June 1, 2009

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #196

Submit the worst possible caption for this New Yorker cartoon.

Rules and tips.


First place
"I love how they dress in their cute little lab coats and talk about their little experiments and go home and murder their fucking bitch wives in their sleep and carry their little clipboards and ..." —Joshua

Second place
"Clearly the serum has made them much smarter. Now let's find out if they taste better." —Steve_O

Third place
"I've injected Ritalin, smallpox, Xanax, yellow fever, Botox, black plague, Viagra, HIV, smartmouth, Ecstasy, heroin, estrogen, Ebola, and AnusTite. The results have been remarkable."

"I'll say! Any more tests on the mice?"

"The...mice?" — Damon

Honorable mention
"Tiny eyeglasses, miniature pocket protectors... you're getting very creative with your taxidermy, Johnson!" —Anonymous

"They're making fun of us—let's dye them orange." —Rob

"Goddammit, the vegans were right! Well, no more animal products for me. Hey, maybe we can eat Asians-I hear they don't have souls." —MAtt

"It worked just as my model predicted! Now, for stage two, we cancel their funding." —Charles

"Christ, what a mousehole." —The Confidence Man

"Well, that's the great thing about conditioned response. As long as we pick a winner at least once every six weeks, we create the expectation of a contest and they keep writing their little anti-captions, whether there is actually a contest or not." —Joshua

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Let's move their cheese and see what happens.

Tiny eyeglasses, miniature pocket protectors... you're getting very creative with your taxidermy, Johnson!

"Watch the one with the glasses. I call him Mr. Morgenstern, and he's a copulating fiend."

"Very interesting."

"Oh, man, Jenkins. This is so weird. I am so fucking stoned right now."

"Humanizing animals, dehumanizing people. All in a day's work here at the NIH."

"So cute. Makes me wish we hadn't infected them with a terminal cancer."

The same thing we do every night, Pinky - perform autopsies on mice and see how our products killed them.

"Walt Disney was a chainsmoking obsessive. He hired a notorious mafia thug to do union busting. He cultivated a friendship with J. Edgar Hoover in order to report his Hollywood adversaries as communists, thereby ruining their lives. He openly disparaged minorities, and relegated women to the repetitive inking and painting part of the animation process. During Disney's lifetime, males with long hair were barred from entering his Disneyland amusement park. Walt Disney much prefered robots and drawings of people to real people. I haven't decided yet whether it is ironic or perfectly logical that Disney has taken over Times Square, and that Disney's media empire has been taken over by Jews. Say, these anthropomorphic mice are interesting."

"It's very odd Jenkins, we seem to be losing members of the team ever since Dr. Jehosophat took over. Do you think it's his management style? ... Jenkins?"

"Funny, lately I feel like living in a hole in the wall and crapping on the floor wherever I happen to be."

Christ, what a mousehole.

Very good, Dr. Radosh -- you have them well trained to comment amongst themselves, and to hang fire awaiting your fiendish, cruel, arbitrary judgment from above.

Mus musculi, you crazy bastard! How are you?

Your mother called again.

I know that our board of directors is mostly republican, but do we always have to use white male mice?

"They're making fun of us—let's dye them orange."

See, you start treating your subjects with dignity, and PETA stops blowing up your family.

(sorry for the redundancy, Al in L.A.!)

"The gnaws sir are unseen."

"And to think nothing of this could have come to pass but for my looking in that mirror one day and saying 'Wow, Pauling !' "

"Your gnawers here are unseen."

"I love how they dress in their cute little lab coats and talk about their little experiments and go home and murder their fucking bitch wives in their sleep and carry their little clipboards and ..."

"It's a good thing there are no Manx here to see this."

"Sure, everything seems normal, but watch what happens when I slip 'em a Mickey."

Don't look over your shoulder at the elephants in white lab jackets!

Despite all my rage, I still just make minimum wage.

Blow me and see if they emulate.

"Exact equivalent caloric intake, sir, but without the running wheel now, notice ! No, I tell you, something big 's got to be 'going on above' ! ...Can you imagine ?!"

