Chapter 6

This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them.

Christopher is really starting to annoy me by now. I don't "tell jokes", and there are a lot of "funny" things that I don't laugh at, but that doesn't mean I have no sense of humor. Aspies are just different, not humorless. We tend toward word play rather than mockery, from what I gather. I know two who love to make puns (though I don't enjoy them).

Haddon has an alarmingly poor sense of what he's doing. This book is clearly from the perspective of someone looking in from the outside and seeing an impenetrable puzzle.

Christopher gives one of his father's jokes as an example. I'm not sure why he calls him "Father" instead of something less formal. Maybe he's just that British.

His face was drawn but the curtains were real.

I know why this is meant to be funny. I asked. It is because drawn has three meanings, and they are (1) drawn with a pencil, 2 exhausted, and (3) pulled across a window, and meaning 1 refers to both the face and the curtains, meaning 2 refers only to the face, and meaning 3 refers only to the curtains.

I'm ashamed to say that I wouldn't have understood this joke if it hadn't been for the explanation. However, now that I do understand, it makes perfect sense -- though I still don't find it funny because it's a pun. Christopher, on the other hand...

If I try to say the joke to myself, making the word mean three different things at the same time, it is like hearing three different pieces of music at the same time, which is uncomfortable and confusing and not nice like white noise.

Since when is white noise nice?

It is like three people trying to talk to you at the same time about different things.

Really? It's that difficult? I don't remember having this much trouble with these concepts when I was his age.

And that is why there are no jokes in this book.

Right, because all jokes are puns. Does Haddon actually think that, or is this part just badly written?

Given what I said earlier about word play, it would make perfect sense for Christopher to really love this joke. He doesn't have to, of course, but even if Haddon thinks all jokes are puns, he didn't have to write a completely humorless character.

And thus ends the entirety of chapter "13". I don't know why it needs to exist. Why would anyone think a book about a violently murdered dog would be funny? It's yet more blatant hammering on the stereotypical characterization.

< Chapter 5 | Chapter 7 >

Back home

This page was last modified on 28/06/2016 (dmy).