Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #389

Here is my entry in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #389 for July 29, 2013. The cartoon is by Paul Noth. The caption, I'm afraid, is all mine.

"Rare enough for you?"

I came up with just a few barely reasonable captions this week, but I didn't think I hit it out of the park with any of them. This made my choice very difficult. Finally, I decided to rewrite one of my working captions into what became my slightly underdone entry.
"So you've given up beef. That's a very good start!"
"Feeling guilty yet?"
"You did ask for rare."
"I'm so relieved you don't have a mouth."

My family thought that last caption was the one to go with, and maybe they were right. Nevertheless, I decided against it because I thought it unwise to submit a line that made such a direct reference to a convention of the cartoon medium. I didn't want a caption that tacitly acknowledge it was part of a cartoon. It's like breaking down the fourth wall, so to speak. Nevertheless, it just might be the funniest one here.

August 5, 2013 Update: The Finalists

August 26, 2013 Update:  Winning Caption

Note:  My previous entry in the Cartoon Caption Contest awaits you here. Not only did I fail to choose a winning caption, I didn't even find the correct speaker. Well, perhaps I did, but the editors didn't think so.

To see more on this blog about Paul Noth, you can start by looking here. It's a prior Caption Contest where my entry, if it had won, is not the sort of thing I could ever have lived down. Thank goodness no one saw it! Then be sure to check out what Paul Noth drew in my copy of The Best of the Rejection Collection here. You'd best have some coffee at the ready.



  1. A talking fish is pretty darned rare. Didn't notice the man didn't have a mouth till you mentioned it. I agree with you family that "I'm sure glad you don't have a mouth" is very funny. Your caption for the Noah's Ark cartoon was much funnier than the winning caption. I'm looking forward to the day when you tell us that you won. Good luck. Leo

    1. Thanks, Leo. A regular New Yorker cartoon would never read, "I'm so relieved you don't have a mouth." In the Caption Contest, though, anything goes!