Load images, dammit!

A peek at the slush pile

This is a sequence of approximately 300 captions submitted for DFC #404-- about typical for one day’s submissions for a newish cartoon. The total for this cartoon will be 1000 captions or more. Near-duplicates are omitted. The numbers in brackets are submitter numbers, but since I cut this from six different passes through the editing interface (we see 50 captions at a time), they’re not really meaningful here.

I’ve divided it into categories to make it clearer what’s going on, and indicated which captions were accepted, okayed, or waitlisted. I didn’t redzone any, but these would have come from the Red zone category below. My comments below are in bluish italics. In addition, Spinn's added the comments in orange italics. (Craig may do his own page, so you'll get yet another perspective.)

What I hope comes through is that the captions you don’t see are generally weaker variations of what you do see. We get a bunch of running gags, a bunch of sex/drugs/abuse jokes, a bunch of dead Keanes, etc. Another editor, or Spinn, or you, might well choose different ones from these categories than I did. But it’s not like we throw out all the novel ones and focus on what we've accepted before. On the contrary; I’m much meaner about the same ol’ same ol’.

[ Back to the Page o' SpinnStuff ]

Abuse -- 3 (1/1)

Suggestions that the children are being abused (in nonsexual or unspecified ways).

"Here's a hint : most mothers actually serve their children food on the plates in between their compulsively washing them over and over." [1] -- OKAY Good idea, but could be sharper.

I love you with all my heart! You always make time for us kids and I can't think of any finer role model! ...How'd that sound, Jeffy? My audition for Rosie O'Donnell's adoption lawyer is just a day away! [6] Would've okayed this, maybe...but maybe this concept would only work in a two-part panel. I like the bait-and-switch idea, but don't know how you could do it in one shot.

Mom, I've been watching Oprah, and because I don't grow up to be an insecure crybaby, I want to tell you while I'm still young: Fuck You! [23] -- GOOD

Backstory -- 4 (1/1)

The captioner supplies some novelistic history for the Keane family. I generally like this sort of thing, but as you can see we don’t get too much of it.

A teary-eyed Thel barely noticed Dolly's mindless chatter, longing for those carefree days as a topless dancer at the Pink Pussycat, longing for a wad of fivers stuck in her G-string, near that place Bil no longer touched... [7]

A teary-eyed Thel let Dolly's mindless chatter in one ear and out the other, as she dreamed of her long-lost, carefree days as a topless dancer at the Pink Pussycat. [7] Not bad, but Thel always seems to have been a stripper or groupie.

Mommy, I wanna be just like you, but I can't get the mindset quite right. Tell me again about your whirlwind romance with Schultz, and how a drunken 1-nighter with Bil turned your dreams of wealth and fame into a herpetic, morning-sick hell on earth. [16] -- OKAY Good idea, but a little awkward. Let’s work on the motivation here: why does Dolly want to be like Thel? And why is she asking for the story she obviously knows very well already? And more like the R-A-T-P-O-I-S-O-N example. Takes too long. Actually, yeah, I might dump the first sentence and shorten the second one somehow.

Two beings with enormous egos, two creatures whose lust for the spotlight was leading the entire cartoon downhill. Luckily for us, these two beings had the same agent who agreed that scooping out Jeffy and sewing Kitty-kat inside would solve a lot of problems.--from My Son, My Pet: a Biography of Jeffy-kat Keane by Thelma Louise Keane. [3] -- WAIT You could put this in the "Been there" category-- the story of Jeffy (and sometimes Dolly) and the spotlight-- but this caption also tries to tell a story. For me the cat idea is more strange than funny,, but maybe another editor will like it. Yeah, I would've liked the cat thing, but only by itself. And the use of "beings" is kinda odd.

Been there, done that -- 25

Themes we’ve visited all too many times before.

"I dunno, Jeffy....where is the reset switch for this Stepford Thel?" [9]

"It's been a loooooooong time since I've said p'sghetti!" [5]

"Jesus H. Christ Mom! You're looking more like Popeye's girlfriend everyday!" [5]

Daddy's drunk on the couch mumbling something about how all us kids shoulda been "'bortions" then threw his malt liquor bottle at the TV! [23]

Jeffi uses his mental powers to give Dolli lock-jaw during her off-key performance of Celene Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" [5]

Mom you have got to stop mis-dosing your meds...this is the 3rd time this week you've washed the paper plates and Dixie Cups. [8]

We've secretly replaced Thel's dishwater with toluene. And Jeffy's spine with a Slinky. And Dolly's ponytail with a roll of cheap cellophane tape. Let's see if she notices. [16]

It was bad enough that Jeffy leered at her when he wanted something to eat, but somehow Dolly's bird-like behavior disturbed her worse [2]

While Thel glared down the hungry throat, she wondered if she should've sent Dolly to a Nursery School instead of an Avairy. [10]

The county's here checkin' green cards! Into the closet, the both of you!!! [6]

The ‘National Geographic Special’ subsection:

...notice the cuckoo child incessant begging for food. Note how the lanky mother doesn't realize that child isn't hers.... - Discovering Family Circus [7]

As the gazelle steps towards the water hole it will check for predators in and around the water are before finally bending down to take a drink. -National Geographic Nov. 83 [2]

