I got to thinking about what jokes Compact Space members would come up with if they were stand-up comedians at the Improv...
I could get an idea for some but not all of the species. The methane breathing species MAY have something like a sense of humour BUT whatever they WOULD find funny would probably be incomprehensible to us. Besides, the atmosphere would not be too healthy to them. They are not likely to be used to cigarette smoke.
The mahendo'sat (singular -- mahe) are the ones most likely to tell jokes. From indications and hints in the Chanur novels (a mention of mahen (adj.) graffiti and of items for sale in the Meetpoint market) it is likely that any jokes I can think of that they would find funny would violate the decency laws so I have to reluctantly decline from including them here.
The hani, the kif, and the stsho, however....
[ The hani comes on stage like a bronze, upright lion. She is just past her adolescence and still slightly sensitive (like Hilfy Chanur) about the small size of her beard and moustaches.
Her attire consists only of a pair of green silk slacks with a silver belt. Two pairs of nipples are barely visible through the fur on her chest. A third, almost vestigial pair is not visible. (Apes evolved to rarely have more than one child at a time as it is hard to swing through the branches and hold on to your children when you have more children than arms. Ground dwelling predators are more likely to have multiple births. Twins and triplets are probably much more frequent for hani than for humans and they have likely adapted to that.)
Her trousers are a bit daring and would shock the hani back home. A opening with a flap on it allows her long tail to poke through the back of her trousers, something NEVER done back on Anuurn, her home planet. (C. J. Cherryh never says that hani have tails BUT I have not found anything that says they do NOT have them either. Besides, I need them to have one for a couple of jokes later.)
She walks up to the microphone...]
"Hi there. My name is Hanarr and I am from Anuurn. It's interesting being here ... on Earth ... and at the Improv." ... I still ... [cough, cough] ... " [She pulls a large hankerchief from her pocket and coughs into it] "... cough, Cough, COUGHHH ... " [She puts away the hankerchief.] "Excuse me ... it's OK, ... just a hairball..."
[She looks down at an audience member who is almost overcome with excitement at the idea of seeing a genuine alien for the first time...] "What is the matter with you?" [then to the rest of the audience] "I know. He probably has never seen a girl go topless before."
"I still find you humans a bit strange. Before the show, one customer at the bar approached me and asked me if I was male or female. When I told him I was female, he made the most outrageous request. I turned him down, of course, ... but ..." [holding up her tail with one hand] "I wonder what he could possibly want with a piece of this?"
"My mom is mad at me. She caught me with my boyfriend on the couch doing something I shouldn't have been doing on the couch ... shedding fur. ... She says it takes hours to brush all the fur out of the fabric."
"She was in a bad mood anyway. She just gave birth recently to my new baby sister. It was in one of your human hospitals. They are supposed to have a custom of rewarding the first mother of the year with all sorts of gifts. My mom thinks they are prejudiced. For the first time, they awarded prizes to the SECOND woman in the hospital to give birth this year. She got subscriptions to enough parenting magazines to defoliate half of the Amazon rain forests, a years supply of formula, and diaper service for two years. My mom was first. She got a used copy of "Cat Fancier's Digest" and a bag of kitty-litter."
"My father visited England recently and got a pair of pants custom made for him at a British tailor shop. The tailor took one look at my father's tail and claimed that it gave an entirely new meaning to the British tailor's query, 'Do you tuck left or right, sir?' "
"I have finally figured out how to distinguish human males from human females. When talking to someone, I spill a drink on them and then watch to see which washroom they go to."
[ Responding to a question from the audience... ] "Do I know any intelligent beings that are dogs instead of cats? ... 'Intelligent dog' ... Isn't that an oxymoron. A dog's idea of pottie-training would be teaching the kids not to drink out of the toilet."
"I was on my way over to here when a man came up to me and told me he had not had a bite in days ... so I bit him." [Kif will steal ANYTHING, even jokes.]
"I can't understand why humans keep dogs and cats. Dogs are too gregarious and always jumping on you and cats give you no respect whatsoever. Now, I can understand keeping hamsters. ... They are so cute, ... so fluffy, ... so cuddly, ... so delicious...."
"My name ... Jose ... Jimenez ...."
[If you don't get this one, ask your parents. NLD]
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