"Look-they're smug and pretentious, too!"

When we captured them on the street they were dressed like pimps.

Wonder which is chief resident?

They're all going to be sued for mousepractice!

"To think, we owe all this to my looking in the mirror and thinking, 'Apall... uh, Pauling'!."

"It looks like they're examining some even smaller cage with tinier creatures in it that we can't see. And maybe those creatures are also wearing lab coats and examining even smaller creatures, which are examining even smaller creatures and so on and so on. Which means there could be some bigger beings examining us right now that we're not even aware of, and perhaps those beings are being examined by even larger beings, and this whole routine is being repeated thousands of times in each direction. Once you accept that you realize how unimportant our notes on these mice really are, which is why I'm going to let you do all the observation while I drink out of this giant flask I've been carrying around."

"Study? I hardly even know Dee!"


"Wait, are those MICE?"

"Clearly the serum has made them much smarter. Now let's find out if they taste better."

"More important, however, is what I learned about myself. And my ability to recycle old gag ideas."

Which one's the Jew?

I agree this is encouraging. But tell me... am I still bald?

"I wonder why Richard Gere wrote us such a big check?"

"The one at the right has a blog about 'Gossip Girl.' It's okay but lacks historical perspective. I don't think he's ever even heard of 'Saved by the Bell.'"

"Sometimes I think we pushed them too hard. Do you realize 7-00072X has never even had a girlfriend?"

"I told you if we got more than one they wouldn't pay attention to us."

Take off these coats quick before... Oh, no, it's too late. Now the giants will dissect us for sure.

It worked just as my model predicted! Now, for stage two, we cancel their funding.

"It's a damn shame that one of them will have to leave after the rose ceremony."

"To pass the time, I like to play hypothetical scenario games with my lab assistants. Here's one: would you rather spend the rest of your life as a mouse, or have butt sex with the chief scientist at GlaxoSmithKline?"

"But...that's you."

"Eh teh teh teh teh - it's just for fun. So, which?"

"Why do you bother asking them every day? Their order is always four cheeseburgers."

"They turn me on. I so want to fuck their women."

"Doesn't the 3rd one's head look like a fish?"

"Yes, they have names. `Abortion' is working on his thesis, 'Stem Cell' has a proposal for new research, 'Commie' figured out how to turn cheese into fuel, and I think 'Evolution' might have the ability to communicate with humans. Just throw the cat in there, take pictures, and keep your mouth shut."

"They aren't fucking."

"You've done it, Jenkins! Turned ordinary mice into losers!"

And this is what we got when we crossed a mouse with a Sonderkommando.

"I've injected Ritalin, smallpox, Xanax, yellow fever, Botox, black plague, Viagra, HIV, smartmouth, Ecstasy, heroin, estrogen, Ebola, and AnusTite. The results have been remarkable."

"I'll say! Any more tests on the mice?"


"Must be all the water bottle buzz about Radosh's blurb in Monday's Chicago Tribune (http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-0601-wood-newyorkerjun01,0,1498509.column). They'll get back to their homo- and auto-erotic activities soon enough."

"Goddammit, the vegans were right! Well, no more animal products for me. Hey, maybe we can eat Asians-I hear they don't have souls."

"They are mocking us. Kill them. Kill them all."

re: the Steve Johnson column cited by LV ...

But writing a subversively funny caption, as for Radosh, is, in the end, not as much of a challenge as crafting one that actually works within the New Yorker's constraints.

There's really only one response: Christ, what an asshole.

"We'd hoped to end up with a group approximating the intelligence of human beings. Bad idea. Filming for `The Real Mice of Control Experiment #17EZG' starts Friday."

I find their insights on string theory and quantum mechanics to be utterly fascinating and illuminating. Ok, let's run'em through the maze and gas'em.

"Look, that one's getting sexually harassed."

Whoa, that's just creepy.

"It's a shame they're standing amidst their own waste- sadly, just like us."

"...we have run all the necessary tests on these mutated 'guest judge' rodents and they are now bland and unimaginative enough to be let loose on the Anti-Caption Contest..."

