autobiography Blog comic

I Am Not Funny

newyorker cartoon contest

…according to the New Yorker Caption Contest.

I’ve been entering the Caption Contest since it’s inception over a year ago. Sometimes I miss a week. I usually get the current week’s New Yorker on a Friday or Saturday. Apparently they still use pack mules to carry mail to the Western states. It’s usually okay; I stare at the captionless comic for a while, write out a few alternates in the margins, then go online by Sunday to enter. Other times I go online earlier in the week to look at the current comic. Somehow this feels like cheating, but I don’t know why.

So far, I’ve kept my perfect track record of never being picked for the top three captions. I am weary but anxious when I open the magazine to the back page (I do this first thing; it’s kind of a weird way to read a magazine). Will I see my name? I look at the top three captions from the most recent contest. Are any of them from Portland? Do any of them have my name? Sometimes the answer to the first question is Yes, in which case my anxiousness goes from Guarded (Blue) to Elevated (Yellow). Then I see I am not the person in Portland whose caption the New Yorker has picked. My anxiousness plummets to Approaching Zero (Deepest Black).

Some weeks I feel I’ve been cheated. My caption is funnier than the ones they chose. On weeks when my self-esteem is low, I blame myself. The Caption Contest is a good barometer for how my life is going.

Anyone here been one of the Chosen Three? Known someone who has been? Or have you, like me, toiled in anonymity, only to have your witty one-liner crumpled up and tossed into the venerable New Yorker rejected captions pile? Let’s all make some tea and eat cookies.

One reply on “I Am Not Funny”

By never entering the caption contest, my Anxious Alert meter remains at a steady and comforting beige.

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