The New Yorker Caption Contest.

The other day I was flipping through our weekly New Yorker when I discovered that they had a weekly caption contest. I mentally recorded the comic, and within a few seconds, I had decided on a caption. This is the comic:

My caption:

You don’t emit squiggly lines, do you?

After running it by Tobyjoe, and having him compare the caption to the stand up comedy of the wonderfully now deceased, Mitch Hedberg, I stupidly entered the caption using my maiden name. I am well aware of the fact that my caption is not nearly as funny as Mitch Hedberg’s comedy, but give a bitch a bone every now and again, OK?

Originally, it was to read: “You’ll do just fine here, as long as you don’t emit squiggly lines.” But when I said that out loud to Tobyjoe it was really tough to say without stuttering and saying it in my head over and over again (which I tend to do) didn’t work either. So I shortened it. But even after having entered the contest and using my ONE chance at doing so, I could not let it go. I thought of about 25 other captions, none, of which were good enough to create another name over, but still. At around 11:39 PM, knowing the clock was ticking and had only about 20 minutes left, I thought of another caption that I simply had to enter.

Here, it’s probably best that you think inside the box.

There were about 72 variations of that one as well. And in my head it was a lot funnier. I kept saying it and saying it, changing emphasis from one word to the next. I almost switched “box” for “cube” and “think” for “remain”. But Tobyjoe talked me out of it. I entered that caption using my married name.

Even after the clock struck midnight and the contest doors had closed, captions were coming in by the barrel load. I used to act this way in college with every new project. I would think things through conceptually until mental exhaustion. (One time, I tried to title a movie I created about a woman who identified with feeling more like a man than a woman “AnneRogAndMe”. I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember my very angry design professor screaming, “What in the hell does that even mean, Howley?!” It later became “FeelMale” and was set to a Sonic Youth song.) I over think everything. And I have noticed that that 9 times out of 10 what I find to be super funny isn’t really funny at all. I’ll be chuckling or snorting about something and everyone is looking at me like I have a build up of black eye-snot.

Even though they said something about calling or emailing a potential finalist and I haven’t heard squat, I am not giving up hope. I’ll find out once and for all on Monday. But currently I’m working overtime on coming up with captions for comic number 48. Join me!

It’s the little things in life, people, the little things.


  1. You are all a bunch of no-funers.


  2. I’m looking at 48 now. I have a couple of ideas:

    1. This time, not quite so prestissimo.

    2. I’m afraid that was a violent movement for both of us.


  3. Or maybe (to refine #2), “I haven’t had a movement like that in years.”


  4. Charlie, YES! Number 2 the refined one is wonderful. WONDERFUL!


  5. i think theyre both hilarious.
    i thought i was the only one with black eyesnot. oh, i feel so close to you now.


  6. I just entered number 48 but I think my caption will probably be very, very typical. Surely, given the audience of the New Yorker, they’re bound to receive many, many variations of what I just sent in. But I have one other name left!


    “Grandpa had removed his hearing aid before the presentation. Miss Kitty didn’t have that luxury.”


  7. I entered refined #2.


  8. I love Mitch Hedberg! I saw him a few years ago at the Dallas Improv and he was awesome. His delivery was the best. A couple of weeks ago, I met the comedian Harland Williams and I really wanted to ask him if he knew Mitch Hedberg. My brother told me not to because it might make him feel bad. Like, “Hey, you’re great and all, but did you know Mitch Hedberg?” Ha. He was a funny dude.


  9. You got to see him? That’s awesome. Shame he died so young. He got all almost the entire way across the United State. Funny man. :]


  10. Sweetheard, you played that violin like a stripper doing a pole dance after six lines of snow.


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