Joe Dator’s cartoon is set at a cocktail party, where one of the guests is talking to a couple who are upside down. It’s not clear whether they’re defying the laws of gravity or suspended from the ceiling, as we see them only from their waists up. The man who’s upside down is speaking.
The woman’s wearing a low-cut dress, so I first thought of a variation on the comment women sometimes make to men who can’t stop staring at their breasts: “Her eyes are down here.”
My next caption was inspired by people who complain that their upstairs neighbors make too much noise walking on hardwood floors: “Sometimes the upstairs neighbors complain.”
Finally, I took a shot at the alarmingly high percentage of the American population that dismiss scientific facts as mere theories:
- “Everyone’s entitled to his own facts.”
- “We’ll just have to agree to disagree about gravity.”
- “I understand what you’re saying about gravity. I just have a different opinion.”
- “I’ve had just the opposite experience with gravity.”
Now let’s see how you did.
A couple of you thought of the practical problems a couple who are walking on the ceiling might face:
- “Thanks for shutting off the ceiling fans.”
- “Glad you don’t have ceiling fans.”
When I looked at Dator’s drawing, I tried without success to address an obvious issue: the couples’ drinks would not stay in their glasses. A few of you succeeded where I failed:
- “We prefer our drinks very dry.”
- “Any chance of a refill?”
- “How does your drink stay in the glass?”
Here’s the best disgusting entry: “Somebody made a mess of your bathroom.”
Here’s the best pandemic-related caption: “When do you think things will return to normal?”
Here’s the best reference to a Paul Simon song: “One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.”
And here are the best puns:
- “Thanks for having us over.”
- “Bottoms up.”
The next two captions are nearly identical to one of mine:
- “Hey buddy, her eyes are down there.”
- “Her eyes are down there.”
I prefer them both to my caption because the word “there” works better than “here.”
Like I did, several of you mocked people who refuse to accept scientific facts, like gravity.
- “To be honest, we’ve never trusted the science.”
- “We’ve been watching a lot of FOX News.”
- “We share the same disbeliefs.”
- “Perhaps we do deny the science.”
- “Gravity is only a theory.”
Here are a couple more gravity-related captions that are less political:
- “I’m pacing myself — wine always goes straight to my head.”
- “The alcohol always goes directly to my head.”
I’d like that first caption better if it were shorter. The first three words are unnecessary. And the second caption would be better if, like the first caption, it used the word “straight” instead of “directly.” One syllable is almost always funnier than three.
The next three captions suggest that the people who are talking don’t share the same opinions:
- “We see the world differently than you do.”
- “It’s all a matter of perspective.”
- “I don’t see it that way.”
I like this caption–“It solved my lower back pain”—but shouldn’t “my” be “our?”
And, finally, we have, “Please untie us.” I like that entry not only because it explains why the couple is upside down, but because it creates a hostage-captor relationship in a setting where that’s completely unexpected.
This week’s winner is, “Her eyes are down there.”
Lawrence Wood has won The New Yorker’s Cartoon Caption Contest a record-setting seven times and been a finalist four other times. He has collaborated with New Yorker cartoonists Peter Kuper, Lila Ash, Felipe Galindo Gomez, and Harry Bliss (until Bliss tossed him aside, as anyone would, to collaborate with Steve Martin). Nine of his collaborations have appeared in The New Yorker, and one is included in The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons.