March 13, 2006

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #42

Submit the worst possible caption for this week's New Yorker cartoon. Click here for last week's results. Click here for an introduction and "rules" to this contest. Click here for amplification of those rules. Click here for contest index.


Pressed for time this morning, I'm taking the lazy way out for my starter craption:

"No, Thursday's out. How about never — is never good for you?"

Sky is falling update: Holy cats, people! Someone has submitted a genuinely funny (or at least clever) caption in real contest #40 (woman in bed with snow globe): “I think the Manhattan skyline is getting suspicious.”

I think this marks the first time since I started the anti-caption contest that I've liked one of their entries more than any of ours. Bet it doesn't win.

Results after the jump

"Human Resources? Yes, I think you accidently gave me Tookie's chair." —Owen

"Yes, this is Mr. Allegory-for-White-Collar-Futility speaking. Hmm? What? No, it's a Greek name." —toothychum

"Let me call you you back, I'm 'currently' occupied." —david s

Posted by Daniel Radosh


"I just can't live in a world where Bush hasn't been impeached."

The governor distinctly said he'd be back. When are you expecting him?

"Oooooohkay... so I've jammed the tiny swizzle sticks into my pupils... hurts like hell, but I'm maintaining a stoic expression... now what?"

"Hello, tech support? Yes, I'm having a problem with my desk blotter. It's supposed to be rectangular, but it's trapezoidal, and growing ever more so by the moment. What? Yes, I'll hold."

"Yes, I've always hated bring your antiquated execution device to work day as well."

"I haven't had to do this since I pleged DKE."

"If at all possible, I'd like to get a phone with numbers on the buttons. I need to call my lawyer."

"I wanted to be a concert pianist, but damn these tiny hands!"

Predicted real-life winner: "This paperwork is killing me."

"Good afternoon Warden's Office. Oh, hi, Governor, no he's not in right now, may I take a message? No, you sure? Okay, well, I'll tell hijm you called. Have a nice day. Oh, wait, just out of curiosity, was this call about me? Oh, okay. Bye."

"Dracula! you crazy bastard, how the hell are you?"

"Hey, Dad, just wanted to let you know you were right. Yeah, apparently _very_ illegal, go figure. Anyway, can you put Mom back on?"

"Yes, I think I would like to opt into the company life insurance plan after all."

"I can't talk right now, I'm about to be executed."

"OWW OWW! These nails in my eyes hurt! OWW!"

"..extra cheese, and dipping sauce. How soon can you get it here? 30 minutes or it's free? Ok, perfect, thanks."

"So my work is having me executed for carving my name in the floor. Total assholes. Oh, I gotta go, my boss is coming."

"Can you believe I'm the only one who showed up today with a funny hat? Oh shit, funny hat day was supposed to be Friday. No wonder everyone looked at me like that. I dragged this huge chair on the subway with me for nothing."

"This job is pretty easy, I just have to read these two pieces of paper all day. I think I'll be coming home early tonight."

"I agreed to be hooked up to this brain scanner so that when I call customer support you'll already know who I am. Why do I still have to give my account number to eight different people every time I call?"

"Office Services? This is Johnson. I'm calling to apologize for making fun of you last week. Now could I have my regular chair and computer back? Or, if not that, could you at least give me some pens?"

"If they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire."

"I keep telling you: I'm a mime. A MIME."

"Alice Cooper Enterprises, how may I direct your call?"

"You want it WHEN?!"

"Yeah, so I don't think Duke will do - YOWWWWW! Jesus! Some kind of tentacle-plunger thing just clamped onto my head! And you don't even wanna hear what it's doing to my rectum!!!! Aw, christ!!! ...Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, I don't think Duke is gonna..."

So, yeah, my new office does not have any windows, just as we predicted. And the chair is *not* comfortable.

Yes, your dandruff vacuum was my favorite gift this year, grandma. It clipped right on the back of the chair. Really outstanding gift. Thank you. So much.

"Office of the Execute Director, how may I help you?"

"No can do today. At one, we have a staff meeting; at three, my performance review; at four, they're sending me to HR and right at five ten thousand volts will shoot through me convulsing every muscle in my body, boiling the liquid in my eyeballs, and filling the room with the smell of burnt hair and defecation. How's tomorrow at 10?"

"Bob? I have my head stuck in the lamp. Shut up, it's not funny, just get over here."

"The enforcement of this 'clean desk policy' is simply untenable."

"They're either going to unhook this thing, or I swear to God, I start abusing the sick leave policy."

"This concept drift is a real headache."

"Fashion police? I'm calling to turn myself in."

"Nope, still not an 'iPod-killer', I'm afraid. Keep trying."

"Suicide hotine. How may I help you?"

Ok, so i've written the note. What do i do now?...mmhmm... Oh, but i'm already strapped in. Shit, now i have to start over. Can i speak to your supervisor?