The rather irradic Dollybeaked Parrot opens her mouth for a squawk, mistaking the Rubbernecked Guttertrash Thel Swallow for its mother instead of a raging heroin addict, and farhter back an Inbred Three-Toed Treehugger(Jefficus Slothicus) slumbers peacefully. [anon]

Watch this family of thin-necked Keanes closely. As the adult female cleans up the mess left by the feeding of the now-sated younger males, a juvenile female approaches, waiting for her mother to regurgitate food into her open mouth. [2]

The ‘Featureless Void’ subsection:

"Jesus, Thel. You've been so fucking busy with these dishes, that you haven't even noticed that someone stole our house!!" [19]

"Where are we? There's nothing but a void back there and PJ's lost his pennant." [12]

Into the Featureless Void, the Keanes tossed everything but the kitchen sink. [12]

Pull yer hands out! Quick! Look what that new all-in-one cleanser has done to the rest of the kitchen! [22]

The ‘Dammit, we did this already on this very cartoon’ subsection. Don’t y’all read each others' captions?

Give it up Thel...Even with the apron and the Playtex Living gloves nobody is going to believe you are a good mother if you wash the old Big Mac and Whopper boxes. [8]

Don't turn around, he's still looking at your tits... keep your eyes on me, grab a plate in each hand, and swing at a spot about ten inches off your left elbow... [19]

With his mom distracted by his sister's contant whining, that mischevous little Billy found the perfect opening to stare at his mother's breasts. [14]

"Gee mom, why can't Daddy get a decent job so that we can have a dishwasher like every other family in North America?" [6]

"I say oppose the rigid and socially-enforced straitjacket of patriarchal hegemony. 'Sides, Jeffy and I want a cookie." [9]

From what I hear, I'd wear those gloves in the bedroom, not the kitchen! [4]

Jeffy's leanin' up against the dish washer again! [17]

Cum jokes -- 6

That inviting open mouth. We’ve been there before, too.

"Mom always told me that one day my mouth was going to get stuck like that. Who would have thought that this was the one she actually knew what she was talking about? But the worst part was the smug gloat on my brother's face. We both knew that once Bil saw me, Jeffy would be free of surprise night time visits for months." -- from Winds of Change by Dolly Keane [1]

"Ishn't shish when Daddy alwaysh shaysh 'Shwallow, bitsh!'?" [13]


"Mom... do your jaws lock after going down on dad?" [13]

Oh my God! Thel thought, Bil's got to stop skull-fucking Dolly. We simply can't afford the orthadontist bills. [16]

School's okay... Sexual Education classes start next week, I've already started practicing my form... See? [16]

Your right Dolly, Jeffy's cum DOES seem a bit off color! Does it still have that delightful soy taste? [2]

Garbage disposal -- 4 (1)

Another interpretation of Dolly’s wide-open mouth. I liked the Pez idea the best, not least because it makes use of the "Thel has the intelligence of cheese" theme I’ve found humorous lately.

"Mom never kept a trashcan by the sink while she was doing the dishes. Why bother, when Dolly was always so eager for the scrapings?" -- Jeff Keane, Memories of Hell [6]

"Sorry Thel, your acid bath and garbage disposal still can't beat the wood chipper" [15]

Good grief, thought Thel, there's another one. How many plates did this girl swallow? [17]

Thel looked down in surprise. I could have sworn that Pez dispenser wasn't there a minute ago... [17] - GOOD

DFC running gags -- 12 (1)

Too much metahumor and Spinn gets on our case. Actually this is way less than usual. My whining on alt.fan.spinnwebe had some effect. I couldn’t resist one more haiku, especially one that nicely skewers our usual themes.

You're right, Thel. Soylent Green rinsed in Tidy-Bowl does give a beautiful phosphorescent Tourquois. But it's still processed P.J. to me. [4]

404--Caption Not Found [15] Could have okayed this one. The 404 idea is good. Heh. I didn't get this until I remembered this was cartoon #404. Yeah, eh, maybe.

Dishes are dirty/Housework is bondage mommy/I think Jeffy's dead - Last place entry, 1962 DFC Haiku World Championships, Helsinki, Finland [10] - GOOD

Gallant politely asks advice regarding the proper techniques of grease removal. . Goofus tries desperately to get a parent's attention, after discovering the dangers inherent in dik play [15] AAAIIIIEEEEEEE!!

Keane, desperate for the DFC to give him a break about the "melon-head" issue, creates a new feature for ridicule: Jeffy's Cubical Ass. [15]

Mom, tell Dad to let Billy do the panels for the next couple of weeks. I can't face the prospect of Dad's so-called 'cartoonist's block' giving those dickweeds at the DFC that much time to come up with captions for this scene. Not to mention # 401. [18]

Dolly reaches her inquisitive phase: "Mom, I was wondering...if poop holds tents wher they are, what holds the poop?" [0]

Mom.....I didn't want to say anything.....but, well, in black and white...well, I think I know what's holding the plates wher they are" [5]

See, Jeffy's "Brillo-hair" makes a great pot scrubber if you give him enough Quaaludes. [0]

My God -- She's full of stars! [15]

Thoughts sped through Dolly's cavernous head...difficult red thoughts...but she could not form the words. "Shit," she thought, "my whole life is a running gag!" [0]

Vice Pope Doug is here, what do we do now that he's gone into the Impossible Zone? [24]

Bil can’t draw -- 8

But we know that. None of these stand out.

