Here are your lines ...

December 26, 2004|By Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher | Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher,SUN STAFF

WHEN I ASKED for a caption, I didn't expect to get a thousand in return. Earlier this month, I posed a challenge for the readers: Fill in the blank, create a caption for a cartoon I drew of President Bush and Sen. John Kerry. To my surprise, more than 400 readers responded enthusiastically with copious captions of their own.

I read each submission with the trained, interested eye of a satirist. Here's what I found: There are a lot of clever, witty, politically savvy folks out there. If any of them can draw as well, my job could be in jeopardy!

I discovered an astonishing range in participants' ages. Geoffrey Palo, an 8-year-old from Pikesville, was the youngest contributor. William Welnosky Sr. of Glen Burnie barely beat out Thomas O'Donnell of Wittman as the oldest caption writer. He is 94.

Donna Sunderdick's English class at Oakland Mills High School took on the caption challenge as a school exercise. One of her students, Sana Waneed, was one of the many who embellished their witty entries by coloring the cartoon red, white and blue.

Some contributors chose to use their entry as a vehicle to vent at length on the issues of the day. Some blasted Mr. Bush, others Mr. Kerry, while a few took on The Sun in general and me in particular. This was refreshing. Now I know what it's like to be on the other end of a wicked cartoon.

Some wrote personal notes with their submissions. I was pleased to read that many participants enjoyed the caption writing challenge (although Mary Sommerfeldt of Baltimore called it "painful"). I particularly enjoyed Meg Tipper's letter -- she said that she liked my cartoons and recommended that I get a raise.

You will find on this page a small sampling of my favorite captions. It was hard to narrow down the field to this limited number, as there were so many good entries. I would like to thank all the contributors for their time and effort. I hope that everyone enjoyed the challenge -- and I hope none of you is thinking of taking up drawing anytime soon.

-- Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher

Kerry bashing

There was a pretty good parity in ridicule between the two candidates. Many entrants described Senator Kerry getting it on the chinny-chin-chin, and jokes about his long face abounded.

BUSH: Hey, Da Vinci! Jay Leno called; he wants his chin back!

John Bucci, Glen Burnie

BUSH: Could you move your chin, please? I almost mistook it for Alabama.

Edith Davis, Towson

BUSH: Say, John, how long does it take to shave that chin of yours?

KERRY: About as long as it takes to inflate those ears of yours!

David McIntyre, Randallstown

The blues

This one speaks, or shall I say sings, for itself.

KERRY: He got the red states and I got the blues!

Bob Hunter, Hampstead

KERRY: It will be a "blue" Christmas without me ...

Laura Mrozek, Timonium

KERRY: Am I blue? You'd be too. If your grand master plan done fell through.

Albert Denny, Baltimore

Painting a picture

Many submissions liberally applied a sarcastic coat to the artistic endeavors of the candidates.

BUSH: Step aside, John. Looks like Ohio needs another coat!

Dave Welsh, Bel Air

BUSH: Senator ... you should have been more attentive in Karl Rove's art class.

Ingrid Edgerton, Elkridge

BUSH: What were you thinking, John? That politics is a FINE ART?

Nancy Cox, Owings Mills

BUSH: Let's not tell 'em ... it's all the green ... the color of money.

Dave Eberhardt, Baltimore

BUSH: C'mon, John ... Y'gotta watch what yer doin'! Y'just made 'em the BOSTON BLUE SOX!

Bill O'Connor, Bel Air

Rhyme and reason

There were a good amount of amateur poets among the entrants who were not averse to using verse.

BUSH: Republicans are red, Democrats are blue, I fixed the election, not one time but TWO!

Marlin Lee, Hagerstown

KERRY: Roses are red, violets are blue, the country's running a deficit, and it's because of you.

Ira Williams, Catonsville

BUSH: Bush's are red, Kerry's are blue, I fibbed about Iraq and Social Security too!

S. Burchacki, Baltimore

KERRY: I stuck out my thumb and tried for a plum, but like Jack Horner, I'm painted into a corner.

Phyllis Martin, Taneytown

Bush bashing

The link between red paint, red neck, red ink and red blood was a favorite in many submissions, while others cited Mr. Bush's "hard work" as president.

KERRY: Are you using paint or ink, George?

Wm. Lloyd McCraney, New Freedom, Pa.

BUSH: Y'know, John, being president ... it's hard work. But I have found that not paying attention to the details makes it easier.

Alix Heard, Cockeysville

BUSH: John, what you need is one of those holy rollers!

Jonathan Aaron, Owings Mills

BUSH: By the time I'm done, more Americans will be in the red than ever before.

Lorraine Zibreg, Severn

KERRY: Do you think Michelangelo started like this?

BUSH: Who?

Sol Goodman, Baltimore

Senior brigade

The over-80 contingent was well represented in the submissions.

BUSH: My wife helped me a great deal in the election.

KERRY: Mine too. But it was too late to play ketch-up.

Norwood Shpritz, 83, Baltimore

BUSH: Cover more using a roller!

KERRY: Nonsense ... I have a plan!

Al Rackus, 89, Baltimore

BUSH: Any more red paint?

KERRY: No, but between us there's a lot of blue blood.

Clarence Wroblewski, 81, Lutherville

KERRY: After four more years we will all be blue.

Raymond Boies, 85, Pasadena

Kerry bashing, Part 2

More shots at the presidential hopeful.

KERRY: Got Boston!!! How about you?

Richard Wray, Ticonderoga, N.Y.

KERRY: There are so many brands of paint, why use SWIFT COAT?

Sandra Collins, Baltimore

BUSH: John! If you keep changing your mind on which brush to use, this'll take all night!

Lynn McLain, Baltimore

BUSH: You're doing great work there, John-boy: The influence of the French impressionists is coming through.

Bob Smerko, Rockville

KERRY TO BUSH: I voted for you before I voted against you.

Elmer Lippy, Manchester

Having a go

Even a cartoonist deserves to be ridiculed.

BUSH: No, John, The Sun's offices are south of there.

Jim Rafferty, Timonium

BUSH: John, isn't it time this turkey (KAL) found another subject?

KERRY: Amen to that!!!

Sam Begg, Ellicott City

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