and the winner is….

A LOT OF GREAT CAPTIONS for the Death cartoon were submitted last week:  20 on the Ithaca Post, and an additional four here at  Picking a winner was both entertaining and challenging. So challenging, in fact, that we have two winners, one from each website.  Check out the two captions below the cartoon, and you’ll see why we chose them both and not just one:

"I'm so tired of playing dead. Can't we play catch? Please?" -AND- "Ugh, I'm too tired to play fetch. How about we just play dead?"


Congratulations to Emily and Colleen!  Emily, send me your snail mail address.  Colleen, I know where you live.

Though not chosen as the winners, some of the other Ithaca Post staff favorites included:

“Bargaining won’t work; I’m a cat person.”

“I know it’s not much, Bowzer, but I can bring home more once business picks up again.”

“Don’t give me that look; my femur is not a toy!”

“I like your initiative, Spike, but the basic idea here is to collect the bones while they’re still attached.”

Thank you to everyone for participating, and let’s do it again soon.

-Amelia Sauter

caption contest

- your caption here -

WRITE YOUR OWN CAPTION! You’ve always wanted the opportunity to laugh in the presence of Death; here’s your chance. The winner will receive a limited edition A Year Full of Death Calendar 2011 filled with cartoons made by me, Amelia Sauter. I know, I know, there’s only five months left in 2011 but it’s the only merchandise I’ve created so far. And since only 20 calendars were printed, someday it could be worth a lot of money on eBay.

All captions should be submitted via comments on this blog post or the blog post at by midnight on Sunday, July 31. Please, don’t be too funny or you’ll make me look bad.

IKEA and gay marriage

Death attends a rally

WHEN I WAS STRAIGHT, I didn’t want to get married. Always the hopeless romantic, I chased boys like crazy, daydreamed about finding true love, and watched Sixteen Candles over and over again on VHS until I could recite every line with the cast. But if someone used the word “should” in a sentence, I dug in my heels. The idea of buying into a state-approved, religion-supported institution like marriage sent me running.

Now I want what I can’t have. For fifteen years, my girlfriend and I have danced the Electric Slide at other people’s weddings. (Or more accurately, I danced the Electric Slide and Leah laughed at me.) Each celebration reminds us that we can’t legally have our own wedding in New York State.

“Go to Massachusetts (Vermont, Canada) to get married,” I hear from friends on a regular basis. But I don’t think exercising our civil rights should require a road trip.

It’s like shopping at IKEA. Now that I’m a domesticated creature, I can spend most of a day blissfully perusing the Glimma, Regolit, and Fartyg in this wondrous Scandanavian heaven. However, I have to drive four hours at a minimum before I can exercise my right to hipster shopping. Why can’t I have an IKEA in my town? When will the Senate vote on this gross inequality? We need to organize a rally.

As a kid, when I whined about injustices, my dad always said, “Life’s not fair, Amy.” (Yes, my parents called me ‘Amy.’ Don’t tell anyone.) Like almost everything, Pop is right. Bad things happen to good people. Everybody dies.

But some inequalities can be fixed, and I’m going to keep whining until I get my way. I want the right to charge a big fat wedding to my high interest credit card; to buy a fancy white dress that I wear once and then nostalgically stash in the back of the closet; to dance the Electric Slide, the Macarena, and The Chicken Dance Polka at my own cheeseball wedding; to check the “married” box on state and federal tax forms.

Let’s hope that the New York State Senate votes to approve gay marriage, because I’m ready to celebrate my love. And hopefully they’ll write a “Bring IKEA to Ithaca” clause into the bill, because I’m also ready to shop.

-Amelia Sauter

judgment day

by Amelia Sauter copyright 2011

YOU MUST HAVE HEARD BY NOW: this Saturday, May 21, 2011, is Judgment Day. The message is on giant billboards on the highways, colorful posters populate the New York City subway, and NPR aired not one, but two stories about it. Since I’m an atheist, I am not on the short list to ascend to an eternity of happiness. So there’s only one smart thing for me to do:

I’m going to live Twitter the rapture on May 21.

Hopefully the day will be really exciting. I imagine it will be like Twittering the royal wedding, but without the hats. I can’t wait to tweet from the red carpet, “I hear J.C. bought two white gowns, but rumor is he will be wearing the Alexander McQueen.” Bright flashes of lights, natural disasters and vaporized people are all on the roster for Saturday. The poster in the subway read, “Global Earthquake: The Greatest Ever!” This could inspire a curiosity and excitement much like the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus slogan, “The Greatest Show on Earth!” (God must use the same publicist.)

Maybe someone will be thoughtful enough to leave me a Rapture Kit. The commercially available Rapture Kits contain gifts for the people left behind, such as letters about the rapture, videos about the rapture, and links to websites about the rapture. Since it will be too late to join the ranks of the saved, this seems rather cruel. My personalized Rapture Kit would ideally contain Xanax, beer, dark chocolate, sunscreen and Duck Tape. (Believers, I hope you are taking notes.)

Though I won’t miss my annoyingly conservative neighbors who complain when my unmowed lawn sprouts into a sea of hippie dandelions, sometimes it sucks being an atheist. Those who believe that they will be gone on Saturday – poof! – are partying, quitting their jobs, skipping school, and spending every last penny in their savings and retirement accounts. I do things like this all the time, and I’m labeled irresponsible. They do it, and it’s an expression of their devotion to god and their families.

And Sunday mornings? Believers get lasting spiritual fulfillment. But since I have no religious practices, I’m stuck with mimosas and raspberry French toast. Sigh.

I personally don’t know anyone who believes in the rapture. This could be because I live in Ithaca, where the most commonly held belief about life after death is that we are all going to compost into dirt. Organic dirt.

So if organic compost holds a bigger place in your heart than J.C. and you’re still around on Saturday, or if you’re waiting for his arrival and looking for a way to pass the time, follow me on Twitter at @ameliasauter. We can tweet together. But remember, there is no “e” in judgment! Just because the end of the world is coming doesn’t mean you can get all lazy with your spelling.

Because if you do, I will judge you.

-Amelia Sauter