The current finalist punchlines for the New Yorkers’ Cartoon Caption Contest have been announced, and mine was not among them. The only possible explanation is that Big Money — you know, the Boss Men, the Ward Heelers, the Gang of 50, the Backstreet Boys — have wielded their influence to lock me out once again.
For this week only you can see the cartoon in question here. For the sake of posterity and in the name of eternal justice, allow me to describe the set-up comic: A mob boss, Godfather-style, is sitting with three henchmen at a table. Standing right behind them, more or less also at the table, is a horse dressed in a suit, ridden by a NYC-style mounted policeman. All are facing forward and all seem to be listening to the boss. High-larious just by itself!
The three finalists are:
I smell a horse
I hope they don’t crack. The cops are riding him pretty hard.
Because PETA said we can’t whack him.
As the quality of the finalists show, this was not a fecund cartoon. Indeed, there is, of course, only one correct punchline, which I courteously supplied:
“And the last item on the agenda: We have to look into this new Preakness Protection Program we’ve been hearing about.”
Look, I’m not saying that The New Yorker owes me anything. No, it’s Justice, Truth, and Science that are saying so.
In any event, I’m voting for #3.