December 11, 2006

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #79

Readers selected the worst possible caption for this New Yorker cartoon. Click here for details.


winner: "I heard that the bank put a lien on this place." —al in la

Posted by Daniel Radosh


"That's funny. I thought Fred was on vacation."

I'm never voting a straight surrealist ticket again.

"Christ, what an asshole."

"Unbelievable! How are wheelchair users supposed to cross this street without a curb cut?"

You should have seen it last week -- he put bars in the window to make it seem like a jail cell.

"I'm confused."

"It's been like this ever since the city lifted its ban on surrealism."

"And all this time I thought gravity only worked in one direction."

"The way it works is that there are only sparse patches of bricks, allowing the building to easily lay on its side."

"What beautiful flowers."

"The builder was a former emporer who laid on his side in a toga directing
his workers."

"I'm not going to bother. Why in the hell would they
want to buy awnings?"

"Penthouse, my ass!"

"Just as we thought. Red curtains. Christ, don't these people ever read their condo association bylaws? Oh, well, let's write up the citation."

"I've never understood why people just stare out of windows like that. Get a job, asshole!"

"As an aside, like me tell you that my sideline is sideswiping sidecars. Now, let's sidle off to the sidebar on the Lower East Side, where I've got inside information on a curbside sidearm distributor."

"I disagree. While the Fire Department could, in fact, reach a hose from the hydrant to the top FLOOR of this building quite easily, the top of the BUIDLING is clearly inaccessible. Which way is the Fire Code written? Oh, it does say 'top floor.' Okay, I guess they have us there."

"Man, that's gotta be the lamest urban mural I've ever seen."

"You know, you're right - the city really does look different when you see it from one of these moving sidewalks."

"We're actually standing on the wall, and that building is vertical. It's a clever optical illusion."

Does your incestuous twin lover know how hard you work to keep a wall over your heads?

"Looks like Johnson is falling down on the job again."

"How do they go to the bathroom in there?"

"Yeah, and you know what else is strange? I haven't seen a single car all morning."

"My ex-wife puts the whore in whore-izontal. Hey, look at this weird building."

"Yeah, the rent's high. But I get roof access!"

"Now there's someone who really isn't letting the still-extensive devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina get to them."

“They’re decals, actually, left over from the Koch administration. The building is landmarked, so the owner can’t take them down.”

"Do you need me to push that building back up for you?"

"Oh, for goodness' sake. Mr. Ward! Mr. West! Back on the sidewalk, please!"

"Well, it's nice to see that 'Thongs ' r ' Us' was able to get that corner location on the street level that they've been hankering for."

"That old man is hung like a horse."

"Smithers you idiot, I asked for an 'apartment listing,' not an 'apartment that's listing.' "

"I heard that the bank put a lien on this place."

"'Earthquake coverage, who needs that in Manhattan?' Who's laughing now, asshole?"

Is that Arnold Schwarzenegger's cock?

"Who cares about Schwarzenegger's cock? Everybody knows that back in the day he was a bottom."

"I know it's a bad rug, but I'm afraid if I don't wear it I'll be mistaken for TV's Richard Deacon more often than you are even."

"Suddenly I've an overwhelming desire to appreciate a glass of Sanford's 2002 estate-bottled Pinot Noir Van Gris."

"M.C. Escher, that's his favorite M.C."

"Ooh, two-ply pella windows. We put those in our beach house out on the island, cut the bill down by 23%."

I know it's odd, but you get used to Roosevelt Island after a while.

"Some huge chick from a previous cartoon knocked it over."

"I always said if the Upper West Side leaned any further to the left it could fall over."

I wish I could bring myself to care about this.

"Missed me!"

I've been seeing a woman on the side. She lives here.

"God, I hate Chelsea."

"Well, I'll have to think about it. The rent is fair and I like that it has a gym, but I still can't get over that it's 6 blocks from the nearest subway stop."

"Hey, I just noticed something really weird. Somebody has put black dots all over the street."

"Pay me the money, Mr. Swinbourne! You don't want to know what I'll do next time if I have to come back!"

I guess it's better than an empty lot, but I still think having the Public Art Fund spend $2 million on this was a waste of money.

Didn't that used to be a deli?

"Are you the fellas who called earlier, inquiring about the stuff in the window? The two surfboards and novelty rubber ice cream cones that'll stick to anything? Excuse my position. The twink I hired for the afternoon tied me upside down to the sex swing and then ran off with my valuables."