Okay, the BIG THREE:

"You've reached 976-SHOCKER, the only phone sex line in Minnesota that promises pleasure and pain TO THE EXTREME for only $3.99 per minute. My name is Brian. I have already inserted tacks into my eyes, and these are free of charge. Shall we get to know each other or skip right to the electrocution?"

"Hi, Doctor Kevorkian? It's Robert-François Damiens, we met at your office the other day. Yep, TMJ. Yeah... No, it's not helping."

"According to this TPF report, the organization has observed increased utilities costs in the last fiscal year, and somehow _my_ name made it into the memo?"

"Good afternoon and thank you for calling. For quality assurance, this call and any and all thoughts, feelings, perceptions or other neurological stimuli I may have connected with it will be monitored."

"Mr. Gaultier's office. Who may I say is calling?"

"The good news is that I got an office instead of a cubicle. The bad news is that I got a dislocated shoulder."

"I am being sentenced to death for dropping a monster truck onto a stage of musicians."

"Are you calling from that church/bar down the street? Ok, I'll be there in a minute. Oh wait, no I won't."

This is an accurate drawing of working conditions here at the secret North Korean cartoon captioning facility. The desk surfaces are irregularly shaped and slope awkwardly away from our laps. The telephones connect only to political re-education tapes and are glued to our heads. A large adhesive pad keeps our left elbows and forearms glued to the desks. Those who misbehave or fail to fill their quota of two pages of captions per day have the ends of their fingers severed. Oh yeah, and there's the electric helmets.

I'm sorry, you have the wrong number......very wrong.

Let me call you you back, I'm 'currently' occupied.

This exercise machine I ordered doesn't work at all. It doesn't even look like what the model used on the infomercial. Do I have to pay the shipping to send it back, or ....

"Hello, Ho West? I'm looking for a Bob Anderson. He's about 35, snappy dresser, likes Al Gore. Hmm? umm.. He's also a minotaur."

"I just can't go on since finding my wife in bed with that snow globe."

"I want to kill myself because I don't have a cute bunny suit like Kevin or a baby like Phil."

"Shut up, me, everyone knows my hat is a clip on."

"I can't pay my bills and the doc is sending this spy to beat me up, but when he finds me I'll already be dead."

"I'm killing myself to escape my past-life creditors, once as a hut-dweller I bought a Dyson from a traveling salesman."

"I am filled with remorse since my snake ate my girlfriend."

"Everyone likes that dancing dog better than me."

"That one about the church bar was desperately unfunny."

"I fly naked. I don't deserve to live."

"I have nothing funny to say about the one where they interviewed the clothes."

"Picard! Spock! Kirk! Uhura! Geordi! Data! I've killed you all! Noooooooooo"

"The hold music is Pimp My Ride of the Valkries"

"There was also that one with the president and the chart. Oh, now I'm dying"

"Well, isn't THIS funny."

"Oh, dread, it's upmmmmmmmmmmffffffffff."

"I made a killing on that last sale...an execution-style killing."

"Yes, this is Mr. Allegory-for-White-Collar-Futility speaking. Hmm? What? No, it's a Greek name."

"The contact points must be dirty ... just click it up and down a few times.”

That's Radosh, R-A-D-O-S-H. Right. OK, well I hooked it up and have been plugged in all morning, but I'm still thinking about Huckapoo, oh I don't know, at least eight or nine times a minute.

Look, Mom, you know I'm wearing it, now if you don't let me get back to work, I swear to God I'll throw the switch!

Buy... buy... sell... buy... sell... sell... wait, wait, wait... sell... buy...

What do you mean, "how do I feel about that?" I feel like fuckin' killing myself! That's how I feel about that. Jesus Christ, I pay you $300 an hour and can't even get an office visit. Want to know how I feel about that?

"It's a rather ticklish situation. Tell him it's the governor."


"This job is killing me.

"Dolores? I need more pencils. And quickly."

"Yeah, this hat might look a little crazy, but the secretary absolutely refuses to blow me under my desk unless I'm wearing it."

"Don't turn on the chair yet...I'm writing a letter apologizing to my mom for killing most of her family. I think it is my right."

So anyway, I drew this picture about how I feel. I guess it's just like I go into work every day, push paper around, talk on the phone, have lunch, talk to co-workers, go home, slam some hot pockets in the microwave, go watch sports and go to bed. And the next day its the same again. That? That's meant to be, like, an electric chair. That's how I feel when I'm getting the blame for something that's someone else's fault, only they're too cunning to take the blame for it. Yeah, those are tears. Because I feel sad about it.

"Ohhhh! The head of the PENIS! I feel like a total idiot. Thanks, and sorry to have bothered you."

"No, I'm an underpaid lab assistant at this prestigious institution. The venerable professor under whom I work and to whom you wish to speak is not in. I am posing as he, however and could TRY to assist you."

