Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #14

The Cartoon Collections Caption Contest #14 features a couple sitting on their living room sofa about to go over a waterfall. It's not a bad metaphor for married life. The drawing is by former New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff. 

If the gag looks somewhat familiar, there could be good reason. The cartoon was originally published in the New Yorker of October 7, 1991. Here it is with the original caption:

My initial response was to tease Mr. Mankoff with a tweak of his own caption. Somehow I thought it would be more satisfying:

As if that weren't enough, the drawing was previously used for a caption contest at a presentation given by Mr. Mankoff at Washington and Lee University in 2013. The winning caption by Marthe Honts, Class of 1997, is presented here:

There are runners up as well. A column by university administrator Jeff Hanna covered the contest for the Washington and Lee audience, noting also the second and third place winners. It is here reproduced in part:

So after all that what does one do for an encore? This whole episode exemplifies why I prefer generally to work in seclusion without reading the captions so many people post online while these contests are still ongoing. That being impossible, I tried to find a slightly different approach:
"Bob, we've got to talk."
"Did you remember to turn off the bath?"
"There's something we need to go over."

March 20, 2019 Update:  The Winner
Careful readers may note that Avi Ohring's runner-up caption bears a suspiciously close resemblance to art professor Larry Stene's third place entry in the 2013 Washington and Lee University contest. This proves two things. The first is that Bob Mankoff did not bother to review the old caption contest even though he reused the cartoon. The second is that Bob Mankoff still does not read this blog.

April 8, 2019 Update:  Lawrence Wood, in his expert analysis of the contest, mentions one of my captions.

Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

Bob Mankoff

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