November 7, 2005

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #27

Seeking the worst possible caption for this week's New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest. Why was this parallel contest created? Click here. Why is this contest still necessary? Click here.

For the results of last week's contest click here and scroll down. And now, anti-caption contest #27 (using the New Yorker's numbering system). Submit your abominable captions in the comments.


My starter suggestions:

"Hey, there's a parrot on your shoulder."

"I told you carving 'Dd' in the corner of the conference table was a bad idea."

"Do you like seafood? See... food!"

Update: Results after the jump

"His parrot died over the weekend. I feel kind of bad for him, because his wife died last year." —mykull

"My heart says 'No' but my parrot says 'Yes'." —spinachdip

"I like tables! And parrots! I like guys in suits! I can put my fist in my mouth! I'm retarded! (Gunshot sound.)" —wendy

I'm still sorting out exactly what my criteria are for winning entries. Not that it should influence your submissions, but at least you'll know how I reach my totally meaningless decision each week. For starters, the winner and finalists have to make me laugh, but they're not necessarily the ones that make me laugh hardest. The edge is given to captions that: are not just generically bad, but aggressively misguided (see mykull, above); sound like they could be New Yorker cartoon captions, but are desparately unfunny and/or don't make sense (see spinachdip); sound as little like New Yorker cartoon captions as possible and/or include sound effects (see wendy).

What doesn't win? One popular strategy is to write a caption that willfully ignores the most important features of the illustration. I get it, but I tend to think that's just a little too easy. Still, the following submissions were all very close contenders:

"Jesus Christ, Higgins, that's the stupidest idea I've ever heard. Where'd you get your MBA? Loyola?" —TG Gibbon

"So she was all gettin' up in my face, and so I was like 'screw you bitch, if he's with you then why is he buying me a ice cream? Why don't you take your child support checks and go buy something that doesn't make you look like a fruit stand exploded.' How was *your* weekend?" —jamie

"Gary, get your fucking hand off my cock." —spanner

And once again, there's the too authentically funny captions. I guarantee this one will be better than whatever wins the real contest:

"I also thought he meant 'Bring a Parrot' literally." —gadi

Common themes:

Crackers, requests for

in coffee mug
on jacket
on newspaper
in response to word "paradigm"

Shaking, indication of by lines around figures

Flu, avian

Homosexuality, gratuitous references to

Jargon, corporate
while avoiding any mention of parrots

absence of
large size of

Past New Yorker cartoons, allusions to

Penises, parrots as metaphors for

parrots as companions of
capitalists as equivalents of
saying "aarrgh"
of Penzance

Yes men, parrots as metaphors for

Posted by Daniel Radosh


中文的危机分为两个字,一个意味 着危险,另外一个意味着机会。

"Yes, but you're the only one without a wooden leg."

"First Sarbanes-Oxley, now this new audit committee looking over our shoulders...pretty soon no one will want to serve on corporate boards any more."


"So what if Pfizer's bird flu vaccine is safer than ours? After what we spent on development, we're damn well putting it on the market."

I hate to step on anyone's joke, but could someone who reads Chinese (or is it Japanese?) please translate M's entry?

"You know what I hate? Woodcuts. Pirates and woodcuts."

"Did you see The New Yorker this week? I found their attempts to make light of avian flu to be in really questionable taste. Wait, I'm a crass businessman, I don't even read the New Yorker!"

"You know what's very big among hipsters right now? Pirates. It would be really funny if a bunch of powerful businessmen like us slavishly imitated trends of that sort. However, in the main we are uninterested in validation of that sort, preferring money and power as a means of measuring our self-worth!"

"Who do you think leaked Plame's name to Robert Novak?"

I told you the boss doesn't care about global warming.

Polly says "Tutti just pissed in your coffee."

I told you he wouldn't notice them.

"Did you just feel somethi - OH MY GOD, yes, IT'S AN EARTHQUAKE! We're all GONNA DIE!"

"Why does my bird shit on me every time you say the word 'paradigm'?"


"That's a bad place for your mug, Bob."


"Dad, Michael's bird is copying me again!"


