The Style Invitational Week 915 Picture this — a cartoon caption contest

By Pat Myers, Friday, April 15, 12:21 PM


It’s one in a venerable line of caption contests in which we ask you to find some glimmer of meaning in various pictorial crazed ramblings by Style Invitational cartoonist Bob Staake, but it’s the first Picture This contest since we moved to the Sunday Style section. This week: Write a caption for any of the cartoons pictured above. As usual, when several people submit similar ideas for a cartoon, it’s the best wording that gets the ink.


Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable mentions a lusted-after Loser magnet. First offenders get a smelly, tree-shaped air “freshener” (Fir Stink for their First Ink). E-mail entries to or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, April 25; results to be published May 15 (May 13 online). Include “Week 915” in the subject line of your e-mail, or it may be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See more rules at Follow the Empress on Twitter at patmyersTWP. The revised title for next week’s results is by Mae Scanlan; this week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by Roy Ashley.


Report from Week 911, in which, in honor of the week number, we asked for humorous ideas for 911 calls or other calls for help. We would have liked to use 911 ourselves, we’re afraid, to be rescued from the overwhelmingly lame humor that constituted most of the entries.


The winner of the Inker


Caller: Hello, I need the number for the local library.

911: You want 411, not 911.

Caller: Yeah, but the 4-key on my phone is broken.

911: Sorry, but this number is only for emergencies.

Caller: Oh, okay. Help! My 4-key is broken! (Russell Beland, Fairfax)


2: Winner of “The Self-Destruction Handbook”:

Frantic man: Help, I was preparing Japanese blowfish and may have ingested its fast-acting neurotoxin. . .

911: Please, listen carefully to your options.

Frantic man: Yes? Yes?

911: They have recently changed. To continue in English, press 1 . . . (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn)


3: Caller: Hello, I have an emergency!

911 operator: (pause) Hey, where did you get this number? (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)


4: 911: How can I help you?

Caller: These days are gone — I’m not so self-assured! (Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)


Beyond help: Honorable mentions


Caller: “My husband is paralyzed! He can’t seem to get up!”

“Very funny, Marge. I’ll take out the trash when I’m ready. Now hang up the damned phone.” (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)


Caller: I was robbed!

911: When did this occur?

Caller: In 2000.

911: For the last time, stop calling, Mr. Gore. (Jeff Contompasis)


Caller: Help, I’m stuck in the Metro Center elevator!

911: Now, stay calm and listen carefully: You need to eat less and exercise more. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)


Woman: I need an ambulance right away!

911: Hey, this is 703-555-1212 and 123 Main Street! Is that you, Mom??

Woman: So, if you know the address, how come you never visit? (Bruce Alter, Fairfax Station)


Caller: “Ha! You used my trademark again. You owe me another nickel.”

911: “Please stop calling, Mr. Giuliani.” (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase)


Caller: “My house is being overrun by stink bugs!”

Help line: Okay, what you need to do is first, move to a different part of the country . . . (Tom Murphy, Bowie)


Pat Robertson to FEMA: “Help! We need sandbags, boats and other homosexuality readiness equipment immediately!” (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)


911: What’s your emergency?

Roberta Flack: He’s singing that song again, softly! (Kevin Dopart)


Caller: Quick, I need to know the square root of 9!

911: You shouldn’t call 911 for things like that.

Caller: You could have answered in less time than it took you to tell me you weren’t going to tell me.

911: Fine, it’s 3.

Caller: See, that WAS faster. Okay, now for Problem 2 . . . (Russell Beland)


Next week: Pair-a-phrasing, or Out of this word