Winning Captions, Spring 2019

Creator: Unknown; Date: 1965; Location: Kingston, Washington, Rhode Island, United States; Administrative and Academic Units: University of Rhode Island Dept Of Electrical Engineering; University of Rhode Island Dept Of Ocean EngineeringReaders had lots of fun coming up with captions for this 1965 photo of the late Professor of Ocean Engineering Foster Middleton (back) and the late Gilbert Fain ’58, M.S. ’61, Ph.D. ’68 (front).

Professor Emeritus of Ocean Engineering Malcolm Spaulding shared his insights about the photo: “After completing his Ph.D. at URI, Gil, who was Foster’s graduate student, went on to become a faculty member at UMass, Dartmouth. Foster and Gil were extensively involved in developing side scan sonar systems (used to create images of large areas of the ocean floor) at the time this photo was taken.

My best guess is that in this photo, they were likely looking at print output of side scan images.”

While none of the captions you, dear readers, sent in, referenced side scan sonar work, many of you did geek out quite creatively with funny captions referencing punch cards, programming errors, IBM, Apple, Bill Gates, and even a good real-life story about a 1963 divide-by-zero error on an IBM 360, which resulted in a flurry of error-message printouts that looked much like the printout in this photo—thanks to Dan Nichols ’63 for his wonderful story.

But our winning caption, one of the runners-up, and the majority of the submissions—by far—referenced the familiar scrolling CVS receipt. Toilet paper jokes were a close second. What can we say? Bathroom humor never seems to go out of style.

Thank you, as always, for your funny and creative captions. Please keep them coming!

Winning Caption

“I only bought one item. Why is my CVS receipt this long??”
—Sharon Clarke ’91, M.L.S. ’06


“…and I’m gonna start a pharmacy called CVS, and we’re gonna make sure everyone gets a receipt…a big receipt.”
—Judy Nazemetz ’72

North Pole retains Ernst & Young to audit Naughty-Nice List.
—Jill S. Mason ’82