Karen Horneffer-Ginter
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Cheers to the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest

I've seen various studies suggesting that as we age, it's important that we keep our mind sharp and active by engaging in various of tasks like balancing our checkbook and tackling crossword puzzles. On the top of my list, too, is attempting to come up with a caption for the weekly New Yorker cartoon caption contest. Last week, it was a man, pointing to a slide that pictured himself in fishnet stockings and other lingerie. Over the slide, was the banner, "TED Talk."

I find such prompts irresistible-- humorous with no caption at all, and compelling in the challenge they offer to come up with a phrase which brings the various elements of the picture together. I like to think that participating in this exercise keeps my creative brain fresh and adept. At least, it's a hobby that gives me a good laugh and an appreciation for the brilliance of those who come up with the winning captions.

Maybe, too, we don't even need a sketched cartoon to invite us to think this way. The next time you notice something in your surroundings-- possibly the intersection of two unlikely objects-- challenge yourself to think up a caption. Such habits not only keep our mind alert, they also allows us to appreciate our ordinary day-to-day life in new quirky ways.

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