"Mom, Jeffy's looking at the Minute Floating Speck again," [6] Not really a "Bil can't draw" caption...more like a "Spinn didn't clean up the scan enough" caption. I might've taken this one. It's kinda cute.

"Ooooh! So this is what a sink looks like! You must excuse me, I've never seen one before since BIL DRAWS ME 3 FUCKIN' FEET TALL!!!!!" [3]

Jeffy's head looks like a testicle. [19]

Mom, have I ever told you how much you look like a pigeon [21]

Mom, I've been wonderin' how the hell do we fit our heads through these tiny little neck holes? I mean, look at the size of our friggin' heads! [21]

OKay, i get the washing the dishes part, but where the hell are you supposed to put them when you're done? ...and where did we use them? ...and what in the fuck did you do to Jeffy's spine? [11]

These Androstene supplements are working great!! Look! I've already grown 6 inches and can see over the top of the sink for the first time in my life" [anon]

You know, you're never gonna finish washing those dishes until you get that arm-extension surgery... [19]

Drugs -- 6 (1/1)

Another common theme...

"Then I sez to Billy, Gee, I ain't gettin' no pulse either, you think Jeffy took ALL the 'ludes?and Billy sez Heck, no, I think PJ ate 10 or 12 of 'em before he turned blue and started smellin' real bad! so I guess the answer to your question is um, no, I don't know exactly what's wrong with Jeffy" [10]

"Then I sez to Billy, Gee, I ain't gettin' no pulse neither, you think Jeffy took ALL the 'ludes?and Billy sez Heck, no, I think PJ ate 10 or 12 of 'em before he turned blue and started smellin' real bad! so I guess the answer to your question is um, no, I don't know if the other children are upset about Dad running over Barfy" [10]

As Dolly cried out for attention, the Xanax finally kicked in, and Thel started to dissolve into geometric shapes. [7]

As the drugs took their desired effect, all Jeffy could think was, "mARiLyN MaNsOn RoOoOoOLLLzZzZ!!!!" [3] - WAIT I liked this, but not quite enough-- maybe another editor will love it, though. Nah, I would've dumped it. I would've taken the "dissolved into geometric shapes" one before this. Same concept, and this one annoys me more. Not that I would've taken either.

Dolly's horrid bleating slowly faded as Thel's neck and shoulders elongated even further. Jeffy sighed dreamily - this was good acid. [0] -- OKAY I’m not sure why I okayed this one, since we’ve done that joke many times. I suppose I just like the way it’s written, and how it fits the cartoon. Yeah. Jeffy just looks like he's really groovin'. It's an unusual enough pose to make this one worth it.

OK, Thel, we're puttin you to bed until you come down. And shame on you, Jeffy, tricking her into washing your frisbees. [4]

Feminism -- 12 -- (2)

A pretty obvious response to this cartoon. We’ve got a lot of this sort of thing lately, haven’t we? Bil Keane really knows how to glamorize the role of the traditional wife, doesn’t he? But hey--she gets to go to church and get an occasional hug from Bil, right?

The problem is in making the caption more amusing than the average issue of Ms. usually is. The two I okayed have more of a sense of dialog--Dolly trying to understand her Stepford-Wife mother--but still could be more boffo.

"So, you mean to tell me that when I grow up I'll have to wash dishes and when Jeffy grows up he'll sit on the sofa and watch sports all day? That's the last straw, I'm gettin' a sex change!" [14]

"Traditional femme stereotype? You're soaking in it!" [7]

The pathetic trap of white suburban female domestic oppression??? Your soaking in it! [8]

"When I grow up, am I going to have to put up with doing every damned thing around the house while my husband sits in his room and doodles?" Dolly's question made Thel pause. No wonder she only weighed only 13 pounds while Bil had 4 levels of stomach folding over his belt. And Jeffy just watched, dreaming of his own fantasy wedded bliss.... [9]

After six jokes about how Thel's dreams of a high-powered career were 'all washed up', no one was particularly suprised where the cheese grater ended up. [17]

dishes are for bitches [anon]

Mom, I'm giving a presenation to my Young Lesbians group about how the male establishment uses the mindless drudgery of housework to crush the minds and egos of their female slaves until they're little more than walking vacuum cleaners and dishwashers that can give head, and I was wondering if maybe you had any insights into the issue. [anon]

Peppermint Patty says that doing the dishes is just one more thing that men use to keep us womyn tied to the yoke of supression! And by the way I have never seen her "munch carpet" whatever that means! [8]

Peppermint Patty says that doing the dishes is just one more thing that men use to keep us womyn tied to the yoke of supression! [8]

OK, but what do you get out of this arrangement? [6]

So, after Bil "slaps you up", does housework make you feel more needed? [16] - OKAY I like both of these...of the group, they say it best and quickly. First one's more subtle. I dunno which I'd take.

So, this isn't demeaning, but rather a "partnership" where the wife's household duties match, in importance and difficulty, the duties of her hard-working, office-bound, financially-providing mate. Question -- How the fuck is this relevant in our home? [15] - OKAY

Gay jokes -- 6 (1/1)

The joke for all of these is basically "----- is gay." Ha. Ha. After 400 cartoons, we can just assume that everybody’s gay, everybody’s being abused, any cylindrical object is a dildo. Which means you have to add something on top of it to have a chance of being accepted. Sometimes style alone is enough-- the ‘fabulous blue teacup’ is absurd and funny. The ‘aversion therapy’ one is well written, which is why it’s okayed, but the basic joke is still just ‘Dad’s gay’ plus an Uncle Roy reference.

