concept: Aliens who have absolutely no cultural or personal use for humor as a concept, but are very adept at figuring out socio-linguistic systems and how to manipulate them. Being funny makes humans more comfortable and easier to negotiate with, and it’s easy enough once you familiarize yourself with a particular culture and set your speech synthesizers to the correct setting.
and i mean sure eventually they’re great at it, but at some point in time a group of haggard aliens in a room somewhere compare notes on irony, hyperbole, and cultural references, with one exhausted individual clicking “No, Gxiiijhux VIII, puns are a no-go, puns are counterproductive, I don’t care if Susan emitted optimal pleasure decibels, everyone else in that room hated you.”
Gxiiijhux VIII finds xemself unexpectedly annoyed at the Merchant-Leader’s correction.
Although further experience indicates that the Merchant-Leader is right about the puns, Gxiiijhux VIII somehow cannot help xemself from clicking out several more of them during the next negotiation session. (All of the humans in the room groan except for Susan, who, again, emits optimal pleasure decibels)
“You need to stop,” the Merchant Leader clicks in frustration.
(But Gxiiijhux VIII can’t seem to stop.)
Gxiiijhux VIII realizes halfway through the trade negotiations that xie is more interested in causing Susan to emit the optimal pleasure decibels than in the successful negotiation of a lucrative trade regulation treaty. This causes xem much stress and confusion.
Eventually, the marriage of Gxiiijhux VIII and Susan is included as a feature of the treaty.
(Gxiiijhux VIII’s former associates breathe a sigh of relief as the merchant ship pulls away from the space station, leaving Gxiiijhux VIII, Susan, and the terrible puns behind.)
Gxiiijhux VIII never does quite get the human concept of humor, but xie is quite content to spend xyr life listening to Susan make the optimal pleasure decibel sounds anyway.