"I did send you an agenda. You've got to stop lining her cage with the contents of your Inbox."

"Well, of course, AAAAAARRRRRRR!"

"No, Bill, you wear it on your left shoulder if you're straight."

"You know what I just noticed? I am the only person in this room with a mouth."

"'Looks like Polly finally got her cracker!' Like that? That was my Chris Rock impression!"

"Who's a pretty vice president? Who's a pretty vice president? You are. You are."

Babelfish tranlation of M's post: Chinese "the crisis" divides into two characters, meant danger, moreover meant opportunity

The vote is four 'aye', two 'nay', and five 'hello, hello'. The hello, hello's have it. Again.

I don't know, Orlando...I just feel that by signing on for this fourth Pirates Of The Carribean movie, I may have sold out!

I SAID SHUT THE FUCK UP, BOB!!! Do you think it would be possible JUST THIS ONCE for me to get through a single sentence without you interrupting?



"No, Jim. You're a Doody Head."

Profits are likely to fall once again this quarter. I propose we close factories in Tucson, Kansas City and Providence to make up the gap.

I find that, cracker or no cracker, it's pretty much the same.

"I'd tell you to be quiet so we can start the meeting, but I have no mouth."

"For the last time Jim, I am not paying for your dry cleaning. Your parrot shit on your jacket."

"Hey, look at us. We're riding a bunch of suits."

"Jesus Christ, Higgins, that's the stupidest idea I've ever heard. Where'd you get your MBA? Loyola?"

"If we don't allow anybody to work over 35 hours they aren't technically full time workers. We can reclassify them as consultants and stop paying benefits and putting into pension funds. To pick up the slack, then, we can actually hire more workers at 35 or fewer hours per week. Then we can tell the press that we are increasing our hires and still tell our shareholders we're cutting overhead. It's a slam-dunk win-win."

"Yes, I got the memo, no thanks to you, dickless."

"Heil Hitler!"

"You remind me of George Frederick Baer."

"Parrot? Oh, I thought you said 'carrot.'"

Our research indicates that, indeed, Polly does want a cracker.

"I'm sorry, but adding one parrotless white guy to the board does not equal 'diversity.'"

"Pardon me, my good man, but would you happen to have upon your person, perhaps, a saltine?"

"Nobody told me the fucking claws would hurt so much."

"Good god, why did you send me porn on company email? Are you trying to make me look like a jackass?"

"My heart says 'No' but my parrot says 'Yes'."

I still think tattooing 'Y-E-S' and 'M-E-N' on our knuckles would have gotten the point across more effectively.

It's the Parrot Code, Loomis. If someone of higher rank shows up at the meeting without his parrot, the lowest ranking employee present gives up his bird. So give it up, Loomis. Give up your bird. Now.

"The best cartoons often depict man side-by-side with his animal nature. For example, a table full of yes-men with parroting birds on their shoulders."

I like tables! And parrots! I like guys in suits! I can put my fist in my mouth! I'm retarded! (Gunshot sound.)

"If I weren't so fond of many of the other aspects of my job here, I'd quit."

"That is beyond the scope and sequence of this meeting!"

I also thought he meant "Bring a Parrot" literally.

I've thought about contacts, too, but the whole thing about putting something in my eye makes me squeamish.

I don't know Bob. All I had was coffee and a muffin but Polly says it smells like farm animals. Would you... you know, smell my breath.

"Does this whole parrot thing strike you as somewhat unorthodox?"

"Don't make any sudden moves or they'll peck your eyes out."

"All right, have it your way - you heard a parrot bark."

"Looks like Johnson forgot his parrot."

Is that your final answer?

"Gary, get your fucking hand off my cock."

"Look, no one likes outsourcing but it has to be done."

"Chicks totally dig the bird."

"Sorry Bob, I'm going to have to side with Pluck-Pluck on this one."

"At least now we get free saltines."

And, last but definitely the worst --
"I for one welcome our new avian overlords."

"If you can't train your fucking bird to follow Robert's Rules of Order, maybe you don't belong on this board!"

"I think I have a migraine. I keep seeing these faint auras around everything."

