Caption Challenge: Special “We’ve Gone and Taken Our Jackets Off – Your Move, Economic Crisis!” Edition

The winner shall receive a $40-billion budgetary shortfall (Actual prize probably something nicer)


Caption Contest

Wherry has already mentioned the photo op that led to this not-at-all awkward portrait of “Shirtsleevery in a Time of Crisis,” so let us (ie. me) not dwell.

Instead, let us (ie. you) simply come up with a caption that is equal parts hilarious comedy and penetrating insight – or at least one that marvels at the sheer number of inanimate props handed out for the occasion (documents, a coffee cup, Jim Flaherty).

As befits the occasion, the winner shall receive a $40-billion budgetary shortfall. What a precious heirloom to pass down to your children and your children’s children! (Actual prize probably something nicer.)


Caption Challenge: Special “We’ve Gone and Taken Our Jackets Off – Your Move, Economic Crisis!” Edition

  1. They needed a plan to know where to sit – and these are the folks who hold our economic future in their hands…?

  2. Stock Day: Am I the only one who realizes that the milton friedman memos have been replaced by john maynard keynes writings? And should I say anything because my boss can be a bit of bear at times.

    • This isn’t a caption, but what this picture really reminds me of is the old Double Exposure schtick of Brian Mulroney giving a Speech from the Throne that finished with a flushing sound. There’s too many bad caption options with this one, but I’m not going there.

      But I have to agree that the “throne room” was the closest ol’ Milton’s “Selected Papers” got to this budget. I think it draws more from Galbraith’s “American Capitalism” than directly from Keynes.

      (When I lived in Ottawa, I actually encountered people who owned early Prime Minister’s chamber pots. Apparently they were given to trusted advisors as mementos and passed down through the generations as prized possessions. If anyone can find the one from below this photo it might be worth something someday.)

      • Okay, I have to do it: “Harper introduces his privy council”.

      • I think it explains a lot about mandarins if chamber pots are considered prized possessions.

        It also explains a lot about the budget if Cons borrowed from Galbraith. Many economists don’t consider Galbraith to be a proper economist because he was more worried about writing books for the masses rather than come up with any new economic theory. I though Keynes/Galbraith were dead and buried as far as their ideas go but now they have returned with a vengeance.

        • Hem hem JWL, i think i just saw a funeral cortage going by. Someone told me it was a double for messrs Friedman and Hayak [sp]. Personally i loved Galbraith and Keynes. I’m not qualified to comment on their economics but i certainly liked enjoyed their wit and their humanizing of a psuedo-science.

          • From what I can recall Keynes is/was considered a proper economist but Glabraith studied agriculture at u of guelph and then continued studying agri at a couple of American universities. Galbraith worked with Keynes for a year or two and was an acolyte but Galbraith is best known for being a great writer who made economics understandable to non-economists.

  3. Not a caption, just a question:

    Is that Stockwell Day or a dessicated mummy? Or perhaps the dessicated mummy of Stockwell Day?

    • stocks not enjoying his anti-dessicated mummy serum.

      • Needs more naphtha?

    • Hey, go easy on ol’ Stock – even with his jacket off it’s gotta be uncomfortable, what with that wet suit he’s been wearing under his clothes since 2000.

  4. Proof that economic crisis has not yet reached sleeve rolling or tie loosening stage!

  5. Great prorogue, everybody! Now, before we head out there, let’s do one final check – big deficit, unions can’t strike, no equal pay for the ladies, and we’re eliminating the public subsidy for political parties, right?

    • Sweet.

  6. “Russell Oliver has my wedding ring; the Receiver-General has the cheque.”

  7. Harper: “Who are all these people?”

    • CBC reported that the CPC handed out seating plans of the ministers for this photo op, presumably because the Ottawa press wouldn’t recognize any of Harper’s cabinet.

  8. “Well, I could just go to Rideau Hall again. Do you think she’d say no this time?”

  9. Harper names his successor. On the left, the very happy Jim Flaherty, on the right, the very upset Stockwell Day.

  10. “my robotic hair is really lookin goooood” or “just remember who’s sitting on the throne here”

  11. Harper and staff prepare to deliver their budget, codenamed: The full monty.

  12. Steve’s wondering where his coffee is, stocks wondering if he gets any brownie pts if he hands over his, even though it’s evidently awfull and Jim’s looks like he’s glad he got through that mikey before the shoot!
    Way to over-egg the pudding. It’s all so obvious that it’s a parody of this govt. Everything looks good, all the props are there but everybody is left sitting or standing around wondering what Steve’s going to do next. And he’s wondering if it’s worth all the effort after all.

