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Posted at 7:29 PM ET, 03/ 2/2011

Photo Caption Contest!

By Alexandra Petri

For the first time ever, and hopefully not the last, ComPost presents: A photo caption contest. Who is that? What's he doing there? Why is there laughter?

These are not questions that Charlie Sheen asks himself constantly. Rather, they're your challenge when faced with this photo of President Obama and National Medal of the Arts recipient and poet Donald Hall, who is not, in fact, a yeti.


What does this photo say to you, other than: "Help! I'm a talking photo!"

Say it in the comments... We'll announce the winner in Friday's chat!

By Alexandra Petri  | March 2, 2011; 7:29 PM ET
Categories:  Week's wackiest  | Tags:  caption contest  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: What would Dr. Seuss say today?
Next: Facebook oversharing vs. privacy -- addresses and phone numbers?


"... As time goes by" (song). ..... Yep. Him and 'Father Time', sans the cape, hood and 'hook'.
I often wondered whatever happened to 'Chauncey Gardiner'. (film, Being There) 1979.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | March 2, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Homeless octogenarian Alexander Petri, the grandfather of famed satirist Alexandra Petri, accepts the joke of the century award on behalf of his granddaughter for her response to a Craiglist ad looking for a woman whose "brains match her beauty." Mr. Petri had just told Obama, "I thought it was a dumb joke."

Posted by: divtune | March 3, 2011 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the medal really is made of milk chocolate.

Posted by: jimward21 | March 3, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Mr. President! A little down and to the left please.

Posted by: bmerer | March 3, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Do you know if there's a Hair Cuttery around here?

Posted by: harbourt2002 | March 3, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"Joe, buddy, pull yourself together, man. There's a photographer in the room. This is no way for a vice president to appear in public.

And give Sasha her Book It medal back, already. She read like six books last month to get that thing. You were at the pizza party."

Posted by: RyanKelly | March 3, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I know! And they gave me a Nobel Peace Prize, too!

Posted by: JanRiggs | March 3, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"Y'kno...that medal would really look good next to my Nobel Peace much?"

Posted by: DahktaD | March 3, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

A freakin' medal and a pat on the back. Are you serious?

Posted by: fatthumb | March 3, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"Boy John, becoming Speaker has really taken its toll!" Said the President to Mr. Boehner early February 2011.

Posted by: adamr99 | March 3, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Pres. Obi, I am your new event coordinator.

Posted by: george_kostan | March 3, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

‎"Really?!!! That's what teabagger means"

Posted by: woz53 | March 3, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Don't look now but there's one man too many in this room and i think it's you.

Posted by: pablo2335 | March 3, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

President Obama presenting Alexandra Petri the Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn look alike award.

Posted by: jccrandell | March 3, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"Can you pop a nickel in my donation can?"

Posted by: asumchai | March 3, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

It's great to see you again. I truly look forward to competing against you again in 2012, Senator McCain.

Posted by: ericner1 | March 3, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"If I didn't have this heavy medal around my neck, I could kick your butt in a BBall 1 on 1."

Posted by: joepah | March 3, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"Sure, Go ahead and Smile Mr President.. At least you know where your teeth are."

Posted by: joepah | March 3, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"Hey, quit laughing..I'm havin a bad hair day!"

Posted by: tgryan0592 | March 3, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"Hey, quit laughin,..I'm havin a bad hair day"!

Posted by: tgryan0592 | March 3, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

WTH -- who is his barber

Posted by: lundyt | March 3, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Yes, yes. I can believe John Bohner cried when he met you.

Posted by: washpost45 | March 3, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

No, really. I AM the next American Idol.

Posted by: sweetepearl | March 3, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm serious Mr. the bathroom. And he said his name was Larry Craig.

Posted by: ahdammit | March 3, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Shame on you Washington Post. This is a sick game at others expense! Write about news!

Posted by: 2613471 | March 3, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Can I take it home?

Posted by: Msalana | March 3, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind knowing what the poet really said (rather than the comics' fabrications).

Posted by: scottjb9 | March 3, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

You want to see MY birth certificate?

Posted by: neumanco | March 3, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Following the death of the last WWI veteran, President Obama presents the "Geezer Heart" medal to the new oldest living war veteran, Private Seymour Butts.

When asked, "What did you do in the great World War II," Private Butts had just replied, "Well... I shoveled sh-t in Louisiana."

Posted by: divtune | March 3, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"Thanks Mr. President!!.. I was all outta hair gel!!"

Posted by: MichiganGirl | March 3, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

This is the video of the award presentation. It looks like there was a lot of conversation before the picture was taken. Fortunately, you can't hear the words, but I suspect Mr. Hall was saying:

That dumb announcer called me a "poet lorette." What an idiot. He can't even say, "laureate."

Posted by: divtune | March 3, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

You really WERE born in Kenya? Well I'll be.

Posted by: trsqw | March 3, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"President Obama congratulates the winner of the Hobo Olympics."

Posted by: archambeau | March 3, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Gee this is fun Mr. President. You really MUST come over to meet my little green friends!

Posted by: cookgirl1 | March 3, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Nothing more droll than making fun of the way someone looks. Now go out and try to write a book equal to any of his.

Posted by: davidwilliamsanders | March 3, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr. President, I wanna be just like you when I grow up!

Posted by: rajneeshchopra | March 3, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah my name is Phil MyCrackin... Still better than Baroque Hissing Oh bomb a"

Posted by: joepah | March 3, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

...I'm serious Mr. President...I really can run this country drunk! And this medal proves; best dressed too!...

Posted by: agif043731 | March 3, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

...I'm serious Mr. President...I really can run this country drunk! and this medal proves; best dressed too!

Posted by: agif043731 | March 3, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"Does this medal make me look drunk?"

