It’s been 10 months since my last post about the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest. If that sounded like the prelude to a confession, here it is: one reason I want to win, or at least be a finalist, or at the very least be a semifinalist, is that my victory (or semi-victory) could then become the subject of a blog post—and I wouldn’t have to come up with another idea for that month. So, laziness.
I have entered the competition every week since discovering it, even when I’ve been out of the country, sick, or busy with work. Ninety-six entries, ninety-five losses. (Hope springs eternal; I haven’t yet lost the current contest, though I’m well on my way.) I could try to analyze my lack of success, but why? Besides, I’ve already done that. Ultimately, the prescription must be this: be funnier, or at least cleverer.
A recent cartoon depicted Adam and Eve in the garden, before the fall (as evidenced by their nakedness). She is holding out a pie to him, and he looks concerned as he responds. I submitted the caption that was the most popular among my polled Facebook friends and was also my favorite: “Please tell me that’s rhubarb.”
This post would be very different (jubilant, triumphant, gloating) had my caption been among the semifinalists, which were as follows:
- “Maybe we should get that to go.”
- “Wait, we have an oven?”
- “How much sin would some ice cream add?”
- “What do you mean it’s your mother’s recipe?”
- “Are the apples local?”
- “I hope I don’t regret this tomorrow.”
- “I’ll be damned.”
The three captions in bold type became the finalists. It remains to be seen which one will win. I voted for “I’ll be damned.”
And I will continue to pursue the popular definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.