Because, you know, that's a secure thing. We can't have just anyone entering a caption contest! What if someone entered under my name?
WHAT IF SOMEONE STOLE MY IDENTITY AND ENTERED A CAPTION CONTEST AT THE NEW YORKER?
Well, I mean, the world wouldn't change at all, but still: The New Yorker, which is increasingly getting me angry by their never accepting my poems to print and then never accepting my captions to win, is now really high up on my Enemies List
(Yes, I have one. Everyone should.)
because they have again changed their log-in and password system to enter the caption contest.
Here is the exact text of the email I got from the New Yorker recently:
This message contains graphics. If you do not see the graphics, click here to view.
This e-mail was sent to you by The New Yorker Advertising Promotion Department.
To insure delivery to your inbox (not bulk or junk folders), please add our e-mail address,
com, to your address book.
These days, there's not much you can do without a user name and password.
And that includes entering our Cartoon Caption Contest. You already know that, of course, because you've entered it. That's also why you're getting this e-mail. Because if you want to enter again, you may have to re-register your user name and password. Or create one, if you haven't used one thus far. We're merging our caption registration with our over-all newyorker.com registration, so one login will allow you to comment on blog posts and enter and vote on all contests, including the Caption Contest.
I would bet you a thousand dollars that every single person who enters the New Yorker Cartoon Caption contest knows about that contest because they already subscribe to the magazine, so what you are doing is not broadening your marketing base. You are alienating your current subscribers by making it harder to enter a contest.
Here is exactly what I have had to do, so far, to comply with Bob Mankoff's easiest things to do, in order to enter a cartoon caption contest.
First, I put on the song "The Quiz" by Hello Saferide.
That is not technically a required step, but that song is peaceful and pleasant and soothing and I knew I would need it.
Then I went to their website. When you go to the contest spot, you have the current cartoon:
And below it is a box, and two columns. The box is to type in your caption. The two columns are:
-- on the left: you can enter a bunch of information about yourself like your name and address and your display name so that if you win The New Yorker will put the name you want on the site ("Briane1213WisconsIN0012").
-- on the right is a login and password, which tells you AND I QUOTE
Log in below to avoid having to fill out the rest of this form. Your information has already been saved to your account.
So I went to the site and I typed the email for the login, and typed what I believed to be the most current version of the password I use, having just done this only about three weeks ago and so I was reasonably sure I know what password I am using now, but, of course, the password box doesn't remind you of whether this password needs a capital, or a number, or both, or none.
(Once, I spent 20 minutes trying to log in to my student loan account, getting more and more frustrated until I finally was able to recover my user name and then change my password, after which I realized that I was leaving off the number on the end of my password. I was typing the password but had not typed 1 at the end of it.)
After putting in my user name and what I thought was my password, I was denied log-in because I had left some fields empty, including the caption box itself, and including all the demographic information on the left which I was told I didn't have to fill out if I just logged in.
As for the caption box, the reason I didn't enter my caption for that yet is:
(A) I don't have a caption yet, I haven't even begun to think about it, I'm still TRYING TO LOG IN and
(B) Sometimes, if you type your caption in and then log in and the login doesn't work you have to retype everything, including the caption, like a sucker.
STEP TWO. Try again, this time using a capitalized first letter and adding a numeral after my current password.
This time, I am told to
Please log in with with your NewYorker.com email and password.
The typo is theirs.
And also told that I must enter a username and a country, and my caption. It is not clear if I have logged in, though, as the log-in box is no longer available for me to please log in with my New Yorker password:
So I picked my "Display name" and my country...
noting for the first time that
Any resident of the United States, Canada (except Quebec), Australia, the United Kingdom, or the Republic of Ireland age eighteen or older can enter or vote.And I wonder: Why can't people in France vote?
Or people in Japan?
But this time it appears that everything is set except for my caption, so let's caption the bejeezus out of this cartoon.
So what I thought was a mountain in the background is a city, right? It's a bridge and some buildings. Is this New York? San Francisco? Some other city with a bridge? No other cities have bridges of note, so far as I know, beyond New York and San Francisco, and I say that as someone who has been in several cities.
Does the location matter? Probably. It's The New Yorker, after all, not The San Franciscoer. Maybe I should go SF, though, only...