Posted by: ecjwlove | March 3, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

"President belatedly awards medal to Ezra Pound"

Posted by: rsgwynn1 | March 3, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

No, Mr. President, I'm not kidding! 'Obama' is an amphibrach!

Posted by: bob60 | March 3, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Gee Mr President, when you asked me to pull your finger I thought you had jammed it playing basketball. Talk about the shot that was heard around the world. It's no wonder you keep your hair so short. Look what it did to mine !

Posted by: Cliffjrs | March 4, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I see being President gets you better barber services.

Posted by: leontchaikovsky | March 4, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

who won the contest?

Posted by: neumanco | March 7, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I guess no ComPost pile is complete without plenty of manure, no?

Posted by: markalankelly | March 8, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr. President, I am really uncomfortable being seen with you here. You know I have been ill and I'm trying to smile, yet I know I appear old and unkempt. Please don't do me the dishonor of talking down to me like I'm a total imbecile. And get your condescending hand off me before I deck you in front of the snickering camera men. Now then, Mr. President, was that funny enough for all of the media jack a**** who will most assuredly poke fun at me?

Posted by: Interesting2 | March 8, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Stay classy, Washington Post. This might be a new low, making fun of an old person's appearance. Do you know anything at all about Donald Hall? I'm sure his children and grandchildren will be thrilled to learn of your caption contest.

Posted by: jilemily | March 8, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin just tweeted about how crass and insulting this caption contest is. How's it feel to have the woman your entire newspaper looks down on call you out for your disrespect of a national icon?

Posted by: gdalfonzo | March 8, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

LOL! It's funny how everyone at Washington Post are a bunch of idiots for making fun of me!!!

Posted by: dwl0917 | March 8, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Pretty sad that the Post would think that it is somehow funny to mock an 89 year old cancer survivor, but then again, with Petri's name in the header, it is really not surprising.

Posted by: enzo2 | March 8, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Wait, Sarah Palin is shocked about WHAT this time? No, I don't think she reads poetry. She thinks "The Waste Land" is where we should drill for oil.

Posted by: DoktorZoom | March 8, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Alexandra--how's about posting a picture of yourself and let us mock you. Maybe you have implants or an ugly face or have had breast cancer or chlamydia from sleeping around.. Post it babe, we can come up with something to mock you......if only because you are an insensitive pos.

Posted by: hartwr1 | March 8, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

"I must say, in my almost 90 years I have never seen a Marxist quite like you."

Hey Alexandra, next week can you post a picture of you, Dana, and a strap-on.

Don't forget to smile. I know Dana will be.

Posted by: RichardG1 | March 8, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Not only your ignorance but your asinine immaturity is showing. Does the Post really pay you for writing this kind of thing? Are they aware that you are displaying your stupidity for all the world to see? Well, I'm being a big optimistic there, aren't I, assuming all the world actually reads this rag. How disgusting.

Posted by: librarian997 | March 8, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you'd like to read what another poet, Billy Collins had to say about Donald Hall - in the same rag you "write" for:

Posted by: librarian997 | March 8, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

So your making fun of one of the great poets of our time. You punks, including the author, get a life and grow up. You immaturity speaks volumes.

Posted by: rchaa27aa | March 8, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Petri- you are a disgrace and should be fired. Didn't your mother teach you anything? He's is a poet laureate of great distinction, is 82 years old and has been battling cancer for over 20 years. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. All of you that participated. I know exactly what you were all like in 7th grade. I despised the likes of you then and I do now.

Posted by: ebgodard | March 8, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

This is so rude and pathetic, what are ya a bunch of punks?

Posted by: judy13 | March 8, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

by Donald Hall

To grow old is to lose everything.
Aging, everybody knows it.
Even when we are young,
we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads
when a grandfather dies.
Then we row for years on the midsummer
pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage,
that began without harm, scatters
into debris on the shore,
and a friend from school drops
cold on a rocky strand.
If a new love carries us
past middle age, our wife will die
at her strongest and most beautiful.
New women come and go. All go.
The pretty lover who announces
that she is temporary
is temporary. The bold woman,
middle-aged against our old age,
sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
Another friend of decades estranges himself
in words that pollute thirty years.
Let us stifle under mud at the pond's edge
and affirm that it is fitting
and delicious to lose everything.

Posted by: nhak | March 8, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Donald Hall is a man of extraordinary artistic integrity and production. He offers any writer (i.e., any writer who aspires to her/his own lifetime of creditable achievement) his own life as example and motivation. You ridicule him for his appearance. It's just so great! So current and clever!

It must be very sad to be Alexandra Petri, and be trying to make a living by ridiculing a modest, old, astonishingly accomplished, and sincere man. Drinks all around.

Posted by: IowaHawkeye | March 9, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

"Donald Hall, esteemed poet whom Alexandra Petri is not fit to stand in the presence of, receives the National Medal of Arts from President Obama."

Posted by: bridgecross | March 9, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

How classy! I am so glad that I don't subscribe to or purchase the Post. Alexandra, I hope someone catches you in midsentence or in mid chew and publishes the photo for all to ridicule. Speaking as a liberal, funny women you are a twit.

Posted by: chycky0 | March 9, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

This really is a shoddy business you're involved in here. It's embarrassing, and I'm embarrassed for you.

Smallness has seldom seemed so very very small.

Donald Hall is dignified, the President is dignified, and you are not.

Posted by: MMelvinJohnson | March 9, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Astonished that a news organization would stoop to this level. Donald Hall is a remarkable poet and human being, not a target of your juvenile jokes. An apology from Ms Petri and her superiors is in order.

Posted by: linndl | March 9, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe they're paying you to write this garbage. This is why the Post is a joke.

Posted by: lennonsaves9 | March 9, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

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