Speaking of entertainment purposes, I am writing this while watching the Oscars. I've never been a big fan, but my wife is glued to it. Says it's her "Super Bowl." So what am I gonna do? I find Oscar night more tedious than interesting (like the Pro Bowl, say). It's lengthy, sappy, predictable and self indulgent--which of course, describes the Anti-Caption Contest most weeks. In fact, the similarities between Oscar and the Anti-Cap are hard to ignore. Consider Robin Williams' lame joke about an Oscar after-party dubbed the Governor's Ball. It was, he said, "just one of many balls being held all over Hollywood tonight," He was making a crude double-entendre about a man's scrotum and perhaps a comment about either gay sex or the Hollywood power structure (maybe both). This is standard Anti-Cap fodder. In fact many of the jokes were juvenile and tasteless enough to be Anti-Caps. The Oscars may have full-length gowns and massive security, we have that crazy bastard Fusilli and the unflappable JohnnyB--underneath we are all the same.
As for the cartoon, I just want to say I found this image listless and unimaginative. A guy tooling around Rome in a convertible with over-sized roman numerals looming ahead--so freakin' what? I don't see irony. I don't see anything that lends itself to ridicule and sarcasm. With the exception of the Super Bowl and an occasional crossword clue, Roman numerals are almost completely irrelevant. My plea to New Yorker cartoonists--and believe me, this blog is a must read for them-- is simply this: give us something we can
Having said that, there were a few clever caps. Here are my picks along with my two-cents. I have made a slight change.
"So, I guess cost overruns killed this off-ramp."-- yangxiao (al in la's COMMENT: This cap made me think of New Jersey because it's riddled with corruption and the exits on the Turnpike are its most notable characteristic [like Mount Rushmore to S. Dakota]. I could see Jersey building huge and ridiculously overpriced exit signs. It's one of the few caps that took a stab at explaining why these big-ass numbers would be positioned along the road side. Nice work yang!)
"Andy Capp in Roman Holiday"-- Leah (al in la's COMMENT: The image also made me think of Andy Capp, an enduring cartoon stripe about a hard drinking, jobless Brit who also has a line of junk food. Capp's has been around since 1958 but at best it is only slightly funnier (and a few years older) than Family Circus. I guess that's Flo in the passenger seat.)
"Listen, when we get to IV just keep driving and don't even look at the girls." -- Brian L (JUDGE'S COMMENT: this is funny because Isla Vista, or IV, is the city where University of California Santa Barbara students live. It is known for its insane partying, property theft, and an insanely high STIs/person ratio.)-- Brian L (al in la's COMMENT: This is the first Cap in history that was submitted with a preemptive JUDGE'S COMMENT. As it happens, the comment truly does explain why the cap is witty and clever. I have no idea if the info is legit or if Brian is mocking me, but I was impressed.)
"Because VII VIII IX! Ha ha ha ha!"-- Glenn (al in la's COMMENT: This was explained to me by my wife. It's a riddle. Q: "Why was ten afraid?" A: "Because seven ate nine." It was one of sevral caps last week that required the reader to convert Roman numbers into the real numbers. My wife liked it [she also picked Sandra Bullock to win Best Actress.] I did find the "Ha, ha, ha, ha" a bit unnecessary. )
Well, that's another week of hard driving, but I suppose the prize will go to some pedestrian again.--Sorrel Loser (al in la's COMMENT: This is an inside joke aimed at expressing dissatisfaction with a previous winning Anti-Cap. [See? I'm following.] What I find hilarious is that the person submitting this thinks there is some kind of prize at stake.)
"I brought you to a couple of digits- do you mind?" -- LV
(Edit of above):"I brought you along a couple of digits- do you mind?" -- LV (al in la's COMMENT: This is, of course, a new take on the classic Anti-Cap, "I brought along a couple of midgets..." There is no "you" in the sentence, so LV managed to screwed it up both times. He deserves credit for his persistence.)
"Eleven. Exactly. One louder."-- Nigel Tufnel (al in la's COMMENT: A reference to the guitar amp in the classic film "This is Spinal Tap." I once again want to give credit to someone for thinking something that I was also thinking.)
The hours here are all I've seen.--JohnnyB (al in la's COMMENT: I'll buy it. I get the impression anything close to "obscene" is okay with JohnnyB.)
"We must have passed the XXX theater. Dammit!"-- Glenn (al in la's COMMENT: I saw three X's too, Glenn, but I thought adult book store. Are there really any adult theaters left?)
"Little known fact, Honey, the Romans stole their aqueduct plans from the Polish"
-- Stanley Kowalski (al in la's COMMENT: In honor of Oscar night, I too have a Polish joke: Q: How did the Polish actress try to get ahead in Hollywood? A: She fucked a writer." )
It's not exactly Canton, but all of the old Super Bowl numbers are retired here.
-- CRC (al in la's COMMENT: Very, very lame, but a lame cartoon gets what it deserves. I'll assume this is just CRC being passive aggressive.)
No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to I.-- JohnnyB (al in la's COMMENT: I floated "expect you to multiply" but this is not as bad as that. )
No, thanks, I just VIII.-- JohnnyB (al in la's COMMENT: Get it? It helps if you know VIII is "eight" and that "eight" sounds like "ate." Just another homophonic joke from JohnnyB.)
“Where do we XIT?”-- Rob (al in la's COMMENT: I would give this more respect if I knew for sure it was also a comment on this awful cartoon.)
Thought to self, "In more ways than one, I'm heading the wrong way for any double-D action."
-- LV (al in la's COMMENT: I believe double-D is a reference to large sized breasts--which are coveted by men in sports cars. Since he is driving toward the lower numbers, he is moving away from the Roman numeral "D" which, represents 500. Apparently the woman he is driving with either has normal sized breasts, or is adverse to having them fondled. So, the poor bastard behind the wheel is unlikely to see any "DD action." Here's the problem: D is 500 and M is 1,000, so for the sake of Roman numerals, there is no logical use of a "double D". It would be like saying VV instead of X. I don't want to be a jerk about it, but I do give this stuff some thought and I don't like to Google for no reason.)