"Never thought I’d say this, but I wish I'd played more Whac-A-Mole as a kid."
"I'm on a satellite phone—how's the reception?"
"Yes, I'm alone."
As is fast becoming a pattern, there's a clear stand-out among the choices, one that treads that fine line between being funny enough to win it all but unfunny enough to make the editors' top three (ie, the third one above). Ahem, Whac-a-mole? For serious? Maybe the editors just choose two craptastic captions as a service to their indecisive voters who are already overburdened with choice in this chaotic, globalized society. I mean it's hard enough to pick out a goddam bottle of cough syrup at the pharmacy. Good thing we don't have to then choose among three decent New Yorker captions, right? How noble of them.
But for those of who seek a higher truth no matter the consequences, who champion freedom of choice over socialism, liberty over East Coast Elitism and Sam Post over the New Yorker editors, here are some other options.
The second caption above is on the right track, but the wording is off. (I reckon it's supposed to be a play on the word satellite? Or is it? Would it be funny even if that were obvious?) Brett was on a similar path here, and we came up with something similar, but better:
"The view is great, but the service is incredible!"
This more effectively highlights the uniqueness of the situation: here's this random dude who gets the opportunity to behold the glories of the cosmos in blissful solitude, but it's even more cool that he can tell someone about it.
Alissa decided he was calling someone on a grocery run to earth, resulting in this:
"Sorry honey, I meant fat free. If it's not too much trouble, would you mind turning around?"
Variations included reference to a specific astronomical object, say, the milky way or asteroid belt, as a point of reference: "If you're not past the asteroid belt, would you...." but at the time we were still slaves to the editors, choosing pithiness over quality in a thinly veiled attempt at fame and victory. But now we shall have both (minus the victory).
Okay, I just thought of this:
"I'm afraid I may have to cancel that appointment." Like, cause he's a billion miles away. Yahtzee!
And my rejected submission:
"No no, my plan has ten Zorbon minutes. Talk all you want."
This evolved from "It'll take you how long? Oh, you must mean earth days..." or something to that effect. The point is, the speaker's earth compatriot misunderstands his information about timing, cause they're on different planets and their days are different lengths! But I had to tie in something about the fact that he was on the phone, didn't I?
The phrasing took a while to nail down, but in the end, it ranks as one of my greatest accomplishments, alongside graduating college and the caption I submitted the week before. Too complicated, you say? Go play some whac-a-mole. If you need me, I'll be at the pharmacy for the next three hours.