Thursday, August 18, 2011

RESULTS: The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #298

NOTE: A tsunami-like wave of horrifying word play prompted an emergency rule change for this contest. With my head on the verge of exploding, I unilaterally disqualified all entries that include any type of pun. I just did it. And I'm glad I did it. The unprecedented move instantly eliminated more than half the caps. Good riddance, I say. (But just to be clear, puns are welcome in all future contests. And just to be a hypocrite: I let a few slip in.) I was going to use a headline that said: Deluge of Puns Prompts Judge to Rein Them In" but I didn't want to lower myself to that level.

lso, there appears to be some issues with people posting under someone else's name. This is the equivalent of stealing candy from a deaf and blind, wheelchair-bound child who has very limited language skills. It is beyond pathetic. As you may or may not know: A blogger can trace the origin of every post and permanently ban any IP address. And yes I realize I could also get up at dawn and run five miles every day, but my point is this: using someone else's signature in an anti cap contest is like totally gross. So don't do it.


FIRST PLACE Corporate names for stadiums opened the door for branded players and Chef Boyardee served-up scoreless innings at Conagra Stadium ---Anonymous (JUDGE'S COMMENT: While "served up" may violate our temporary no pun rule, this is pretty insightful. Sponsorship money is the crack cocaine of sports. Also, few people could identify the company that cranks out the Chef Boyardee line of canned crap. The brand was founded in 1924 by Italian-American immigrant Ettor Boiardi. He created a dumbed-down version of his last name to placate Americans who are easily confused. He knew his audience, as do I.)
"Here at the East Rochester ERs we don't take kindly to 'colorful characters.' Capische?" --Kathy H
(JUDGE'S COMMENT: This may or may not have been entered by Kathy H. [She says some jerk is posting under her name] But the needless use of bold face and italics tells us this is the real deal. Also the only letters visible on the sign are "ER" and Rochester is an actual place so... )

THIRD PLACE "Ya know, I don't think Jamie McCourt has any fucking idea what we do here." --Frank (JUDGE'S COMMENT: This suggests that the estranged wife of the soon-to-be former owner of the local ball club here in L.A. is clueless about how to run a baseball team. Kind of sexist if you ask me. If Mrs al in la ran the Dodgers they would be in first place, parking would be free, fans could bring their dogs and walk them on the field after the game, and, oh yeah, there would be a special section in the stadium to accommodate medical marijuana users. )
HONORABLE MENTIONS "Pasquale here thinks we should chew tobacco family style."-- Miss Translation (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Although tobacco chewing is disgusting, this cap isn't as repulsive as it may first appear. They could be passing around a pouch of chew for teammates to share. Like many things that are uncouth -- rooting for the Red Sox and urinating in public come to mind -- it's not quite as offensive if everyone is doing it.)

Cookie, the winner of the omelet flipping contest can't sit in the dugout. --The Chexx Mixx KiddSorry (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Minor league ball parks have contests like this. Cookie is a well established name for a cook. So this makes sense. )
"It's a ball park, Frank."--Hot Dog, Hold the Pun (JUDGE'S COMMENT: The signature suggests that the writer respects the temporary rule change so I don't care what the cap says. Also Dodger Dogs are completely overrated and overpriced. Luckily Mrs al in la makes tuna sandwiches that are to die for.)
we got a real pressure cooker here.Holy cow , I think he's gonna make it! --M.Loaf (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Stop right there! This mis-quotes the memorable voiceover supplied by former Yankee announcer Phil Rizzuto in the Meat Loaf song "Paradise By The Dashboard Light." The only plus is it looks like this cap was written in haste. )
"Horse! Lou Gehrig was the IRON HORSE!"--Bev (JUDGE'S COMMENT: It took a few seconds but, yeah, I get it. "Iron Horse" as opposed to the "Iron Chef." Ex-Red Sox and World Series blower, Bill Buckner, was often called the "Iron Horse's Ass" but that was years ago.)
"So from now on we're the Chefs. I'm tired of dealing with those fucking Indian groups."--Bev (JUDGE'S COMMENT: This is comment on political correctness run a muck. In fairness, the Cleveland Indians never made any of its players don a head dress and war paint. Also the Braves long ago retired Chief Noc-A-Homa. To no one's surprise, as a young sports writter I once wrote Kansas City Chef's instead of Chiefs. Everyone (except my boss) laughed and laughed. So this kind of hit home.)
Mets manager Terry Collins, his team riddled with more injuries, contemplates playing the rest of the season with four players. Said Collins, "It's all hands on deck now." --Anonymouse (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Are they still playing baseball? I thought it was pre-season football season. Let's go Jets!)
"Oh crap, I didn't know I was managing in a fantasy baseball league." --Anonymous (JUDGE'S COMMENT: This would be a lot better if it was not a chef in the dugout but, say, a Victoria's Secret model wearing a black lace teddy, her long chestnut brown hair flowing in the gentle breeze as she softly calls to you. Just sayin.) "Hobbs here is gonna show us his sixteen year old cheese."--Dan (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Yes, once again a pun slips through [cheese refers to a fastball]. Still, you can almost hear Willford Brimley's cranky voice as skipper of the NY Knights.)

