidentally, Ketamine (aka 'Vitamin K') is also popular as a recreational drug. Think about that next time you're watching TV and lying in bed (or better yet, in an isolation tank), and...

al in la said...

Thanks, Wile!

You (and you alone "so" far) have validated my efforts. (and speaking of effort, what's up with YOUR blog?)

james said...


Let me be your 2nd validator. Your
work is always appreciated. And
thanks to Mrs. al.

Anonymous said...

Radosh who? Keep up the good work al in la! Ann H in SD likes the caps as much as ever! Maybe more. Don't tell Mrs. al in la. It will be just between us. Ann H

Anonymous said...

i easily adore your posting kind, very helpful,
don't give up and keep penning because it simply well worth to look through it.
excited to see alot more of your article content, stunning day :)

Anonymous said...

Ok? Who's late? You or the other guy? Dave

lee woo said...

A stale article, if you dip it in a good, warm, sunny smile, will go off better than a fresh one that you've scowled upon. see the link below for more info.


Vicky Joe said...

Life is a battle, if you don't know how to defend yourself then you'll end up being a loser. So, better take any challenges as your stepping stone to become a better person. Have fun, explore and make a lot of memories.

Blog Archive

al in la

My photo
Los Angeles, California, United States
BORN: Brooklyn RAISED: Staten Island WHERE AT NOW: Los Angeles, California WHY: We will one day know.