"Dammit, I told you not to call me at work! I've got a meeting in five goddamn minutes, and I don't need to be hearing about the kid's goddamn braces right now. Just take care of it! Fine!"

He probably just smells my gas chamber.

Yes Mr. President, I am well aware of what happens to those deemed disloyal.

Actually, Timmy, that's a common misconception. Electric chairs use high CURRENT, not high VOLTAGE.

Why is there an "out-box" shaped like a coffin outside of my office?

"I've decided to live every day as if it were my last."

"Is this physical services? You sent me the wrong chair. This one doesn't swivel."

"What? Oh, sure, I can keep Thursday free - I'll be dead."

"No, mom, I want it to be a surprise. Just trust me - look at the Metro secton in the paper tomorrow morning."

I know it's not politically correct to ask my secretary to bring me coffee, but when I said it would be nice to start the day with a little juice at my desk, the bitch got nasty.

Okay, then...just give me a call back when I do have full rights over my own body and destiny without the interference of a government that claims to be separate from the church.

On the other hand, you could be hit by a bus just crossing the street.

(DEAR Fellow "radosh" folks:
Please rate the following as stupid /funny/not funny/pretty darn funny/funny, but not `funny ha-ha/slightly amusing)

"The warden asured me I could work on my appeal right up until the end."

"I am sorry if I seem pushy, but believe me, I am under enormous pressure to close this sale."

"Can I put you on hold? I have idea waiting."

"Go ahead. But there's really nothing you can say that will shock me."

Al in LA:

None are terrible, but none are "anti-caption" funny. The "anti-caption" should illustrate the fallacy of a cartoon caption contest (bizarre drawn images are paradoxically not conducive to truly funny captions), preferably in a way that would be unprintable in the New Yorker. Yours are all viable actual entries, but none are strong enough to be finalists. Your captions EXPLAIN the image, but aren't unexpected in terms of explanation or wording enough to hit you in the gut.

Hope this doesn't come off as obnoxious...Seems like you genuinely wanted feedback!

Thanks Trout!

Far from being obnoxious, your comments are very eye opening.

Human Resources? Yes, I think you accidently gave me Tookie's chair.

I don't know why everybody keeps say Wenner is that terrible of a boss?

can I take a rain check? I'm fried

[ If Jake's Huckapoo caption doesn't win, I'm launching a recall petition. ]

...One surefire way to keep the boss off your back is to always look busy...

"Craig T. Nelson is OK. He has friends. They live in his hair. They are lice. Hello? Hello?! Your voice is like a busy signal. Would you like to buy some ideas? Craig T. Nelson is OK. Stop talking and listen to me! Buzz--Buzz--Buzz--Buzz--Craig--T.--Nelson--is--OK."

"Hi...is this ACME enterprises? There is something wrong with my Suck-N-Cut."

"Don't care how! I want it now!"

I should really fix this lamp so people don't think I am in an electric chair.

It's OK if the moo-shu pork arrives cold. I can always heat it up in my mouth.

I'm charging my cell phone by thinking of you naked.

See, I do want to still be in the office on my deathbed!!

My head itches.

I'd like the largest Slurpee you have. Brain freeze is no longer an issue.

Ooooh, brain fart! No worries, it's ventilated.

Hello, customer service? I ordered the Aeron chair, not the Enron chair.

Cartoon department. Vey speaking.

The tribe has spoken. It's time for me to go.

"My pate smells scorchy."

"I'm sorry, Remnick, for the life of me I can't think of a good caption. Just toss it into your damn contest."

Uh, maybe it isn't such a good idea to have this thing hooked up to the 'Clapper.'

“I'm about to be electrocuted...and yet I've got a desk and a blotter and I'm wearing a shirt and tie and talking with a New Yorker editor on a phone that's askew. No doubt about it: This is yet another senseless execution. Argggggh!”

“Okay, okay. I’ve finished writing ‘I will never again publish a cartoon of Muhammad’ 100 times. Thank you so much for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

“Okay, okay. You’ve persuaded me to sign the confessions. Now will you let me leave Syria and return to my wife and children in Canada? It’s been a whole year.”

“Go ahead, Nick. Just find a way to finish the damn thing and move on. You'll be fine. And if any problems come up, I'll take care of you.”

“I wonder if someday this cartoon will be embraced by death row inmates around the world.”

“If you can't deliver that pizza in seventeen minutes, consider my order cancelled.”

“Rebbe, is there really such a thing as a 2000-volt metal yarmulke?”

"You know the Sword of Damocles? Well, it's like that."

“Yes, I’m wearing a diaper. Funny you should ask.”

I'm sorry, I can't help you. I'm about to be electrocuted in an electric chair while sitting in my office where I work.

I think I forgot to take my meds.

"I just can't stress enough how vital it is that you meet this deadline, Findley!"

"What do you mean 'you forgot to pay the power bill!?'"

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