I'll have that one take his glasses off before I insert him in your ass.

"Hey, what happened to our goldfish tank? I knew the pH level was too low."

"We've failed to create intelligent mice. Instead, we've ended up with PhD mice."

"Sure, they look dignified now. Just remember, they all have to piss and shit in there."

"I don't like the look of Jonathan Brisby over there. He's up to something."

"Guys, we may have tipped our hands by wearing the labcoats. The bald one is on to us."

"Did you see the ass on the rat in tank 5. I don't care what they're testing on her."

"Yeah, I gotta agree with them; this publish-or-perish business is a real rat race."

"This must be the all male cage."

"Let's try this on the black mice."

"My plan, eventually, is to sell rat's assholes to blind men as wedding rings."

"Ned, I have to tell you something. I secretly upped the MAOI inhibitor levels in the mice this month. That, and I'm sleeping with your 15-year-old daughter."

"Y'know, Frank, being in this situation right now reminds me vividly of a How-To Harry cartoon from 15 years ago that was reprinted in The Joy of Soy. Oh, you too?"

"...and these are the mice I trained to amputate my left arm. Make sure you get all this down."

"Well said, Dr. Thomas! Perhaps these human characteristics are part of a larger phenomenon; perhaps you and I, through observation and study, will be able to unlock secrets which go beyond medicine and stretch into the psyche of man..."



"Wouldn't it be great if these little guys were looking at even smaller animals in tiny terrariums, like ants dressed in lab coats, and then the ants were looking at dust mites dressed like us, and then the mites were looking at something even smaller? I don't even know what that would be, and I'm a scientist. But anyway, these theoretical smaller creatures are in turn looking at an even smaller creature who turns out to be God! Oh fuck! What I am I doing with my life?

"Starting tomorrow, I'm not dressing like a mouse anymore."

"In the MICE's water, damn it! The LSD goes in the MICE's water!"

Forty-two? What the fuck does "forty-two" mean?

"I brought aong a couple of rodents. Do you mind?"

"Impregnating their mother was difficult. Oh, the actual penetration was not as tough as you might imagine, but I spent a fortune on wine and cheese to get her to sleep with me."

"I still say there's five of them. How do you see only three? Okay, let's count it one more time?"

"Yes, they all want to be like me. But that one - the one who calls himself 'alinla' - is geting too close. Tonight he becomes a 'statistic'."


Dammit, Jenkins! Mouse porn doesn't work with lab coats. They have to be dressed like copier repairmen.

It finally looks like significant amount of our DNA is being expressed, now let's see if they're stupid enough to shit where they eat.

"...and the evolution of Homo sapiens bio-chemically speaking was a matter of the gradual suppression or vestigialization in him of some 15% of approximately 30,000 genes which in combination always determined the two species' physical conformations and lifestyles, the wide variations and divergences of which between the two now, today, wholly attributable to said, aforementioned cumulative vestigialization of a 15% part of 'Homo sapiens' gene pool against that of 'Mus musculus', rather than to any loony invocation of conscious, so called 'creative' choice on the part of whatever god or deity.....O.K, go with that !"

"Tell me again, how many did the mother eat?"

"Frankly, Dr. Moreau, I've felt that you were just 'phoning it in' for several months now."

"Steinbeck was one weird motherfucker."

They look like little Ferengi, don't they? That reminds me, I hate Jews.

"Goddamn copyrats. I can't stand 'em."

"They said I was mad! They called me a fool! They tried to pull my funding! And by 'they,' I of course mean Bobby Jindal. In his defense, I did spend $10 million on adorable scientist costumes for these mice, and evidently they still don't know a goddamn thing about volcanos. You know, they really ought to pull my funding."

"I'm really starting to identify with these mice, I guess just because I gave them my strain of AIDS."

It's hard to take the Teamsters seriously when this is the best they can come up with.

"They think they're so clever. But in the end we're just going to kill them." [This doubles as a metaphor for how it is unclear whether or not this contest will actually be judged.]

"OK, I can hear what they're saying. Write this down: 'Andale... Andale... Arriba... Arriba... Yeehaa.'"

