Yes, after almost eight hundred submissions and even more votes cast, I'm pleased to announce that the Grand Prize Winner of the Official Lowe-Down 25th Anniversary Cartoon Caption Contest is Brenda West of Delray Beach, FL.
Brenda's offering garnered a plurality of forty-four percent of the total vote. Brenda not only wins an official blog t-shirt as a finalist, but a pair of movie passes that the theatre may or may not honor when she gets to the door. Or she can have the Morikami Gardens membership. Or both, unless one of the other finalists wants it.
The contest cartoon is displayed here with her winning caption.
The contest was not without controversy. The three finalists chosen by the elite panel of experienced journalists (Editorial Writer Gary Stein, Opinion Editor Antonio Fins and myself) were received with mixed feelings. In fact, there was derision from all quarters: "Is that the best you can do?" "Those choices suck!" "You're all showing your liberal bias!"
As for the last comment, we honestly tried to find at least one caption that both denigrated liberals and was really funny, but since conservatives generally view humor with suspicion, it seems they're just not that good at it.
All this goes to show that in this glorious tapestry we call America (Yecch...did I really write that?), you can't even have an innocuous cartoon caption contest without somebody getting his nose out of joint about it.
In an interesting postcript, some contestants simply refused to give up, and continued to submit more captions for days after the entry period had ended. Some helpfully suggested that theirs were better than the mediocrities we had chosen, and should be substituted for same. My readers are not the kind to take a deadline supinely.
In the final analysis, I applaud and thank all readers who got involved; whether it be those who made constructive contributions or those who just threw bombs.
Next time, maybe I'll just have the readers vote for the top three finalists from all the entries. I think I also speak for Stein and Fins when I say that we'd be more than happy to let you spend the long hours sifting through them.