"Good work, Dolly!" thought Jeffy. "Distract her for just 20 more seconds, and that fabulous blue teacup will be mine. All mine!" [9] - GOOD heh. Although I wouldn't say this is a "Jeffy is gay" caption, necessarily...just playing off that odd pose again. Which is why I would've taken it.

"Is it me, or does Jeffy look more effeminate than usual today?" [6]

Analysis Notes, 10-15-98: Subject J.K.'s Oedipal complex appears more severe than ever. I have utilized appropriate aversion therapies, having him visualize his father sodomized by a large black man, but this image seems strangely neutral to him... [15] - OKAY

And then Billy said "If mom keeps teaching Jeffy how to do housework and stuff she'll turn him into a fag." And then Uncle Roy said "I think someone beat her to it." And then he and Dad 'high-fived' each other and started to laugh. [9]

Dolly was shocked and Thel taken aback as young Jeffy told them he liked guys. [4]

I dont know where Dad went, when he left he was mumbling something about Uncle Roy and some house on Fire Island. What da h-e-double hockey sticks does he mean Mommy? [0] Oy. Wayyyyy too long to get there. "Mommy, Daddy mumbled something about 'needing a fix' and got in his car and drove to the other side of town and bought a packet of some little white stuff and came back and used a straw to suck it up his nose and now he's on the lawn and dancing naked and calling the trees 'my buddy the hampster' and putting his weewee in the garden gnome, what does that mean?" Timing, people, timing.

General -- 14 (1/4)

Stuff that’s hard to classify. And that’s a good thing--notice the increased acceptance rate.

Feb. 11, 1990: In an effort to keep up with the modern, technology-filled world, the Keane household finally gets indoor plumbing. [11] Although ‘it’s 1950’ has been overdone.

"An' at Three O'Clock you always vacuum the carpet!" "Wow", Dolly thought, "this 'nesia stuff is wicked cool!" [anon] -- OKAY The amnesia-hypnosis gag is great, but it needs a much better kicker than vacuuming the rug. What would you do if you had power over Thel? (Note: something sexual is almost as banal as vacuuming.) Or: "Look, I already hypnotized Jeffy into thinking he's a jellyfish. I think you'd best get me some Ring-Dings before the neighbors get gossip fodder for the next six months, capiche?"

"I passed your suggestion on to Bil, and he said he ain't gonna draw a dishwasher. It seems the last one he drew never stop bitching at him!" [13] -- OKAY

"Disaster in the living room, mom. Dad actually beat PJ in checkers tonight, and you know what a sore loser he is." [0] I thought this was a little too subtle, but Spinn disagrees. I think it could be stronger, though.

"Sorry Thel, but re-inacting scenes from Titantic in the kitchen sink just does'nt cut it. Can't you just give me the fuckin' money so I can go see the movie, you cheap ass skank??" [5]

"Well, Mom, this is Jeffy's and my school project. We're tryin' to reinvent cenipillin." [9] - OKAY

As Dolly yammered on about her dream of becoming a Spice Girl, Thel idly wondered to herself -- if nature truly abhors a vacuum, why hadn't the girl's head imploded?! [18] - GOOD Too clunky. "nature abhors a vacuum" is too much of a detour.

The Brainwashing of Jeffy: Cover, Saturday Evening Post, May 21, 1955 [8] Not sure I get this one.

The kids could yammer on all they wanted. Lacking ears and only a painted line for a mouth, the ThelBot 2000 could do nothing but wash, wash, wash. [8] Thel as robot has been done too.

The sheep bleats, hungry for food, hungry for warmth. The sturdy mangrove, roots deep in the water, sways in the breeze. And the sloth just watches. Great comforting leaves. Warm distressed wool. And the sloth just watches. -- Excerpt from Bil Keane's poem, "The Sloth Just Watches," which never would have won such awards and acclaim had anyone known he wrote it while tripping his ass off in the kitchen. [12] -- OKAY The last part is unnecessary, I think, and why is it Bil’s poem? But the weird little poem has a lot of potential.

Tonight, the part of Jeffy will be played by his understudy, "Sum Dum Fuk". [8] Kentucky Fried Movie did it better.

They' [4] An unfinished caption.

Stupid... I told you not to get any soap or water on jeffy. now he's melting. [anon]

"PJ? He's playin' 'Dirty Dish.' Why?" [5]

Huh? -- 12 -- (1/1)

Either these are odd or they went right over my head. The ones I okayed or waited have a nice suggestive quality, but they could be a little clearer on what they’re suggesting.

"Can I wash th' hubcaps too when I grow up?" [anon]

"Will I have to wash hubcaps too when I grow up?" [anon]

"Can't you get Billy to stand here for this strip. I'm booked with on The Fat Albert Gangbang Family Hour in just two hours." [12]

"Mom, Jeffy said we're having wheezy corn muffins or something like that for dinner, are we ?" [5]

"No, Mommy, no -- in the blood of the Lamb!" [25] - OKAY Uh, heh...yeah, I would've waited this, because I don't understand it, but I sense humor.

