For those who have already read the first two parts of The Mayonnaise Murders, you may have noticed that humor plays a big role in the narrative. If Vid, who serves as the primary narrator of this tale, isn’t cracking wise about something or other, then Vee is getting her jabs in and loving it. Deep Cluck is comical just because how can you not get a chuckle out of someone who dresses like that on purpose, speaks like that on purpose, and manages to wear it all so well?
Not everyone in this little adventure has a sense of humor to be sure. Take the Gerruh for example. As the two most chilling characters to occupy the landscape, who would just as soon erase a life as blink, the concept of humor is something which eludes their grasp. And then you have other rather odd, bordering on perverse characters such as the Twins, who aren’t funny on purpose but seemingly can’t avoid putting a comical grin on the faces of others. Sometimes oddity can be pretty amusing.
That’s because funny helps. And I think funny can sometimes be particularly helpful when it comes to science fiction and fantasy. One of my favorite science fiction novels is “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, one of the funniest, wackiest reads you’ll ever enjoy. But it is also extremely clever and very well-written. The humor is used to draw the reader in and relax the reader at the same time. Readers who might not normally be attracted to science fiction still find themselves enjoying this one just because it’s so entertaining.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not arguing for less seriousness in scifi. Not at all. There are times when funny helps and there are other times when funny fits in about as well as Deep Cluck yodeling on the White House lawn. But sometimes I do think there is a tendency among practitioners of the genre to keep their stories buttoned up tight without a laugh line in sight when a bit of humor might actually add a needed variation in rhythm that would be appreciated by the reader. It is indeed possible to imagine far away worlds and otherworldly scenarios while laughing hysterically. Whoever it was who said imagination is a deadly serious undertaking wasn’t using their imagination.