Modern Living: The Laugh Tycoon

A man is laughing. He is hysterical. He is consumed by laughter, actually afflicted with it. He cannot stop. It is astonishing. It is even more astonishing because there is no man in sight. The subway station is empty—except for one old woman and two small boys.

Eerie? Absurd? Only for 30 seconds, until the record of uninterrupted laughter has run its course inside the bag the boys are swinging. Then, it is clearly only a joke, and already the hottest toy of the new year: Bag Full of Laughs.

It looks like an ordinary beanbag, orange, pink or candy-striped. But when a...

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