"Why do we have two sinks? Did this used to be a Jewish house?" [12]

Daddy's new wife says you're gonna fry in hell for getting us hooked on smack. does human flesh smell like bacon when it fries? or does it smell like scene stealing jeffie the beaneyes over there? [anon]

I told Billy not to drink that last six-pack of Drano, but did he listen? Noooooooo! [9]

Lady Macbeth could've learned a thing or two from Mack the Knife, huh? [2] - WAIT

Okay, but next time you need to borrow my rubber gloves, ask. [17]

Quick, Ma! I need that Palmolive laxative! [13]

Wow. So that's how you play "Black Dahlia". Yo, BILLY! Have I got a game for you! [14]

Murder -- 22 (2/2/1)

You could call this a subcategory--a big honking subcategory--of ‘Been there, done that’. Again, to me it’s no longer enough just to suggest that Keane A is killing Keane B-- otherwise, as you can see, we’d have twenty murder captions per picture.

"After you're done with those, there's a puddle of blood under Mr. "Dishes-Are-Women's-Work"'s chair that needs cleaning." [11] -- GOOD Actually a correction. Notice and admire the subtlety. This caption tells a whole story in one sentence.

"You've been holding P.J. down there long enough! It's my turn!" [5]

"I wouldn't put my hands in there, Mom, gloves or no. Just look at the expectant grin on Noodle Noggin." [20]

"I wouldn't put my hands in there, Mom, gloves or no. Just look at the expectant grin on Pencil Dick." [20]

"I wouldn't put my hands in there, Mom, gloves or no. Just look at the expectant grin on Jeffy." [20] Already in the okay pile. Good idea, but I think it could be worded better.

"Jeffy's looking so smug 'cause he drew a dotted line into the freeway traffic. Now with Billy out of the way, he can get 20% more Circle Time." [12]

"Mommy, I wanna drink!" "Mommy, feed me!" Dolly just kept at it, never noticing Jeffy's bisected body laying crookedly across the counter. Tonight, she would learn not to irritate me on "chakram-washing-night". --Thel "Zima, the Warrior Housewife" Kean [16]

"See, while I distract you by talking to you, Jeffy slips the broken glass in with the dishwater. And it's working, 'cause you're busy watching me while-- man, this is too easy..." [20] -- WAIT Clever, but it doesn’t seem a real surefire murder method, does it? But not necessarily a murder caption anyway. Maybe just a "see how we can maim mommy" caption.

Can I take billi out of the dishwasher now? [0]

Dolly's final words were: "Wow, you gutted, cleaned and boned Jeffy in under five minutes! I'd like to see you do that again!" [26] -- OKAY Excellent idea; just needs sharper wording. Note that ‘final words’ at the beginning telegraphs the punch. Yeah. Just drop the first four words, and I would've kept it.

Jeffey's pretending that he is a baby seal, and that the dishes are an ice flow. Can I pretend that I am a Newfoundlander with a baseball bat? [13]

Q. If Jeffy has just slipped 55 grams of calcium carbide into Thel's dishwater, and will ignite a Zippo over the sink in 22 seconds, how many times will Thel be able to stab him with the jagged ends of her ruined forearms before she dies from blood loss? [15] -- GOOD I waitlisted this one; Craig accepted it. Eh, I don't think I would've kept it.

Ummm... Not to tell you yer JOB or anything... But aren't you s'posed bathe P.J. in the sink and put the dishes in the washer? [3]

"The lady next door said that if the blood doesn't come off, try some bleach." [10]

You can stop now, Ma. How many times do I gotta keep tellin' you? The blood is ONLY in yer head! [3] - OKAY I’m sure there’s a good Macbeth caption to be made, but these are weak.

As Dolly gabbered on, Thel thought how easy it would be to coax the end of her pony tail into the garbage disposal. [4] Thel daydreaming about murdering a kid is pretty old, too.

Even as Dolly ratted out Jeffy for being high again, Thel wondered if the garbage disposal was the best way to dispose of the bodies. [5]

We were cool with Mom drowning PJ in the sink. It was even Dolly's idea. But she just couldn't handle the carnage that ensued moments later. My ears are still ringing. I'm tellin' ya, after 15 lbs, you simply can't jam an infant into the garbage disposal without backing up the drain. -- Jeffrey Keane, in his final interview on "Dateline NBC" before the execution [12]

Subcategory: Jeffy is sitting there like a salmon because he is, in fact, dead. I don’t like these because it’s like the superglue jokes: you could fill up every cartoon with jokes based on one of the characters being a corpse.

"Well, yes, he is pliantly obedient now, but what'll ya do when rigor mortis sets in?" [9]

Don't feel bad because no one ate your "Baked Jeffey Surprise," Thel. You got all the details right from the pubic-like red hair to his webbed toes, and the Spam and tuna combination captured his mottled complexion just right. Next time, I might go easy on the body odor and sores. [2]

Mom? We all know how much you loved him and how much you are going it miss him but, well, Jeffy was cut in half in the garage door 5 days ago...Don't you think it's about time to let him go? He's getting a little gamey? [8]

While you're at it, could you splash some cold water on Jeffy? He hasn't moved in a day or two two, and he's startin' to smell. [4]

Oatmeal -- 12 (2)

The comedic concept that Thel’s washing the dishes in something besides water. A good idea, but we don’t need it more than twice.

