An amusing cartoon involving an auto mechanic in this week's 'The new yorker'



There’s an old short story that I’ve forgotten the name of. They made us read it in high school, which was far too many years ago for any sharp details to remain. It’s about aliens coming to Earth in their spaceship and observing all the cars driving around on the road, and concluding that the cars are the intelligent life forms on the planet. It had little weird details like deciding certain cars are in command because they can emit flashing lights, and when they do all the other cars stop what they’re doing and get out of the commander’s way.

I always thought, even then, that it was a silly story. The aliens came here in space vehicles, but they don’t understand the concept of vehicles?


Some years ago I decided to send in captions week after week for that New Yorker cartoon caption content, but never even got one in the top three. But it was fun adventure.

Maybe I just don’t have what it takes. I’d probably choose a caption for that one like: “Must have been a heck on an accident!”

‘How aliens would see it’ is a staple trope of satire; the author of this story meant to satirize the importance of cars in our culture, not write a verisimilar story of alien discovery.

I remember someone commenting that an alien would decide that babies are the most important people on Earth.

Me neither.

I’d nominate ‘I wonder if he knows how to work on a Caltruvian potrzebie.’

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Very possibly correct. I don’t remember the story well enough to even look up what story it was. But it’s entirely possible that my 9th grade brain wasn’t swift enough on the uptake to recognize it for social commentary rather than just “a funny story.”

I like yours better than what the NY’er came up with … lol …

It reminds me of when Craigslist first came online. At the time it was a friendly place you could post little missives about life and love. The idea – apparently – was to post something that would land you the possibility for romance. I’d post the most ludicrous stuff, things that couldn’t possibly be true. Despite how ridiculous my posting was, I’d usually get some replies. Like the time I said I was a visitor from the future, and the clutch on my time machine just broke. The part I need won’t be invented until the year 2567,so I’m stuck on earth w/nothing to do, so hoping to meet up w/someone for coffee.

Always liked this one!

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I guess someone is going to explain that cartoon to me and what does it have to do with vehicles .

well, a trains a vehicle. LOL

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It’s the Manhattan subway signage. So that would be the caveman-era entrance tunnel for the B and C lines. The A line goes to Kennedy airport, and the D line as I recall goes to the beach.

I don’t know what the replies were, but some people might have liked your sense of humor and wanted to get to know you better. Or they might have been stone cold nuts, like one of my aunts. She swore that aliens abducted her - in California, of course. I’d say she might have replied to your posts, but she was about 30 years older than me and lived in the LA area. She was definitely from La-La Land according to my mother.

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One of the all time classic cartoons:


Not a cartoon but car related and funny.


Yeah I didn’t get it either. Guess you had to be from New Yoke.

Those colored circles w/the letters are probably the most important thing you need to understand even as a tourist in NYC. The only thing more important is what American currency looks like.