Thursday, January 27, 2011

They Laughed at Me in Vienna, and Again in Prague, and Then in Belfast, and Don't Forget Hanoi! But I'll Show Them! I'll Show Them All, I Tell You!

Short Story by Tim McDaniel

As the delightfully long title would tell you, this is a humorous story of a Mad Scientist. From the viewpoint of his daughter, Molly Cule Crawley (terrible pun intended by her father), we see several World Science Conferences, starting in the 50's, and working up to the present day (and beyond!). Every year, Dr. Crawley presents a new, superscience invention, rants in stereotypical fashion all over the stage, and eventually gets laughed off it even as he demonstrates that he isn't quite as ineffectual as he seems.

His mannerisms get tiredly overused by the end of the story, I tell you! But they do add some additional comedy. The central amusement is Professor Crawley's absurd, B-movie mannerisms against the jeering of unimpressed "real" scientists. Although their inability to recognize actual evidence does get rather strained toward the end. It's decently funny, but Crawley's success is a bit too obvious for the joke of no one believing it. This is all addressed by a rather warm ending, but while we haul the sweet old man off to his idea of laboratory heaven, it strikes me that everything would have worked better if his hilarious 50's mad science inventions had been a little less obviously functional to anyone paying attention.

Funny for what it is though. 3 angry scientists out of 5 insist their hunchback is congenital! Congenital I tell you!

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