"Why are you washing your dishes in my gin? [15] - GOOD

"Oh, just some batt'ry acid. Why?" [8]

"You know, Mom, instead of melting those dishes in sulphuric acid, it might be cheaper to WASH them instead!" [1]

Jeffy wondered when Thel would realize the hydrochloric acid was eating not only the food from the dishes, but her hands as well. [17]

Desperate cries for help #34 of 417: Repeatedly dipping the good china in a sink full of oatmeal. [18] -- GOOD I'm starting to dislike the "concept #x" captions.

I think you're supposed to wash dishes in water, Mom. Not Prego gaspetti sauce. [7] Gratuitous "gaspetti" there.

My mouth fell open in horror when I realized that after drugging my poor brother, my mother decided to fill the sink with oatmeal and dip crockery into it. -- D. Keane, My Mother the Meth Addict [16]

Washing the dishes in a sinkful of mashed potatoes is bad enough, but I really think that the radiation from drying them in the microwave for 10 minutes a plate could explain Jeffrina's unanticipated sex change. [5]

Thel’s cleaning obsession -- 12 (2)

This is getting to be a running gag, but it’s not overdone--yet. The ones I liked best took it to a particularly surreal level.

"Dont look at me bitch!! Eyes front!! You feel that gun in your side?? Im gonna take out a kneecap if don't start working faster!!" [5]

"Dont look at me bitch!! Eyes front!! You feel that gun in your side?? Im gonna take out a kneecap if you don't start working faster!! And I want to see my reflection in everyone of those dishes!!" The real reason behind Thels impetuous cleaning addiction [5]

It was only when they realized that she'd been hand washing the coffee filters and bin liners that they began to grasp the severity of their mother's condition. -- From The Spic and Span-ish Inquisition American Journal of Psychiatric Medicine, November 1998. [17]

Ok, now get out those towels, Wipe on, wipe off, wipe on, wipe off! Or do you want to stay a lowly white apron forever? [9]

Remember, Mom -- clean dishes are enough. You don't have to scrub the dishwater itself. [16] - GOOD

That's the third plate we lost today. I know you like it shiny, but arn't you going over the top just a little with an industial acid wash? [4] - GOOD

They're not shiny yet! Don't stop until I can see my reflection, wench! [4]

The red zone -- 23

Here you go--unedited red zone.

dad now has herpes [10]

dolly gave jeffy a blow job [anon]

dolly says 'daddi told me to get on my knees and make a face like this' [15]

don't look now but you are doing colored's work [anon]

geffy didnt know weather to suck thels jugs or pop his unit in her gapping mouf [10]

I'm hungry...feed me sperm! [anon]

im standing on you clitoris [3]

im standing on your clitoris [3]

jeffi gone crazy! 'I like to take it in the ass like a real man' he says [10]

jeffi gone crazy! Take it in the ass like a real man he says [10]

jeffis waitn for some good luvin [11]

jeffis waitn for some good luvin [anon]

jeffy shat in the sink [anon]

jefies waiting for Bj to come and butfuck him again! [9]

lookit jefis cum in my mouth [14]

mom, jeffi jizzed in my mouth [anon]

my cunt is bigger than yours. [anon]

the dfc is run by niggaas because they wont say jew or fag or coon [anon]

thel washis dishes with jefis creamy hunk o jizzy kizz [anon]

we got some coupons for some jizz. can we redeem them in the sink [anon]

when i suk diks i make my mouth like this [anon]

whu let the dick in the fuzzy hair in the house mommie? can I show him the way to San Jose? [anon]

your vagina stinks [anon]

References -- 5 (2)

I’m ambivalent about references-- there’s a pleasure in seeing Oliver Twist here, for instance, but I prefer captions that don’t just make the reference, but do something with it.

I dunno...after seeing all the commercials, I thought I'd be learning things more, you know, high-tech here at DeVry... [6] - GOOD The DeVry slam is cute and nicely understated. Heh. And played off that commercial that bugs me. Grainy film, unpleasant people..."Do you have experience with anything...high tech?" Applicant looks uncomfortable: "No..."

"My mood ring said I was depressed, so I went over to Keith Partridge's and I burned my bra while he warmed up the lava lamp, but now I've got the clap. Can I have fifty for the doctor?" --That 70's Circus [18] - GOOD This one just pushes a bunch of ‘70s buttons in a silly way.

Oh, how nice. That little backwards talking dwarf from Twin Peaks brought a friend. [4]

Please, sir, may I have some more? [9] Yeah, reference for reference's sake, there. Dump it in the Monty Python gratuitous reference pile.

Jeffy's turning Japanese I think he's turning Japanese I really think so! [9]

Restaurant -- 3 (1)

The basic idea of not paying the bill is fine, but again you have to do something extra with it.

"Boy, is my face red!" he said. "Thel, you and the kids just wait here at the restaurant while I run home and get my wallet," he said. And we call him a dipshit! [6]

I told you the old "I forgot my credit card" trick wouldn't work at this restaurant! [22] - OKAY

That'll teach you to try and skip out on the bill at Dennys. [4]

Contrast these with two captions accepted later. I particularly like the way the second one piles three slams together-- not only is Thel a ho, but an unsuccessful one... repeatedly. Yeah, I like that one.

All I'm saying is that since daddy's the one who maxed out the credit card calling 1-900-BAD-BOYS, he should be the one who has to wash dishes to pay off the dinner check. --Opie

That's the third restaurant owner this month who chose the dishwashing over the blowjob. Maybe we need to talk about your technique. --Gen. Sedgwick

Sex -- 32 (1/2)

Hey, I know! We could pretend that the wholesome Keane kids are having sex! Oh man, that’s just so outrageous!

