We judge people on the quality of their jokes as crowded in on slanting picnic tables. Elbows knock pint glasses, some we catch in time, others we don’t. After an hour, we shift to the next table, like voracious insects moving to the neighbour’s garden.
We keep a mental tally, and later that night, when we’re alone and reheating hamburgers in the microwave, we go over our lists. Less than three good jokes, three real laughs, and you get a tick beside your name in the ledger we keep.
Three ticks and we start finding excuses to decline your invitation.