When a good joke is told before a large crowd, some audience members giggle. Some emit big belly laughs. Some sit there and simply smile. And then some, much to the chagrin of those around them, snort. Yes, the sound of a sudden snort from a fellow audience member can shake you right out of your seats. It can rattle you worse than a phone call in the middle of the night asking, "Do you know where the children are?"
That said, there's something very liberating about sitting near someone who snorts when he or she laughs. When that happens, you are free to laugh as you please because, no matter what you do, nothing is going to sound as bad as the guy or gal in the audience who's chosen this occasion to practice barnyard animal noises. This is a lesson that anyone who saw humorist David Sedaris at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center on Monday could have learned. As the NPR commentator, New Yorker essayist, and author of Me Talk Pretty One Day carefully made his way through one well-crafted whimsical tale after another, each one packed with the humorist's signature puckish wit, sitting behind me, maybe two or three rows back, was a women who snorted with as much gusto as Thomas Ravenel lost in a Colombian blizzard. And rightfully so.
Whether the North Carolina native was relating tales about by a bag of weed from a trailer park Scarface and his racist wife, his strange encounters with talking kitchen appliances in Japan, or his former neighbor Helen, a women of a certain age, with a mouth that was equaled in its foulness only by her unholy culinary concoctions (meatball quiche, spaghetti and baked bean casserole), there were plenty of reasons to bust a gut ... or snort like a pig at the trough. —Chris Haire