"...and after our noisy romp in the bedroom the previous panel, Mom washed out her diaphragms. Dolly was bitching that Billy and Daddy wouldn't let her help them with their "wrestling practice", but even her dying-cat voice couldn't ruin my afterglow. I loved my Mom..." - from "Family Affairs: The Keane Home-school Sex Ed Primer" by J. Keane, PhD, and prisoner #2236534 [anon] - WAIT

"Aren't you done sterilizing those nipple rings yet?" [17]

"C'mon, Jeffy's asleep and you know what that apron and dish gloves getup does to me." [20]

"Geez, mom! Even talking about that 'not-so-fresh' feeling doesn't make Jeffy leave!" [1]

"Jeffy and I want to learn how to burp sperm!" [anon]

"Jeffy's sayin' that Grampa's behind him, and frankly, it's really creeping me out. [12] Heheh. I like this one. It pulls in the floating dead Grampa bit. (and again, makes the reader work a little.) Yeah, but we've done sodomizing ghosts before, too.

"Oh, sure, I could wash the dishes... but we wouldn't want Daddy to see those pictures of you and Uncle Roy, now would we?" [10]

"Oh, sure, I could wash the dishes... but we wouldn't want Daddy to see those pictures of you and Uncle Roy, now would we?"... Yes, Dolly and Jeffy had turned that $10 brownie camera into a license to loaf around the Keane household... [10]

"Oh, sure, you're cleaning with those rubber gloves... And I suppose Jeffy's slumped over on the counter with his pants around his ankles to watch you clean, huh?" [1]

Dad says for me to finish the dishes. He wants you in that maid outfit in the bedroom now...and leave on the rubber gloves. [3] We already have a ‘rubber glove fetish’ caption, and a better one.

"When your done here, you may manna leave those gloves on. Jeffy's found his erogenous zones again." [11]

"Ummmm... Mom, you probably want to keep those gloves on. Jeffy got his firetruck stuck in his ass again." [14] Heh. Not bad.

"You shameless harlot! I deck myself out in the finest of Gurranimals, yet Jeffy has eyes only for your Pit-And-The-Pendulum hair. What about my needs?!" [9] Huh?

Bil's home! Lose the French maid getup or he'll know our other Daddy was here again! [15]

Dad said I'm s'posed to get my mouth washed out with soap for what I said. I'm more interested because of what he did. [15]

Every time you put on the rubber gloves, Jeffy assumes the position... [17]

Geez Mom! If I told you once I told you a thousand times! WATER WILL RUST THE MANICLES! Put them back in the "playroom" this instant! [12]

I guess now is as good time as any to start weening the children. [4]

I guess now is as good time as any to start weening the children off breast milk. [4] Why on this cartoon?

I like it best when you wash my Diaphram on Thursday Nights. The chili residue is an effective spermacide, and the straberry jello gives me that "fresh" feeling. [14]

I see you're breaking out the fine china and washing them... Shatner in town? [16] -- OKAY -- I like the nonchalant ending, but the first part could be worded better. Yeah. "You're cleaning a lot today..." maybe. And, heheh...how'd Shatner become the Other Guy? He's shown up other times, right? Amusing. (BUT ONLY BECAUSE IT'S BEEN DONE INFREQUENTLY, DEAR GOD, PEOPLE, DON'T BOMB US WITH SHATNER LINES NOW.)

I see you're breaking out the fine china and washing them... Shatner in town again? [16]

Ma, when i told you to wash your "Mr. Nubbies" vibrator, I didn't mean WITH the goddamn dishes... dumb bitch. [21] Isn’t that just SOP at the DFC?

Mom - daddy's going through your closet again - do we have to see his after dinner "fashion show?" Last time it made me feel a little throw up in my throat. Daddy just doesn't know how to accessorize! [13] Too slow.

Mom, your blow up Jeffy doll is losing air again. [11]

The outfit's pretty close, Mom, but you're s'posed to be a Nazi nun, and it's leather, not lather. [12] Duh. Stupid pun. I would've stupided this.

Thel had wondered why Jeffy was so tired after "wrestling" with Uncle Roy. But the dishwashing came to an abrupt halt when Dolly shared the new "trick" Uncle Roy had taught her... [8]

Upon the request of the Chosen One, Jeffy, it is now written law that you must do the dishes in the nude. [3] -- WAIT

"So, Mom, we were wondering....from whom do we get our hair? And how come Bil's never wondered about it?" [9] Oh, there’s an original thought: the kids aren’t Bil’s!

how come billie and I and PJ all look alike but Jeffy looks like Kissinger jr? [anon]

Why is daddy crying in the other room and mumbling something about Kissinger being Jeffy's real daddy? How could that happen? You said your job in DC years ago was as an intern to Nixon, not Kissenger, right. RIGHT?!? [4] Hmm, I guess Jeffy does look like Kissinger here. There’s an idea there, but it needs to be developed much better. Yeah, and toooooooooooo lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng again.

Wowwwww! So all those little boxes Daddy tosses in his suitcase...does that mean during his business trips he's out washing dishes with his dick? He should be on "Stupid Human Tricks"! [6] Obscure. It took me a bit to get the rubber gloves/rubbers connection, and then neither Dolly's interpretation or the fact that Bil packs condoms does much for me.