    • And Lisa Raitt is wondering where the lions are.

      • Seriously though, why is the Minister of Natural Resources there anyway? Doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the crowd…

        • She’s the new Rona Amrose. Note the legs.

  13. “Buck up. At least we’ll still have OUR jobs.”

  14. Stockwell, thinking to himself… “From this angle as well, Bernier is correct.”

  15. Stockwell Day: “Now, how did that go again? Oh right!

    The tyrannosaurus Rex had great big teeth,

    Great big teeth, great big teeth.

    The tyrannosaurus Rex had great big teeth,

    When the dinosaurs roamed.”

    • You got my vote.
      ps. Dinosaurs are thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle and thinner at the other end.

  16. Steve’s thinking: ” maybe, just mavbe i shoulda finished that firewall afterall.”
    Jim’s thinking: ” I

    • “Jim’s thinking”? That’s cheritable!

      • “charitable”

    • I hate f***ing computers!
      jumbo’s thinking: i put a little extra in there this time. Maybe i didn’t need to book that flight to Havana?
      Stock’s wondering: ” what are we all here for again. I hope it’s not my turn to read the f****** budget?

  17. “Coffee is for closers only, Day.”

    • Love it!

    • “Glengarry Glen Ross”, all the way! That is probably the greatest scene in cinematic history.

    • haha that’s the one

  18. We don’t have much time before the zombies break through these antique slatted shutters, so everyone listen carefully…

  19. Harper murmuring: “I’ve got to get some new people”

  20. As the silence stretched on, everyone wondered where Teneycke was with their script for this unscripted chat…

    • Ha. You get my vote since you beat me to it. Mine was going to be:

      Harper: “Line!?”

      • I may have beat you to the punch, but yours was pithier…

  21. Caption:
    Guy Giorno’s version of the Canadian West Wing

  22. Stevie: what’s it been a few weeks and I miss Dion already.
    Jimmie F: well maybe with the Liberal budget we just floored Mikey Igster will be sticking around awhile … we can get to know what party treats he likes … what do you guys think? Rum and Coke or Bourbon and branch?
    Stickwell the D man: If Martin or Chretien were still around it would be BC Bud in a water pipe and at least then we could get a chuckle or two from the lower half of the house not to mention those brownies hmmmmm.
    Lisa R. : I never got the opportunity to know Dion and I miss him too
    Diane F: I got a recipe for brownies that will knock your socks!

  23. Harper: It’s my move, so where’s my chess set gone?

    Flaherty: We sold it to a PFI company. We’ll be leasing it back next week for ten times the amount we sold it for and creating four jobs in Quebec to handle our paperwork for the chessboard lease, thereby checkmating Duceppe. The deal will create three jobs at the PFI company in Calgary, and two new jobs at a Toronto accounting firm to audit the deal, placing Ignatieff in check, and we’ll allow the pawns to join a union to keep Layton happy.

    • Perfect

    • If this were a democracy, I’d vote for this one.

  24. It seemed that Diane Finley wasn’t the only one regretting her breakfast choices from the Cabinet Room Buffet, as Jim Flaherty desperately resisted the urge to invoke the Smelt-it-dealt-it principle against the Boss.

    • We have a possible winner.

      (Not that so many of the other captions haven’t been great.)

  25. Caption:
    Harper: ” C’mon now! Someone’s got to read the f***ing thing!!

    • Jimmie F: what’s to read Stevie we just copy pasted it from the LPC talking points lately and then neatened it up to make it seem like it makes some sort of sense.
      Stickwell the D man: After all making sense of their talking points is necessary but not necessarily … how does that work again?
      Lisa : where’s that recipe again Diane?
      Diane F: I just had my daily brownie and it’s kinda funny because … the recipe is hahahahahahaha … never mind I’m getting wasted.
      Stevie : Hey Diane thank you … I think the brownie is kicking in because all of a sudden my headache has gone away.

  26. Ya, were in a bind, and the fundamentals are bad, but hey, on the bright side, our Fundamentalism is our ticket outa here – Bring on the rapture and too hell with what’s ‘left behind’

  27. who farted?

    • it was flaherty…. look at that grin!

  28. The Harper Cabinet prepares for its Broadway debut of Glengarry Glen Ross.

  29. Harper: “Ok everybody, think. We only have a few more hours to go. Is there any way we can stop Jim from grinning like an idiot in time for the speech?”

  30. Which CEO gets a Lear Jet today?

  31. Harper: “C’m on Diane, Lisa — off with your jackets.”

  32. “Okay, Diane, talk Doug in off the fire escape, and Stock, hand me your SeaDoo keys. Flaherty, stop grinning. Unknown backbencher, don’t EVER stand on my shadow again. Now let’s ride!”

