"They disagreed about almost everything," I recounted, adhering to The Code's rule number two: Tell them only what you want them to believe. "The meaning of love. The significance of sex. The things they look for in a relationship."

I had hoped that this warm and fuzzy ambiguity might convey that men were complicated and sensitive and not just pizza-chomping, beer-swilling, babe-obsessing lugheads. Okay, the guys and I were chomping pizza, swilling beer, and obsessing on babes. Does that mean we can't be sensitive?

"Oh, come on," said one woman. "They said something."

Women! What is it with them wanting to know stuff? I knew if I didn't give up some information they'd start their famous deprivation torture, and I don't mean just whisking away the crab dip.

I flipped swiftly through my thoughts as if they were file cards. Noooo, not that. That, better not. That - definitely not. Ah, here's one - harmless, inoffensive, good.

"Well, they suggested that a basic problem between the sexes is a humor imbalance."

"What do you mean?"

Uh-oh. What did I mean? Did I mean what I thought I meant? Maybe I just meant that women and men had different senses of humor, that's all. Somehow, though, entirely against the dictates of The Code's rule number two, I blurted out: "Women, they all agreed, aren't as funny as men."

You know the feeling in the air just before a hurricane hits? That humid, still, ominous sensation that something terrible is about to happen? That is the feeling that gripped the room. And then it hit.

"Not as funny?"

"That's ludicrous!"

"Carol Burnett."

"Lucille Ball."

"Margaret Cho."