Yesterday evening I was in a pub for a friends birthday and I decided I would sing 'Happy Birthday' to their packet of crisps. 'Happy Birthday to crisps / Happy Birthday to crisps / Happy Birthday dear cri-isps / Happy Birthday to crisps.'
Now, when you sing Happy Birthday in a place where drunk people are, some of them will no doubt join in with a cheer and applause that seems to have become customary to do when someone has Happy Birthday sung to them. But I was singing Happy Birthday to a packet of crisps. No-one would applaud that, surely.
Well, actually it seems that no matter what you sing Happy Birthday to, surrounding people are seemingly conditioned into responding to the melody itself. People in the pub who didn't know me were applauding the fact that I sang Happy Birthday. To crisps. They were applauding crisps.
I thought that was quite funny.