US Stamps

John M. Hotchner

Winner of May cartoon caption contest looks ‘under water’ for humorous inspiration

June 10, 2017 05:00 PM

  • Jeff Orbach was the winner of the nonphilatelic part of the May cartoon caption contest featuring the 29¢ stamp picturing a submarine commander bringing his boat to periscope depth from the World War II pane of 10 issued June 6, 1994. Orbach suggested that the captain shown on the stamp might be looking out for his own interests. The next cartoon caption contest will be announced in Linn’s July 10 issue.

By John M. Hotchner

Looking through the periscope of a submarine can result in the occasional surprise.

The cartoon caption contest stamp for May was the 29¢ Officer at Periscope stamp from the 1994 Road to Victory pane of 10 marking World War II events of 1944.

The submarine was a key part of the war effort, and the submarine service has continued to be an important part of the U.S. defense establishment, so I hoped there would be many good entries. I was not disappointed.

A major focus of the entries was what the captain sees when he first puts the periscope up. Several entries posited that some wag had sabotaged the view.

The example from Richard Schretter of Port Ewen, N.Y., represents this group, “OK, which one of you wise guys pasted the Betty Grable pin-up on the periscope lens?”

Another group of entries converted the periscope into a means of examining watermarks or other facets of stamps. Marvin Levine of Appleton, Wis., supplied this example: “No, I’m sure it’s a 599A type II. I see three heavy hair lines at the top of the head!”

Politics motivated another group of entries. My favorite from these is: “It’s 50 years since the Trump inauguration. Let’s see if it’s safe to surface yet,” from Michael Schwartz of Raleigh, N.C.

Our winners for this month have a current events theme.

The nonphilatelic winner was Jeff Orbach of Rockaway, N.J.

On the philatelic side, the prize goes to Ren DaSilva of Chicago, Ill., for “Crew, as I look through the periscope I can see that the future of stamp collecting is SUB-stantially promising!”

Both winners will receive Linn’s Stamp Identifier published by Amos Media Co., or a 13-week subscription to Linn’s (a new subscription or an extension). The book has a retail value of $12.99.

Here are the best of the runners-up.

“Open the hatch. The pizzas are here!” from Ted Feldstein of Doylestown, Pa.

“I joined the Navy to see the world. I didn’t think it would be through a periscope!” by May Aginsky of Brooklyn, N.Y.

“I could swear I just saw Rod Serling looking back at me!” sent by David Schwartz of Commack, N.Y.

“This is the last time I take a job delivering submarine sandwiches!” by Steve Kotler of San Francisco, Calif.

“Incoming seaplane …MAIL CALL!” from Wayne Cunkelman of Lady Lake, Fla.

“I knew it! Elvis is alive and water skiing!” by David D’Hondt of Sun City, Calif.

“Second line from the bottom? T, O, R, P, E … ” from Brian McClay of Magalia, Calif.

Thanks and a tip of the hat to all who entered.

The next cartoon caption contest will be announced in the July 10 Linn’s