I bet they can't name a successful unionized company either.

So, it looks like Obama's approval ratings among Mouslims are at a record high.

"You can teach improve, Terence, but you can't teach funny."

"Our lab mice have the nicest coats."

"You can teach improv, Terence, but you can't teach funny."

Once we get them to taste like chicken, McDonalds will be knocking on our door.

"If our cats could only get up high enough to see in there, if they could piggy-back only three high, say, don't you know they'd be 'pissed' !" -- "Huum ? Yeah. Good thinking, Thornhill ! But we'd certainly have to isolate them off."

"Now, now, Godreys. Jindal's chief interest at Brown was always 'public policy'."

The one on the left reminds me of you.

"I'll bet they're studying little tiny mice that we can't see, and there are giants studying us and we can't see them, either."

"Patient, Lucifer. Okay. Tee, he! And last, at thy left, HE SHALL BE ABEL ! Tee! he! he!....Poor 'de'il'."

"...'but mouse, in the ideal, is so noble and so sparkling, such a grand and glorious creature, that over any ignomiceous blemish in him all his fellows should rush to throw their costliest robes. That immaculate mouseli...... . ...... Ah, crap ! Who are we fooling ?!"

Looks like a real rat race. The Jews, I mean. They look like rats to me. So how's your "mice in suits" diorama coming along?

"Sometimes I miss being a mouse."

"But it's not fair, I put gorillas in thongs and tuxedo shirts."

"You've managed to isolate irony."

Isn't this exactly the reverse of the very first caption contest?

"We're nothing if not self-absorbed."

"I said labradoodle, not lab rat doodle."

"I can't understand a word they're saying."

"In Soviet Russia mouse experiment you."

Serves me right for not wearing a condom. I gotta destroy these things before my wife finds out.

"Seeing them gives you an erection too? I thought It was just me."

No, "moose" doesn't fit. The third letter has to be a "u". Well hell, I'm stumped. Let's go grab a cheese sandwich and look at it again after lunch.

Well, that's the last time I shoot a load into one these tanks.

"Good thing there are no black people here to see this!"

"Cancel the new Indian call center, Jenkins. This is the IT support breakthrough we've been waiting for!"

"Well, I guess our experimental surgery works. The mice are becoming ever more stylish with each passing day. Plus, last night I caught that retard Charlie banging your wife."

"Mighty Mouse, now there was a mouse. And Micky and Minnie and, oh....there used to be so many. And now? Dry, erudite, career track researchers. (Sigh)...do you ever dream, Collins?"

Dear God, I hate these fucking mice.

Tell Schrodinger to bring his cat in here and let's have some real fun.

"It doesn't matter what you write. They're still going to slam it over at LanguageLog."

Do you ever wonder what a wise latina mouse would make of all this?

"I've got Orkin on speed dial, Hendricks—just say when."

"You can't just leave your DNA lying around like that Frank."

But now they wear lab coats and carry clipboards. So, yeah, that's 120 million well spent.

"Their rendering of last week's casual lab Friday is uncannily accurate. Jenkins, check the room for tiny, miniature cameras!"

"I wonder if my cat will be smarter after he eats them."

Now that's what I call a pathetic fallacy.

"Well, we couldn't find the gay gene, but I think we've found the nerd gene."

"Have we figured out yet why David Rockefeller is hung like a hamster? He's bankrolling this mess."

"They have clipboards and little white coats, but for some reason don't appear to have access to a water dispenser, like the four of us do."

"This is as fucked-up as, I dunno, if one of us was wearing a giant mouse costume or something."

"I'm going as Jean-Luc Picard. Who are you? John Major?"

"Wow this is totally amazing! They appear to be drawn in a totally different style from us!"

"According to the paper they should've created cold fusion by now."

"I'm haunted by the feces... oh, forget it."

" 'Effects of Nerdy-Mouse-Whore on Lab Dynamics'.... hasn't this been done already? "

"Please continue, ...the experiment requires that you continue, ...it is absolutely essential that you continue, ...pleeeeaze meetser."