  33. This is how do you a picture: no separatists, AND a Canadian flag! Take that, coalition!

  34. A more appropriate image would have them wearing no shirts at all

    • Don’t go giving them ideas!

      • Why did the MSM ever come up with the idea Stockwell Day was photogenic? That’s what led to this whole wetsuit PM thing.

  35. Harper: If you had but one neck, I would strangle you all.

  36. “Who farted?”

  37. Isn’t the embargo over? The National Post seems to have all the details. Was Medicine Hat the only place to get a music festival out of the budget?

  38. The group sits uncomfortably, nobody knowing exactly how to tell Jim that he’s been reading the charts upside down.

    • i like that. Tweek it alittle.
      jim – how the hell was i to know i shoulda added and not divided?

  39. Harper: Ok, what’s our assets….. on the plus side, what have we got?

    Flaherty: We have CTV

    Stockwell: We have Asper’s Global Network

    Harper: Well that’s that. Let’s grab a beer.

  40. I’m really bad at these things. I gaze at these five nullities and all I can think about is regrouting the shower stall.

  41. Andy (Stock) Travis – “We’re changing formats”

    Herb (Flaherty) Tarlek – “How does this affect me?”

    Art (SHPM) Carlson – “Do we have to tell Mom?”

  42. Harper- ” Do you think i should wear my superman outfit this time?”

  43. “I’m the prime minister, and I don’t have to wear pants!”

    • I like it!

  44. Caption: Five Conservative politicians stump themselves after Finance Minister Jim “New-Shoes” Flaherty poses: Just how socialist does a budget have to be to get the NDP to vote for it, anyways?

  45. Harper: Shoulders – or at least shoulder pads – I’m gonna need to do something to fill out this shirt.
    Day: If you stand up straight and flex your coffee arm like this… it’ll help a little.
    Flaherty: Hands on hips and a gleeful smile, you gotta work your look
    Findlay: You can’t go wrong with shoulder pads.
    Raitt: Amen Sister

  46. This is so much damn fun, is it legal?
    Harper – Diane looks so damn hot today!
    lisa – i shoulda joined the ndp.
    Jim – yes we can, yes we can!
    Diane- something just doen’t add up here! And i gotta remind laureen to cut back on Steve’s viagra!
    Stock – did i put the cat out this morning?

  47. Day: “Am I the only one uncomfortable seeing Harper without a jacket on?”

    Flaherty: “I kinda like it.”

  48. Harper thinks: So this is what a ham sandwich feels like — a big slice of meat between two pieces of bread, a tomato and lettuce… Hmmm, where’s my Mayor McCheese?

  49. Harper: “We’re almost ready to present a Nude Democratic Party budget.”

  50. My god, this was easier when we were in opposition…

  51. Chuckles and awkwardness greet the prime minister’s fart.

  52. “Is it just me, or does this budget smell like shit?”

  53. Stockwell Day: “You think with all this money being thrown around we could have gotten better coffee!”

  54. Stage one of the world’s worst game of “Show me yours…”

  55. Harper: “Hey, photoshop me back outta here!”

  56. “Short straw flys the test plane” By the look on all their faces,this looks like the question at hand.

  57. “If this does not work who can we blame ?”

  58. Ah Geez Jim, did you have to eat the burrito at lunch? The doors closed and its already stifling in here!

  59. Scott: why did you post this cropped picture? Wasn’t the whole point of having the two women perched on booster seats, elevated above all the seated men, to show of their legs, as their skirts rode up? You wouldn’t have seen Lisa’s thighs at all if she had been standing or sitting on at the men’s level.

    • i didn’t actually post the picture this way. as a renowned thigh enthusiast, i put it up sans crop.

  60. Harper and his cabal at the first meeting of “the Bankrupters of Canada”. Future historians point to this bathroom stall meeting as the first event that triggered the end of the nation of Canada

  61. The Harper Cabinet learn that interacting normally with other humans is harder than the instruction manuals make it out to be.

    • My fave.

    • other?

  62. “Hey, can Parliament get a tax credit for the new energy efficient furnace we installed in here? It’s January, it’s so warm we had to take off our jackets, and we’re still saving money.”

  63. “We need to shift attention away from the economic climate. Stock, can you make any more unfounded accusations of pedophilia?”

  64. Harper: “Wait, you are saying all these people are in my cabinet”


    Harper: “Allright Flaherty, here is your budget. Go out there and read it as if you wrote it.”

  65. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper pauses for reflection with his colleagues after finalizing the sale of his soul. Jim Flaherty, the Devil’s attorney, smiles after signing the contract.

