I know I should subscribe to The New Yorker, or at least read it every week at the library, because the articles are the kind that you actually like reading — but I have to admit that I pick it up mostly in waiting rooms and doctor’s offices. I grabbed the April 18, 2011 issue recently while taking my gramma for an appointment on the northwest side of Chicago, near Wolfy’s hot dog joint.
After reading a great feature about the woman who co-founded the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, I flipped to the back and checked out the cartoon caption contest. If you’re not familiar, every week they have three cartoons — one you can submit captions for, one that people already submitted captions for (featuring three that the staff selected and readers can vote on), and then the winning caption from the week before. For the current cartoon that you could vote on, I noticed a familiar name — Roger Ebert (by the third caption, two captions down).
And I just thought, Ha, like Roger Ebert would actually go through the normal channels of submitting his caption like the rest of the world or something. He probably has, like, a different colored phone for every publication out there, and he doesn’t even have to dial, he just picks it up — like Batman. So in my mind, his caption-contest submission process went something like this: Ebert picks up the New Yorker phone, which is perhaps in the shape of an apple, and types this on his laptop that helps him speak: “Hey, it’s Rodge — yo, I have a stinkin high-larious caption for this week. I’m emailing it now. Peace!”
Oh, and in case you didn’t already assume — his caption did end up winning. It was, after all, the best one.
UPDATE: So I guess Ebert submitted 107 times before he won! Reports the Chicago Reader 8/31/11: http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2011/08/31/chicago-media-owns-the-new-yorker-caption-contest