"I had this crazy dream last night where I wasn't wearing my parrot or my pants."

"It's really a pretty strange coincidence that all of our cell-phone-induced tumors look like parrots."

"So she was all gettin' up in my face, and so I was like 'screw you bitch, if he's with you then why is he buying me a ice cream? Why don't you take your child support checks and go buy something that doesn't make you look like a fruit stand exploded.' How was *your* weekend?"
"No way Kurt Angle can take John Cena!"
"Canaries are often dispatched to coal mines to serve as warnings for unsafe conditions. These birds will alert us in case of earthquake, anthrax attack or another case of Thompson's SBD 'friendly fire'."

I heard you the first two times-
you two timing bastard.

I'm yelling because my hands are nailed to my knees

"Well, I hope you're happy, Winslow. Now they're all saying 'megadigm'."

"I don't particularly care for that mocking tone of yours."

"Because I don't like coffee."

"Wanna see my Ozzy Osbourne impression?"

"The air conditioning doesn't work on our side of the office."

"Take notes!"

"Say, did you ever notice that whenever we have a meeting here, all of us who are sitting down have parrots on their shoulders? What's up with that?"


"Did anybody hear about the monster truck accident at Carnegie Hall last night? That was me. I really hope that guy in the hospital doesn't die."
"It was either get a parrot or have my mouth erased. I chose parrot. Drew Dernavich is such a whimsical douchebag."
"For once, I'm speechless. Speechless and gay."

"I hate it when they mishear 'anal parrot'."

"SQWAK! Johnson's a douchebag! Johnson's a douchebag! SQWAK!"

"Why do I get the one that cries 'SKANK!'?"

"Don't blame me; I bought it for 'Shouts and Murmurs.'"

He may not have one, but he IS a corporate pirate king... and it is, it is a glorious thing to be a corporate pirate king!

"I have a mouth and a parrot on my shoulder! Let's just say, for posterity's sake, that the rest of these parrot-shouldered businessmen also have mouths! Why does the man who appears to be the boss have neither a mouth nor a parrot on his shoulder?!"

I'm not wearing any pants.

"I still think we should of sprung for the damn Bluetooth headsets."

Meanwhile back at Grokster Ltd....
"Anti-piracy. I'll show you bastards the meaning of anti-piracy!"

"Why are they doing this? Why are they doing this? They said when you got here, the whole thing started. Who are you? What are you? Where did you come from? I think you're the cause of all this. I think you're evil. EVIL!"

"Mostly we just repeat after the boss."

"Why do our meetings always descend into pandemonium?"

"It's not that comlex, Terry! If my bird shits first, I kill YOU, and so on around the table. Mark is sitting this one out because he's Jewish... and a total pussy."

"It's not that complex, Terry! If my bird shits first, I kill YOU, and so on around the table. Mark is sitting this one out because he's Jewish... and a total pussy."

"Don't complain. Last month it was starving children."


"AARGH" "AARGH" "AARGH" "AAAARGH" "AAAAAAARGH - That is fucking brilliant. You were right, we have been wasting our time here". "AAARGH"

"What happened to us man? What happened? All we've got left are the parrots. We've forgotten who we are. Fuck that. I'm going to grow back my beard and find me someone to stab RIGHT FUCKING NOW."

"Only gayheads have parrots on their left shoulders. Gayhead."

"The minutes are approved as read, then."

Anyone else know why did these parrots scooped us off the street and brought us here?

"Where the hell did you get *that* thing?"
"Fisher Business College, awk! There are *millions* of them!"

"Fine. I was the one who farted. Happy?"


The vote to eradicate the company's parrot habitat passed by only a slim margin.

"I hate Halloween. I knew I should have gone with the skeleton costume."

"Calm the hell down, Johnson. I'll rub one out for you just as soon as I'm done. God, you're so fucking gay."

"Sorry I'm late, I had to beat my wife. Say, did anyone catch that "King of Queens" last night? Pretty funny."

No, this is Prioniturus flavicans. Prioniturus montanus has a bluish tinge to the plumage on the front of the crown and the cheeks.

"I've always found 'The Pirates of Penzance' to be overrated."

