The Many Uses of Laughter
Suddenly your friend bursts out laughing, and, inexplicably, you start laughing too. The situation has been diffused, and you are free to go on your merry way, ready to face the other signboards of the world.
You are a primitive caveman foraging for berries with other cavemen. Your ears perk up when you hear a low rumble coming from a distance. Is it a wooly mammoth stampede, you think to yourself in a panic? Olaf the Brave, the tribe's second-bravest member runs towards the sound to investigate.
You wait for what seems like an eternity when suddenly Olaf returns. Ha ha ha, he laughs. It is only our neighbor tribe, the Wachatis, gathering berries as well, he reports. Ha ha ha, you laugh. You can continue gathering berries again. All is well.
You are at a bar drinking your sorrows away. You've just learned that your boyfriend of three years has been cheating on you with multiple women (and sometimes men). Suddenly, without warning, a man appears by your side and says, "Do you believe in love at first sight?"
You stare at him dumbfounded, until he continues, "...or should I walk by again to give you a second impression?" You pause before letting out a repressed snicker that turns into hysterical laughter. The man tries to speak but cannot get a word in. He leaves, unsure if he just told the best or worst joke of his life.