(I gave up trying to make this sound funny, please help)

"Well, that's the great thing about conditioned response. As long as we pick a winner at least once every six weeks, we create the expectation of a contest and they keep writing their little anti-captions, whether there is actually a contest or not."

^ What he said.

This still won't get you on Project Runway

I forget, are they supposed to be "Mouse CSI" or "Mouse NCIS"?

"1, 2, 3, ... no, wait. 1, 2, ... crap, lemme start over. 1, 2, 3, 4, uhhh. I counted 4. I think. Maybe 5. No, it was 4. How many did you count?"

Nope, still only three. The one with glasses is a seeing-eye mouse.

and YOU said we shouldn't pee in their water supply...

It looks like there are only two levels on which this crazy irony plays out, but there is also a third, as the cartoonist is currently wearing a lab coat and carrying a clipboard. Yes, yes, I agree, the New Yorker is for shitheads.

"Really there are several possible explanations here. Maybe they're born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline. Which, you know, we've been shoving into their eyeballs everyday."

"This is all pretty gay, don't you think?"

Nope, still only three. The one with glasses has cataracts.

"This really puts things in perspective... I mean look, they're just like us! Unlike Jews, who are clearly subhuman. Can't we go back to experimenting on Jews?"

"Don't you love how there are no laws on how we're allowed to treat our grad students?"

Perhaps if we dressed them in schoolgirl uniforms or started calling them "Squique Girlz" they might garner Dr. Radosh's attention.

"Fascinating. The mice who get water appear to be thriving, whereas the mice in tank #4 behind us are clearly dead."

Forgive me, but I always say this to new researchers on their first day - - Hmmm, mice work if you can get it. Carry on.

"For today's experiment, I'm gonna give these poor bastards syphyllis."

"But I thought we didn't have any syphyllis in stock?"

"We don't. That's not how I'm gonna do it."

Do you ever ponder the basic unfairness of it all? I mean, these mice will be given horrible diseases, suffer terribly, and then be put to death, meanwhile, Bil Keane lives.

"I'm not sure what you mean by 'this experiment,' Tom."

"Well, we may not have isolated the gay gene, but I think we've isolated the vaguely effeminate gene."

"OK, I've gouged out my eyeballs. Now it's your turn. You do know about double-blind experiments, don't you?"

Phil and Don decide to have dinner at the new pick-your-own-mouse barbecue joint.

"It's too early to declare this experiment a success. The abstracts these mice submitted were too long; and improperly punctuated."

Run down to the butcher's shop and see if he's still got those little chorus dancers. If he does, buy 4 and bring them back. We'll try breeding them together. Worse comes to worse, we can market the video as an i-phone app.

" 'Ex nihilo, nihil fit'. I shouldn't worry myself.....Moyers."

Now, when they restudy us with the laptops, do NOT, I repeat DO NOT go straight to radosh and enter the contest. That is exactly they type of inane behavior they are expecting.

Who do they think they're kidding? I bet half of them don't even have master's degrees.

If you're not sure whether you're tenured, we better kill these little A-holes and give their clothes to Goodwill. Let's burn them, too, so hopefully their DNA never gets cloned and they come back and kill us. Oh, yea, fuck Disneyland!

Tell me you didn't use your jerk-off beaker for the test-tube mouse experiment.

How did you actually fit your junk in a mouse?

Ever since we changed B-section into mice, I notice no one stares at Liz's tits when they speak to her any more.

"Lucky my being Sir John's dead ringer like this, hey ! I don't suppose The Templeton Foundation would have supported our work any other way."

"I'll have whatever they're having."

"Put the clipboard down. It makes me nervous that you're always writing while I'm speaking, and I'd like to say something inappropriate about your wife."

"We control their behavior by making them believe we're actually going to announce a winner soon."

"In view of reports now in the papers that that both Tufts University and Charles River Laboratories have been guilty of animal welfare violations, we here at Harvard must not be seen as having anything less than the greatest respect and concern for our animals' comfort and well-being....And, yeah, that goes for every stupid mouse in the place, not to even mention the frickin' Guinea Pigs !"

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