“See, I told you the shell phone has bad reception.” (by Gary)
My original caption: “Maybe it needs a new battery.”
This is your second win, Gary, and you are to be congratulated on being one of the funniest people around.
I was surprised that nobody submitted my original caption — it seems so obvious to me (even now, more than twenty years after I first drew this cartoon).
Gary's winning caption contains an inexcusable pun, of course, but despite that I liked it enough to give it the top prize. It's common knowledge that The New Yorker has had a “no-pun” policy for quite a while now, so I guess this cartoon would never have a chance there. Obviously, our policy on puns is not as restrictive.
Other captions of merit: “Want to borrow my iPhone?” (by Sharon), “Maybe it's on mute.” (by Cary Antebi) and “The one I put your keys in had more spots than that one.” (by Kelasher — even though the shell in the drawing doesn't have any spots on it at all).
Good work, caption-writers! New contest will be forthcoming.