"I don't think these birds on our shoulders look like Penguins at all, do you?"

If you're ever in doubt, just agree with the boss. If you don't, he'll make that bird eat your flesh.

I like the child at him. Piffle!

"goddamn cats keep pissing on the rug again."

"Hey Niles, can i ask you something? Is this the kool shoulder or is this the gay shoulder?"

Fuck you and the fucking parrot that you flew in on. So your wings are tired, that joke never gets fucking old does it? Pootbreath.


Okay, so the trial operation to remove our conjoined twins from our shoulders was a partial success. The bad news is that they transplanted their brains into parrots, and those parrots are still attached to our shoulders through these suits that we somehow forgot to take off before the operation. The good news is that our chances of getting laid are now increased. The other bad news is that Bentley's conjoined twin-parrot died of complications. The good news is, can we go get laid now?

"God, my hemorrhoids itch." "Those aren't hemorrhoids, Jim. They're anal warts, a very serious condition. You should see your doctor."

"For the last time Simpson, my parrot is bigger than your parrot, dammit!"

"Do you think when we birdied that hole back there they took us too literally?"

"So a pirate walks into a bar..."

"Why the fuck do we all have parrots on our shoulders?"

"He's forgotten his parrot for the last time, page security ASAP!"

No, she doesn't want a cracker; we're on South Beach.

See, the plan is that if we contract bird flu from these Norwegian Parrots while we have the strain of the flu that we've just been infected with, it will mutate into a new form of the flu that they're unable to cure, resulting in the unfortunate deaths of millions, and causing worldwide panic and mayhem. Anti-bird sentiment will run high. We will then be able to procure government funding for the Bird Killing Robotic Ultra Marine Suits we've developed and take over the world! And not even that pesky Darkwing Duck will be able to stop us.

You can't call dibs on being patient zero, Gene. I mean, if you really want to get technical about it, I was the first one to feel feverish.

"And then Teri in PR called me an idiot."

"We're all fired."

Would it kill you to bring your own paper for once?

Yes, Lawrence, I too fully comprehend the irony of this situation.

My bad.

I could too get my fist in my mouth. Is he looking? I'm so fired.

My bad.

That's why they call it 'Crackberry.'

"I once had a cat, but it kept getting sick, so my mom shaved it."

"I don't have eyeballs either. But at least we have glasses."

"Actually, bird shit tastes nothing like wine. It tastes like shit, as you would expect."

"Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!"

"The parrot on you shoulder isn't nearly as ugly as that hideous mole on your chin."

"I just thought of a killer caption for last week's New Yorker Anti-Caption Contest. Can I still post it? Should I post it here, or under the original entry?

"This isn't a caption, though. Just a comment. Oh, fuck it: Go ahead and use it as a caption, too."

Cracker? I barely even know her.

Remember the end of Ghost Dog?

Weird, we are all wearing suits.

Aarrgh, yourself, matey.

I don't want an argument about this. What you are discussing is outside the remit of this meeting. Frank, make sure this isn't included in the minutes. Can we please stick to the agenda? Otherwise we're just wasting time with digressions. Thank you so much.
Thanks for gracing us with your presence, Al. This meeting was scheduled to start at 2 o'clock. It's now ten minutes - no, eleven minutes - past two. So this meeting is now going to conclude eleven minutes late. That's eleven minutes I sure as hell can't spare; that's eleven minutes that I know David can't spare, and that's eleven minutes that Neil, Paul and Jeff can't spare. In future, can we please have a little bit of respect for each other by turning up on time?
It's not my responsibility, Patrick - it's yours. Well, you may say that, but let's look at what the minutes of the last meeting say. Here we are, page four: "Patrick to call paper suppliers to investigate possibility of bulk discount". Unless there's another Patrick in this room, that looks like your responsibility. People, can we come to these meetings prepared? Otherwise the whole thing is a waste of time.
Okay, it looks like this meeting has run its course. Is there any other business? No? Okay, I declare this meeting closed.

Don't come to the meeting all like: "Hey, you've got a parrot on your shoulder". Guess what - you've got a parrot on your shoulder, too.