"You certainly braised the third base coach there. I mean, he couldn't have cast iron that coming! You just can't spatula a ground-rule double after that kind of flambé. Ha!"--guy who mistakenly thinks puns are just topical words that have additional emphasis (JUDGE'S COMMENT: The caption is confusing but I suspect I am being ridiculed. What really hurts is I'm not sure.)
Trying to be more empathetic, but still failing to master grammar, coach wondered how Gary, chef, feeled. --Sam Antic.

"Hey, are you related to former Brewer, Padre, Marlin, Dodger, Brave, Yankee, Tiger and Met Gary Chef-field?"-- Anonymouse
"Field-Cheffy, you crazy baster, How are you?"-- Sue Feely (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Mainly because I never liked Gary Sheffield, lets dispense with these three caps with one comment. The first is pretty good, the second is pedestrian and the third is a variation on a classic but is still really terrible. The player nicknamed "Chef" is easily recalled because some dumb ass fans used to wear chef's hats when he was at bat. A great player with more then 500 HRs, but the reason he played on eight different teams is that he was also a self absorbed arrogant prima donnna who was hated by his teammates. And, yes, I realize the three caps posted here are based on puns, I just wanted to unload on this jerk who finished his career dogging it in the outfield for the Mets.)

"This dugout is fine now but where is everyone going to sit when we're at bat?"-- David Macharelli (JUDGE'S COMMENT: It is baffling to see a dugout with such a tiny seating capacity. Also, did you notice that the rail in front of the dugout is like six inches off the ground? One begins to suspect the cartoonist is a Chardonnay sipping Upper West Side elitist who believes it is a point of honor to know nothing about major league sports. I can't stand people like that.)
"Boys, we've acquired Aaron Cook from the Rockies."--Jim Cavanaugh (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Cook briefly played for the Mets, so I too thought he could be fodder for a cap. What I briefly considered was a cap that simply said, "Okay Cook, get in there." The word "Cook' would provide a link to the Aaron Cook's player bio. [Funny, no?] Then I remembered that I hate captions with links [except for yours Kathy H.] and resent Cook, a so-so player, for having a first name that is also the last name of the immortal Hank Aaron.) UPDATE: D'oh! It was not Arron Cook who played for the Mets but Dennis Cook. Either way, the Met's goose is cooked.
"I understand that he has a broken heart, but have you met Jackie Paper? He's a dick"--Sam Antic (JUDGE'S COMMENT: A mean spirited reference to the classic Peter Paul & Mary song "Puff The Magic Dragon." Jackie is the little boy who loved that rascal "puff." Sam is a poo-poo face.)
"Batali, you crazy bastard! How the heck are you?"--Jim Cavanaugh (JUDGE'S COMMENT: This was followed by an entry that said: "The "batali" caption was posted by an imposter, you crazy bastards! Jim Cavanaugh" If that is true, this isn't nearly as good. Also, what the hell is "heck" doing here? )
Ted Lilly, you crazy bastard! How are you doing in culinary school?--The Real Jim Cavanaugh (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Lilly has appeared in the contest before. I am including this because I like Jimbo.)
"Caesy Stengel once told me that baseball was like cooking. And then he went off-message." A Few minutes later [...Casey Stengel, too...] --Tim H.

"O.K. Let's see how good your are. Get me a rubber band sandwich, and make it snappy!" A Few Minutes Later [ are...]--Tim H. (JUDGE'S COMMENT: The staff here at Anti-Cap HQ has been after me to deal with what they call "The Tim H. Issue." Every week it seems he posts a cap or two then has to go back after a few minutes to patch it up with a quick fix. In some ways it is impressive to see this type of conscientiousness. Also, to be honest, when I catch one of my many mistakes (see clever vs. cleaver), I can use my special blogger powers to fix it with out embarrassing myself the way Tim does week after painful week. Still, I don't want to alienate a reliable if not particularly talented Anti-Capper. So thanks Timmy, but lets be more careful, okay buddy?)
"If you're lookin' for fusilli, you'd better go back to from where you came." --Angus Podgorny (JUDGE'S COMMENT: " cause the cops don't need you and man they expect the same." From Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues." I often hear the last stanza of that song in my head:
I started out on burgundyBut soon hit the harder stuff
Everybody said they'd stand behind me
When the game got rough
But the joke was on me
There was nobody even there to bluff
I'm going back to New York City
I do believe I've had enough.

Than I recall the brutial winters, the wide-spread sense of dispare, and the homeless guy who puked on my shoes in the subway and suddenly hear Randy Newman's "I Love L.A." in my head. An inferior song, admidedly, but you get my drift.)


Sam Antic said...

Dear alinla -
Sometimes comedy genius cannot be contained, and occasionally a spectacularly brilliant caption breaks the barriers of the contest into which it was entered and simply gets considered for all contests. Such is the case with the Jackie Paper caption. While it is gut-wrenchingly witty and insightful when applied to the baseball chef cartoon (henceforth referred to as "the Boys of Supper"), it somehow becomes even more breathtakingly-clever when applied to the jilted-dragon-tearing-up-a-city cartoon, the contest into which it was actually entered. Thank you for recognizing genius.

Anonymouse said...

While Aaron Cook should be excoriated for his parents naming him after an immortal ballplayer -- knowing full well that they had a budding so-so player on their hands -- that particular Mr. Cook never played for my -- our -- beloved Mets.

Perhaps southpaw hurler Dennis Cook is the ex-Met in question, no?

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al in la

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