"Somehow this isn't what I pictured when I heard about the redesign of the Freedom Tower. It's rather depressing, and, as such, unfunny."

"Could you move about 3 feet closer? We can't hear you with all this traffic noise."

"That's the first concrete sign of the real estate market going sideways."

"All those douche bags who loved 'Sideways' are moving into these buildings."

"Funny you should ask. The main thing is, stay on the seat until you flush."

"Oh. I almost forgot - Gerard is an anti-Newtonist."

"Oh. I almost forgot - Gerard is an anti-Newtonist."

Do you think he's going to jump?

"God dammit. What will Al Qaeda think of next?"

"Excuse me sir-- where do you put your legs?"

"If I didn't know any better, I'd say that building, and everything in it, was sideways."

When a building falls in the city and no one is there to hear it, does it...wait, let's ask this guy.

That's impossible. Nobody can sit that close to a wall. Wait. Maybe he's a dwarf or an amputee. Yeah, that would make sense. I must say, it's a little disorienting.
I wish I didn't have such an eye for detail.

"We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. In your case, we were a bit heavy-handed with the horizontal. Sorry about that."

ok man, you distract the alien and I'll take the specimen flora and run back to the ship, just remember don't mention anything about gravity or he'll get suspicious.

Didn't that window have three plants in it last week? Awww, it must not have been doing so well, poor little thing.

"Here's the problem with your offer, Perkins. It's blatently obvious to me which rectangle is different from the other 3, and I've already had sex with your daughter."

It looks like Dick Cheney has vandalized another public street... Possibly out of protest to this sideways building.

Christ ... Frank Gehry is such an asshole.

Hey, look! It's Dr. Phil. No...wait. Maybe it's Jeffry Tambor. Christ, I can't tell those two apart.

"I think this is what they call 'art.'"

"Holy crap, that building is sideways!"

"This is the most desirable address in the city. Gravity is rotated 90 degrees inside the building, which is very unusual, but the real selling point is that there are absolutely no negroes living here."

Hey, Ed, how many dogs do you think have pissed on that fire hydrant? A thousand? Ten thousand? Jesus, Ed, I have to stop dropping acid, it's fucking me up, man...

"So it does matter how a contractor rolls out the blueprints."

"It's all to avoid Chinese food menus under the door."

"Hey, you know what this reminds me of? A cartoon I once saw in The New Yorker."

Excuse me sir, you can't park your RV there...

"I never thought I'd say this, but... standing on the sidewalk here gives me new respect for P.C. Vey's mastery of perspective."

(With apologies to Rubrick.)

"Yes, sir, you heard me correctly. Gutter Guards are guaranteed to keep your gutters free from debris, or your money back!"

"This building is a very attractive purchase -- only half the apartments are still rent stabilized, occupied by the same middle- and working-class tenants for over thirty years. You could easily get rid of them, make a few cosmetic changes, claim capital improvements and jack the rent up 500%. All it would take is a little ruthless harrassment, that is, burying them in specious eviction actions in New York City housing court which has become notoriously friendly toward corrupt landlords. At the same time you could claim you must make emergency repairs week after week thereby tearing things up and making their lives a living hell. If you decide to buy I can put you in touch with several soulless law firms that specialize in just this sort of thing. Obvious as these despicable tactics are, there really are no legal consequences to acting in such a completely unethical and immoral fashion. Word is out: it's Bloomberg time."

"I know Smithers always leaned a little to the right, but this is excessive."

Boy, they don't make 'em like that anymore.

"Too much tilt, not enough whirl."

Trompe l'oeil is SO last century.

I guess 'building up' is no longer an option.

My mother-in-law lived here. Until a house fell on her! Ha!

"Is this some kind of a joke?"

"It's actually a very tall building in Shanghai but the curvature of the Earth makes it look like it's sideways on East 21st Street."

"They never should have let Robert Moses redesign Pisa."

"This building has a great view of the sun sliding toward the verizon."

"It's built on an ancient cartoonists' burial ground."

Predicted real life winner: "My girlfriend doesn't understand my text messages."

I think I went to high school with that guy.

"Huh. Where's the door?"

"Dude, I'll bet if we unscrew this hydrant, that sideways asshole will get totally soaked!"

"Check out those windows. The apartments must have really low ceilings."

"I always get that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I have to walk past this hurricane toppled building. Not so much from the sheer devastation of it, but because the landlord is fucking my wife."

