On Saturday, I went to the SF Beer Fest, which, because I don't actually enjoy beer all that much, was not ideal. But I was invited, and so I went. It was held at Fort Mason in an enormous enclosed pier type of place where I imagine they once used to repair ships. Only there were no ships. Just beer. And dudes drinking beer out of very, very small commemorative plastic steins. And squealy chicks similarly quaffing. And throngs of people waiting at the pizza booth for pizza that never came. It was what I imagine a frat party would be like if a frat house were the size of an airplane hangar.

Every ten minutes or so, a mighty roar would make its way through the crowd. It was like the auditory version of the wave. Only louder than whatever you're imagining. A great swelling cacophony reverberating off the concrete floor. Since yelling randomly while hoisting a tiny stein is among Things I Do Not Do, I would just wait till it was over and pick up the conversation where we'd left off. After this had happened about ten times, my companion said, "You know, in any other country a crowd at a beer festival might break into spontaneous singing. Or maybe some kind of folk dancing. In America, the best we've got is apparently an inarticulate bellow."