Ed Ridgley regularly reads The New Yorker magazine, and usually enters its cartoon caption contests, too.
But this is the first time the 49-year-old TSYS programmer has made the finals in the competition in which the magazine presents a cartoon and asks readers to propose a caption.
Ridgley's now one of three finalists in a caption contest that started Feb. 7, and he needs folks here to vote for his submission online, so he can win.
The cartoon depicts a bartender with a worried look on his face talking to a man who's wearing glasses, a hat, tie and overcoat. The man has a ballerina standing behind him with her hands on her hips and an apparently angry expression on her face.
The guy in the overcoat reminded Ridgley of 1970s TV detective Columbo, so Ridgley suggested something a bartender might say to an investigator accompanied by an unhappy dancer:
"The guy you're looking for waltzed out of here an hour ago."
His competitors are Paul Brandis of Olympia, Wash., with "How is she on the pole?" And John Turtz of Larchmont, N.Y., suggested, "Honest to God, Joe, she's the best bouncer I've ever hired."
Ridgley, of Phenix City, says voting ends Sunday, so he needs locals to show their support soon.
If he wins, he gets a signed copy of the cartoon by David Borchart, worth about $350, a prize Ridgley said he would frame and post at his office.