  66. Welcome to the Caption Challenge – Official Home of the Fart Joke!

    Lots of good entries in there: honorable mentions to Quinn, Christopher Thrall, Ian, kc and Claude.

    A close runnerup was Calgary Grit (“The Harper Cabinet learn that interacting normally with other humans is harder than the instruction manuals make it out to be.”) I liked that one.

    But I’m going to have to go with the entry that made me laugh out loud: “Coffee is for closers only, Day.”

    Well played, Mike T.

    Flip me an email at and I’ll dispatch your prize via the mighty power of the interweb. No, it’s not a Cadillac Eldorado. (It’s not even the steak knives.)

  67. Flaherty is thinking:

    “I know Mike Harris. I worked with Mike Harris. He may look like him, but he ain’t no Mike Harris.”

  68. Harper (smiling/grimacing): “Who forgot the shovels and hard hats?”
    Flaherty (smirking): “Not me sir!”
    Raitt (to herself): “He can’t make put a hard hat over this glorious hair, can he?”
    Finlay: “Sir, I brought the documents!”
    Day (to himself)” “Oh oh… I thought coffee mugs!”

  69. Suddenly, Stockwell Day realizes he left he left his best hairpiece in his OTHER pants. (see placement of left hand)

  70. Prime Minister Harper introduced his plan to save taxpayer money in light of the economic downturn, by cutting his ministers’ suit jacket allowances. Following the meeting Stockwell Day told reporters “thank god I rode that jet skit otherwise this would be my economic mess.”

  71. Okay. Heads, “The fundamentals of our economy are strong”, tails “Today we meet at a time of unprecedented economic uncertainty”. Who wants to flip this time?

  72. Each is thinking, “How can I enter private industry with my reputation intact?”

  73. To the tune of Tommy Roe song, ‘Where or Where Can My Baby Be’

    Well, where oh where can my budget be?
    The Opposition took it away from me
    It’s going to Committee so I gotta be good;
    So I can pass my budget when I leave this room

  74. Caption: While the Prime Minister considers his reaction to the rumour that Michael Ignatieff has launched off his “fuzzy red sweater” publicity campaign, minor government officials watch closely to learn what their own reactions will be. The one at the back left thinks he already knows.

  75. It’s not funny, Jim. Many prime ministers have suffered from the heartbreak of nervous flatulence.

  76. Cover photo for direct-to-DVD release “The Hill: Season 40, Disc 2”.

  77. The Harperanos, Season 2 Cast Photo.

    • From left: ‘No-Smile’ Lafitte, ‘Slim Jim’ Flahertini, ‘Don Tony’ Harperano, Consigliere ‘Baby Cup’ Concentratti, and Doctor Mell-Fee.

    • From left: Diane Finley as ‘No-Smile’ Lafitte (crew boss), Jim Flaherty as ‘Slim Jim’ Flahertini (family underboss), Stephen Harper as Don ‘Big Don’ Harperini (family don), Stockwell Day as ‘Baby Cup’ Concentratti (family advisor), and Lisa Raitt as Doctor Mell-Fee (‘Big Don’ Harperini’s psychiatrist).

    • What can I say, the photo reminded me of ‘The Sopranos’ ‘s ‘Last Supper Cast Photo’ by Annie Leibovitz, with ‘Tony Soprano’ ‘s inner circle standing around him.

  78. I realize variations on this one have already been done, but what about this…

    “Only Harper and Flaherty were oblivious to the obvious: the budget the PM held, and the gas he didn’t, were both stinkers.”

    Or, perhaps a bit more crudely put….

    “Even Flaherty’s ‘morning wood’ was stiffly pre-positioned for the photo-op.”

  79. The Harper cabinet examines fabric swatches prior to Tuesday’s announcement of tax relief for renovation projects.

  80. “As soon as Flaherty stops forcing that smile I’m totally sucker punching him.”

  81. HARPER: Now be cool. Very slowly… very slowly… look over my left shoulder. Is there something there?
    No? Man, I could have sworn I saw the corpse-like wraith of Stockwell Day!

  82. He may be “Mr. Day.”
    But “Mr. Morning?”
    Not so much.

  83. Now remember, let’s all focus on something different, that way we can say we’ve covered all the angles

  84. Stock, we defunded Genome Canada like you wanted, but we just can’t deport all the DNA scientists without a majority.

  85. “Stock, we gave you the Genome Canada defunding, but we can’t deport scientists without a majority.”

    • Ooops. No redo’s…

  86. What began as a solemn budgetary meeting livened up considerably when PM Stephen Harper remembered the Jack Daniels he had stashed in the room for just such an occasion …