Jones, where's your agenda? Did you leave it in the bathroom when we were fucking?

"I know you farted, don't try to blame it on the parrot..."

"I don't want you coming out of the can with just your dick in your hand..."

"So I told her it wasn't lipstick, I had spilled some merlot, and I think she bought it!"

Polly's going for jamie's "Paradigm" line. I like "parrotless white guy". Has Tutti finished the chinese translation software?

I'll be speaking for Mr. Bixley this morning, as he's left both his parrot and his mouth at home.

I quote Robert the Pirate's Rules: Article 5 Paragraph 1.
"...in the event that the chair or presiding officer has no parrot the chair must speak with his mouth. In the event that his mouth is missing or inanimate the member on his immediate left takes the floor..."

"...so she was all like 'step off biatch' and I was all like, 'Oh no you di'int!!'..."

"Where's the bossman's parrot, Todd? Some "pirate", doesn't even show up with a fucking bird..."
"Shhhh!!! Lower your voice. The boss doesn't have a parrot, he has a rooster. Its probably out cock fighting right now."
"No shit? The boss prefers cocks?"
"Yeah, you didn't know that? He's a butt pirate..."

Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

We all have black hair, and glasses and suits on. And penises.

Go ahead, shove your cock in my mouth. I fucking dare you.

Stop playing footsie with me, I'm not your son.

See that guy to my right? I think he wants us to stop talking and pay attention.

You probably want to move that coffee cup.

"The boss is shaking in anger...probably because of these PARROTS!"


"We're all shaking in excitement...because of these PARROTS!"


"I caught AIDS...from this PARROT!"


"The coffee mug is placed, rather precariously, underneath the parrot's anus, where it is at risk for being sullied with bird feces. Did the cartoonist do this on purpose, to afford the caption writer a greater opportunity for humor, or was it a subconscious act? A move of the pen informed by the silent and invisible muse? This is the mystery of art."


"Parrots, capitalism, something something, pirates, the boss doesnt have a parrot, dont let the parrot shit in your cup of coffee, going about our business as if the parrots arent there."

My parrot smells like pretzels. Does anyone else's, or is it just me?

"His parrot died over the weekend. I feel kind of bad for him, because his wife died last year."

These birds do not fear us.

"You know, this firm really could use more diversity."

"So, are the birds supposed to be, like, symbols of penises or something? Otherwise, I don't think this cartoon is going to be very funny."

"If that bird squawks 'zeitgeist'in a sentence one more time, I'm gonna blow."

"He's looking at us as if it's not 'bring-a-pirate's-sex-toy-to-work' day. Isn't it 'bring-a-pirate's-sex-toy-to-work' day?

Man: The first rule of Parrot Club is, you do not talk about Parrot Club.
His parrot: The first rule of Parrot Club is, you do not talk about Parrot Club.

Is it just me or is this table endless?

Sure, I've got a purty mouth. He's got a purty beak. So what?

"Why do you keep singing 'Funkytown'? I just don't see how that's relevant."

"First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is another fucking parrot."

I said carrier pigeons, dammit.

Three of us have parrots on our right shoulders and two have parrots on their left shoulders.

Yeah, I fucked it. What's it to you?

"Sure, they repeat everything without understanding most of it. But say what you will about bloggers, at least they don't shit on your suit."

don't you think it's a little weird that everyone has a parrot on his shoulder except for higgins?

you heard him correctly. the parrot goes onto your right shoulder!

i've never seen you wear glasses before.


Oh, sure. Don't ask anybody else if they'd like coffee.

For the last time, it's not a parrot it's a fucking macaw, you asshole.

The new "Jimmy Buffet" casual Fridays thing is working really well.

Even-numbered day, RIGHT shoulder. Can't you do anything correctly?


"Pining for the fjords!?! What kind of talk is this?"

"And why again do you think our acquisition of Nabisco is such a bad idea?"

"Two syllab.. 'max', Barthol.... ! You'll make my bird dizzy !"

"You do the math, 'genius' ! What's the odds [yawn] of 'Amazonia polyglottis', pow, dead just like that on any one {yawn} day ?!"

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