I was writing at a table in a sports bar last night, and there was a group of five sitting nearby — four guys and a lady — who couldn’t stop laughing uproariously. Every time they burst out laughing it felt like someone had exploded an aural fart grenade….”hah-hah-hah-hahhhh!” After a while I got out my watch and started timing their frequency — no lie, the boisterous noise happened about once every 75 or 80 seconds.

Everybody explodes in laughter from time to time — it’s wonderful when this happens. But people who do it repeatedly and oppressively in a crowded room are, no offense, animals. They’re the equivalent of a guy who sits down at a communal breakfast table (which I’m sitting at right now at the Star hotel) and loudly slurps down a bowl of Raisin Bran.