HOLD ON, FLASH OF INSPIRATION.
"Next time, I get to wear the outfit!"That seems almost too obvious. If it came to me as I was actively thinking about something else -- I was pondering a Super Bowl-related joke -- then it would probably come to every Brooklyn hipster reading this issue at their locavore dentist's office (the hipsters are there to get their teeth crookedized. I think the next big thing is going to be not-perfect teeth, because they will seem genuine.)
Probably too obvious.
Are the two out on a ride together? Probably not. He's on a chopper, she's on a Vespa thing, and he's, of course, naked. What if they are related, though? What if
FLASH OF INSPIRATION:
"I think you took my clothes when you left this morning."
That's okay. That's on the right track.
"You've got my housekeys in your pocket."
That's even BETTER, I think. Suggests that they spent the night together but they don't live together. So the woman left him at her house, maybe? WOMEN'S LIB, amIright? She is a sexy, confident, woman of the 21st century, not afraid to pick up a biker and then head off to her job at a ... what kind of company would she work at? I want to say graphic design, but that's probably because we saw Side Effects yesterday and that was what Rooney Mara's character did for a living after Channing Tatum's character got thrown in prison for insider trading.
That's not a SPOILER. It's the plot of the movie, in part, and you're told all that in the first two minutes of the movie.
You know what's weird? I cannot recall a single character's name from that movie except for Catherine Zeta Jones' character
who was called "Dr. Siebert."
So it probably doesn't matter what Vespa woman does. Think think think. Maybe a traffic-incident joke, something that the Vespa did that made the man lose his clothes?
All I've got is
"You cut me off back there,"
but that doesn't imply that he lost his clothes in the process, does it?
The man is definitely mad. The woman appears to be ignoring him.
What's the story, here. What has happened to make this man mad and this woman indifferent?
"I thought you said you had to be at work early today?"
Still on the "we slept together last night" theme, but a little better, maybe.
I really can't stare at that guy's body any longer.
But I can't not stare at it, either.
His eyebrows, for one thing, are really bushy.
Ordinarily, I do these things really quickly, but Mr F wanted to go for a ride, so we took him for a ride that lasted about a half-hour. While we were doing that, I went over the ideas I had with Sweetie, and she liked the ones I had so far, so I am going to go with one of those.
Sweetie also clarified for me that in the movie Side Effects, Rooney Mara's character was called "Emily," and Jude Law's character was "Dr. Banks," only she knew his first name too and told it to me but I already forgot it. She also knew that Channing Tatum's character was "Martin" and that Jude Law's wife's name was "Dierdre."
I was fine with just thinking of them as "Rooney" and "Channing" etc.
So I'm going with "You've got my housekeys in your pocket," because I like that one.
Let's go back and try to enter it.
So it took me only three tries to submit my entry, but I had to fill out the entire form anyway, and besides that, I've already forgotten the password that I used this time, which means when I enter next week, I am going to have to come back to this post to remember what I did to enter the contest.
Because, again, GOD FORBID someone enter a contest under false pretenses. I can just see it now: some week, I will be watching Access Hollywood or the Academy Awards or the Nobel Prize ceremony and there will be a bunch of paparazzi surrounding some guy who will be walking around with January Jones on his arm and the people covering the event will say
"There's Briane Pagel, you know he won The New Yorker caption contest this week, and January Jones fell in love with him..."
And I'll be all yelling at the TV "Hey, that's not me, I'm me," but nobody will pay attention, and that guy will be living my life, and I'll have to shut up when Sweetie comes back into the room, but THAT GUY will be getting all the fame and fortune that comes with submitting the caption voted to be the funniest for a drawing of a couple of bears at a cocktail party talking about the stock market
OR, conversely, one day I'll come home from work all innocently, hoping that Sweetie has made pizza for dinner that night (YES!) and I'll walk in and she'll hit me with a frying pan and when I say
"What was that for, and also did you, in fact, make pizza tonight?" she'll say
"I heard on the news that some guy named Briane Pagel won The New Yorker's caption contest and went on a date with January Jones! I'm leaving you!" and then she'll hit me again with the frying pan because we are in a Blondie comic strip.
So it's probably for the best that security is so tight around The New Yorker, but that is January Jones' loss.