"I've isolated from any context that old bromide, 'It is no measure of good health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society,' and use it to rationalize my descent into alcohol- and drug-induced madness."

"They put all the walk-up windows at the wrong height."

"You mean you haven't spoken to your brother since he came out, I mean, switched orientation?"

"Something about this block gives me the creeps."

"An open first floor window is like an open invitation to thieves."

"The flowers here are obscene."

Seriously? Those flowers are made of silk?

"A few years ago. It was was a no-bid contract that went to Halliburton. Why do you ask?"

I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!

[Apologies to KG]

"Now this is what they call 'art.' ...though I don't know why they do, as his actual name is Jeremiah."

"Boy, this new automat leaves a LOT to be desired."

Hey, didn't there used to be quotation marks on this sidewalk?

"I hear some doctor tried to blow up the building in a suicide attempt, Oh, look. There he is now."

"Christ, you're such an obscene asshole, Timmy!"

"Your WHAT is stuck in the radiator?"

"So the way I heard it is that they actually starting constructing the building from the roof down and when they got close to the street they ran out of room. I don’t think they build them like that anymore."

"We're really not interested in playing golf, drinking fine wine, and enjoying some really good food. We're trying to get laid!"

You ever get the feeling God is just screwing with us?

This is what happens when you let teh gays marry.

"As with astronomy the difficulty of recognizing the motion of the earth lay in abandoning the immediate sensation of the earth's fixity and of the motion of the planets, so in history the difficulty of recognizing the subjection of personality to the laws of space, time, and cause lies in renouncing the direct feeling of the independence of one's own personality. But as in astronomy the new view said: 'It is true that we do not feel the movement of the earth, but by admitting its immobility we arrive at absurdity, while by admitting its motion (which we do not feel) we arrive at laws,' so also in history the new view says: 'It is true that we are not conscious of our dependence, but by admitting our free will we arrive at absurdity, while by admitting our dependence on the external world, on time, and on cause, we arrive at laws.' In the first case it was necessary to renounce the consciousness of an unreal immobility in space and to recognize a motion we did not feel; in the present case it is similarly necessary to renounce a freedom that does not exist, and to recognize a dependence of which we are not conscious."
[for David]

"Well I'll be. Turns out my ex-girlfriend can't fit a skyscraper up her ass sideways. Kudos to her for trying, though."

You know, they once filmed a movie here. When I saw it, if I hadn't know it was shot in Toronto, I would have sworn it was New York City. It's amazing what they can do these days.

"Well, it's a a nice enough neighborhood, but I wish they'd take those hot dogs off all the windows."





"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."

[Jesus, J, how about a spoiler alert? Christ.]

"Hmmm...you'd think that a town that had nice paved streets, decent sidewalks and a working fire hydrant would have more than two buildings."

All he wanted was a room somewhere far away from the cold night air with one enormous chair, and I'll be goddamned if he didn't find it.

As a recovering alcoholic, I shouldn't be exposed to this sort of thing. I once saw a building upside-down and I was blotto for a month or so.

Realty...reality, what's the difference? One lousy letter.

These anti-gravity shoes really work.

"This place was on the market forever. I can't believe they finally found a buyer who both loves to sit in windows, AND suffers from crippling earwax in the left ear."

"Say hello to Carl Gable. The New Yorker likes his view on things."

"Welcome to Curitiba."

"Well, we'd better figure out how to get in there soon -- these pamphlets and copies of 'The Watchtower' aren't going to distribute themselves."

"People said I was a fool to build it that way, and you know what? They were right."

"The way it works is, Nathan Lane lives on the ground floor, and he pulls focus from everything in the building toward himself."

"Y'know, things have been like this ever since Congress decreed that Newton's Theory of Gravitation can't be taught in schools."

As a newcomer to South Bend, the first thing worth knowing is we all revile and torment Quasimodovitz, the extreme sideways hunchback of Notre Dame. Specifically of Notre Dame's School of Special-Needs Architecture, where he is Associate Provost.

"Apology accepted"

"My wife sees everything in black and white. I want a divorce."

"Tell me again what you said about the union."

"Jesus, someone sure has scuffed up all these windowpanes. It's almost like they want them to look dirty!"

"It was a brilliant compromise between the city, which has deemed this a historic building, and the current tenants, who wanted to install vinyl sliding glass windows."

"What will they come up with next?"

"This building kind of annoys me. Aren't you glad we don't live in New Jersey?"