Sick humor -- 20 (3/1)

A mainstay. On the whole these are pretty good; I could just pick the best ones.

"You'd better go check on Dad. He's wrapping the dogs in duct tape and mumbling 'never again, never again'." [0] -- GOOD What I like about this one is the sense of mystery. You have to decide for yourself just what nastiness Bil is up to-- this is often more effective than the sickest thing you can name.

"I dunno, but since you took Pledge to the bannister, he gets that look every time he smells lemons." [11] -- GOOD Similar-- the reader has to work a little.

Turn ...around... very... slowly... Jeffy... is...morphing...into...a...Were-Hummel! [9] -- GOOD I just liked the word ‘Were-Hummel’.

Dolly distracts the incredulous Thel with a bizarre, rather sick tale involving, of all things, the President of the United States, while Jeffy slowly creeps up for a swig of tasty dishwater. [anon]

While Dolly distracted Thel with a bizarre story involving, of all things, the President of the United States, Jeffy crept ever closer for a swig of nourishing dishwater. [anon] Probably trying to do too many things at once. I think it’d work better to suggest why Jeffy’s into dishwater.

Can I lick the sink when you're done? [6]

"Don't forget, mommy-- it's my turn to eat the drain scraps!" [17]

"Don't look now, Mom, but I think Dad's in a tree outdoors trying to draw your left tit." [anon]

"Gosh, Mom. How many times do I have to apologize? I'm sorry I pulled Jeffy's eyeballs out of their sockets and threw them in the dishwater. I just thought they needed cleaning." [20] Wordy.

>hrrrrrrOCK!< splash! [6] We’ve done that one too.

I know it keeps him quiet for a while, but have you considered the long-term effects of using Jeffy's head to smash the dishes you chipped? [6]

Lacking any toothbrushes, the Keane children got dental hygene wherever they could find it. [17]

Mom, did you ever have that not-so-fresh... oh nevermind, Jeffy didn't take a shower today, did he? [9]

Mom, did you ever have that not-so-fresh... oh nevermind. Jeffy, stop oozing around and take a freakin bath! [9]

Mommy! Was a full body cavity search really necessary? [11]

That's nice, dear. Now go spit that out before it lays eggs. [21] Huh?

Wow! I filled the whole sink, and I had no idea I'd even eaten that much. [4] Requires too much suspension of disbelief. Or, here's an option: "Don't worry, Mommy...Dawn breaks up vomit and surrounds it, letting you get the rest of your dishes clean."

good thing you're wearing those gloves or your hands would get all rough and wrinkly like granpas wee-wee. [8] Heh heh heh. You said ‘wee-wee’. Heh-huh. Huh-huhuhuh. Huh huh.

Horror subcategory

Upon coming home early from kindergarden, I gaped in shock at the sight of my startled kin. All the flesh was missing from my mother's face, revealing an angular, plastic exoskeleton. And I'd interrupted my brother Jeffy's shapeshifting. As Thel calmly replaced her human mask and Jeffy morphed back into vaguely humanoid form, I began to mentally plot my plan. -- An excerpt from My Alien Family, failed graphic novel by Bil Keane [3] OKAY To me this doesn’t quite fit what we see in the cartoon. I want to be able to look again at the cartoon and laugh at how appropriately it illustrates this little horror story. Yeah. Or, again, this caption would work in a two-panel. It probably should've stopped around sentence 3.

"Ok, good news first... Daddy bought you a dishwasher for your anniversary... now the bad news... we had to sell some of Jeffy's internal organs, some of which I think he still needed" [10]

Jeffy’s skeleton -- 7 (1)

Captions playing on Jeffy’s amphibian appearance in this panel. It’s a good idea but doesn’t need more than one or two captions.

Hey, how come every time you wash my skeleton, you just toss it in the machine?!? [6] - GOOD Nicely combines the surrealism with some down-home sibling rivalry.

"Dammit Mom, Jeffy's morphing into the Cheshire Cat again!" [7]

"I don't care what you think. Jeffy's been doing that larvae impression for the past hour, and it's getting damned disturbing!" [15]

"If Jeffy promises to behave real nice, will you put his spine back in?" [0]

I wanna help put the bones back in Jeffy! Can I? Huh? Can I can I can I? [1] Runner-up, for remembering how little kids talk.

Oh, don't worry about Jeffy; he's the lizard king. [1]

Pictured here, new boneless Jeffy - perfect for fillets or casaroles! [12]

You’re soaking in it! -- 7

Consider this category in the okay zone. I just don’t think we’ve had a real thighslapper yet. (This just in: consider it DZ instead.)

"Madge is at the door. She said something about contractual violations and lack of significant product-placement?" [9]

No! No! No Thel! You're not supposed to be wearing gloves!! You'll never get the Pamolive job once Madge dies if you wear those things. Now, once again from the top, repeat after me, "You're soaking in it..." [3]

"Traditional femme stereotype? You're soaking in it!" [7]

Billy's remains? You're soaking in it. [19]

We secretly replaced your regular dishwashing liquid with foley-tube residue. Surprise, You're Soaking In It! [18]

youre soakin in it bitch [3]

Jeffy stared longingly at the Palmolive, aching for his hands to have softer skin. [11]