Barnaby Tadpole is Just My Pen Name By Derek Owens

Issue 6

Hadley has never succumbed. Why Clayton that’s not true. You have friends up and down the corporate ladder. Come on snookums show us that knowing little smile of the insider.

The items with the little asterisks penciled alongside them are the ones I personally think are great. Evolution’s been good to you Sid.I don’t want any of this soft luggage. Show me some hard luggage.

He is shocked to discover the unavailability of blubber his favorite snack. He claims that at those points in time he was seeing Nicholas Nickleby. Why Austin you put on your happy face.

I for one don’t see how Herman Melville relates to our lifestyle. Pollution has robbed skin of its natural beauty. Thanks but there’s really nothing to do while the meat’s smoking. Let’s see a computer give you a haircut like that.

Well now how’s the old noggin today. Today I became corrupt absolutely. This is Meg everybody. She’s very interested in coal.

Frankly Mr. Dudley I find your wife’s cooking to be quite delicious. That’s one itchy trigger finger.Look all I’m asking is that we let market forces bring a greater degree of efficiency into our marriage. I’m an entirely self-taught nun.

I couldn’t hack it in L. A. I was too decontextualized. Nevermore. And you can quote me.

Do you think my decisions are too Draconian? When did you first notice you were larger than life? Would it disturb you if I sang without pants?

He says his ballads sing of the brotherhood of man with due regard for the stabilizing influence of the nobility. Will the gentleman want the salmon pauché with or without his initials?

Lately I’ve been getting into compassion. A.k.a. the no cholesterol dinner. The views expressed by the mayor do not necessarily reflect those of the inhabitants. I’m filled with acid rain.

And hey, thanks for the incandescence. Not your typical burrowing rodents, that’s for sure. Someday all this infrastructure will be yours sugarplum.

Miss Johnson will now pass out the moral blinders. And you call yourself a marsupial. The Second Amendment Gun Shop.

I’m not responsible for what you may or may not have seen on Love Boat ma’am. Of course Barnaby Tadpole is just my pen name.


Source: Cartoon captions from a stack of The New Yorker magazines, from the 1980s mostly.

Derek Owens directs the Institute for Writing Studies (New York). Information on his artwork, writing, and teaching can be found at

*Note from the editors: We’re pleased to also showcase some of Derek’s artwork here on Unlost. Check it out!