"His therapist says he's imagining it. And you wouldn't believe what she charges!"

"He sees the same therapist as my dog."

"What do you say we stop walking and just stand here gape-mouthed for a little while?"

"His contractor won't return his calls. I hear that's quite a common problem."

"Fucking hipsters."

"I don't believe in his right to marry."

"bin Laden has lost his fastball."

"We're looking for a little boy who's about 'yay' high, and his mother who's about 'yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy' high. Have you seen them?"

"Why is that guy staring at the fireplug?"

"The guy in the window? That's the guy who wrote that stupid song from a few years ago. You know the one: 'I get knocked down/I get up again/No one's gonna knock me down...' I guess this is his day off."

"Double-hung windows have always been a mystery to me."

"So then, is this still a sidewalk?"

"Weird. Sideways building. I'd think I was dreaming if it wasn't for the fact that none of us are naked. Everyone's always naked in my dreams. Especially the kiddies."

"Did you ever notice that plaque on the side of the building? It reads: 'This is the site of the first prototype for the game show "The Hollywood Squares" (A.D. 1965)' "

TG Gibbon, feel free to submit "Is this some kind of joke?" every week from now on. It'll have my vote.

"If you're going to masturbate could you at least step away from the window so we don't have to see you do it."

"Sideways House--best tourist attraction in the city, my ass! It's a good thing we loaded up these briefcases with violent hardcore pornography, or I don't know what we'd be doing for the next thirty-five minutes until the tram comes back."

Sir, we are the secret service, you are under arrest for breaking the laws of physics.

"Those design-on-a-dime creeps must be in the neighborhood."

"And this is Frank Lloyd Wright on drugs. Any questions?"

"He's been staring motionless for 3 days without saying a word. It's gotta be Bill Murray."

"If you've seen one sideways building, you've seen them all. Because, uh... This is it."

Let's just give the guy his eviction papers and get some lunch.

"Frank, I was just about to suggest that we raise our legs and piss on this fireplug right through our trousers just so we could feel the warm urine on our flesh and watch our fluids mingle on the street -- because how else would we interact with such an object and its obvious connotations -- but as anyone can plainly see, this building is on its side, which makes no sense."

"Stay calm, sir. We're going to place something large, round and soft for you to jump on as soon as my wife gets out of work."

"I can't tell if that guy looks like a young Allen Funt or an old Ashton Kutcher."

I was just going to stop at putting crazy glue on his chair, but your idea to blow up the foundation just added a whole new level to it.

Looking at them up close, those bricks are drawn in.

Hey Bob, want to ride the elevator sideways?

The facade goes ride into the ground much like our chins go right into our necks.

I give up, I just don't get these David Blaine stunts anymore.

"Christ, you're such an astute person, Frank! I would have never noticed."

"It's sad, cause it is a very well-made documentary on early New York tenement life, and the whole show-it-in-perpetuity-on-the-side-of-a-building concept was great. But as you can see, the projection system was kind of fucked."

Sure, I prefer the Mondrian to the Magritte. But aren't they both a little repetitive?

"Must have gone with a Rhode Island contractor."

"You're amazing--I can't even get my dog to do that!"

"This must be where Rex Pickett lives."

"Look at that! Watering the plants must be a challenge!"

"Don't let that building distract you, comrade! Now, which of the briefcases contains the Polonium 210?"

"This is a bad neighborhood. A bad, naughty, disobedient neighborhood. A bad, naughty, disobedient neighborhood that doesn't respect science! They don't deserve our encyclopedias!"

"I told them assbackwards. This is asssideways."

I'm just fed up with City Hall. This is the third time I've waited here with the bribe for the building inspector, and he's a no-show [i]again.[/i]

There are more subtleties to it than you might think. For instance, the elevator shafts become corridors, but depending on the floor plan and which axis you've rotated on, the doors into those shafts might become horizontal lift-gates, or trapdoors in the floor or ceiling. Corridors parallel to the rotation axis are still useable, but the perpendicular corridirs become vertical shafts. Similarly, stairs running perpendicular to the rotation axis are still useable, with treads and risers interchanged, while stairs running parallel turn into sideways corrugated walls. The wiring is fine either way, but the plumbing is always a problem, so we usually just shut that off. Funny thing is, that's usually the only thing the tenants notice.

What the fuck is [i]again[/i]? Learn to use the emphasis tag, twatwaffle.

"I don't like these at all; let's go look at the Mondrians across the street"

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