Every so often, one of my regular readers (which must number at least a dozen at this point, including my extended family, dog, and cat) asks me where I come up with ideas.
The answer, of course, is that there are infinite sources of inspiration in the field of Infectious Diseases — the difficulty is choosing what fascinating topic will be the target of this week’s cogent and definitive analysis.
Or, I can just steal something, which is what I’ve unabashedly done with the Cartoon Contest, modeled after the more established version from The New Yorker.
And here’s the winner of the summertime contest, an outdoor scene that might bring back fond memories of warm breezes, long days at the beach, and dining al fresco:
“No thanks, I’m watching my carbon footprint.”
We’ll give Philip Morganelli the top prize on this one, though he’ll need to share the generous honorarium with John Lee, who introduced the whole “carbon footprint” theme and might have provided Philip some inspiration.
But I confess this contest turned out a bit differently than anticipated. With such an ID-oriented crowd, I figured the obviously very well-done burgers would generate plenty of funny captions about food safety. If you’re wondering what I mean, take a look at this most unappetizing food truck:
Concern about underdone burgers prompted my next door neighbors Ben and Carol to call the well-done hockey pucks favored by ID specialists “Madoff burgers”. It’s in honor of Dr. Lawrence Madoff, an ID doctor who works at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, who periodically attends our neighborhood cookouts — you can guess Larry’s emphatic answer to the question, “And how would you like that done?” Perhaps he will be introducing his own line of crispy fast food soon.
Yet none of the top three captions chosen by our AHA (Advanced Humor Algorithm) had anything remotely to do with infectious food safety:
- “No thanks, I’m watching my carbon footprint.” (the now-famous Philip Morganelli)
- “Sorry, I was using fire in the belly as a figure of speech.” (JRMD)
- “No thanks. They always give me heartburn.” (Aaron Kassoff)
Perhaps I poisoned (ha) the ID entries by introducing the drawing with this gloomy sentence: “We must be vigilant to the ever rising threat of both foodborne pathogens and carcinogenic heterocyclic amines.” Come to think of it, that alone could have been a (very unfunny) caption.
This time, you’ll get no such leading leading statement — here’s the cartoon, let your inspiration run wild:
Post captions in the comments section (preferred), or if you’re shy, email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Drawing by Anne Sax.)