Back in September, 2003, in Part XI of PWSBK, I railed about the vile nature of people who eat with their mouths open. These people are so poorly mannered, so hideous to behold, that they deserve a new — a second — shout out for their killing.
I’ve spent the last two or three weeks eating and working at a local coffee shop/restaurant called Morning Due, in San Francisco. I’ll sometimes spend four or five hours during the afternoon sitting there (here) getting stuff done. The place seats about 25 people; at peak times, it’s packed with hungry hippos, eager to enjoy Due’s delicious fare.
The number of people who eat with their mouths open is astonishing. I haven’t seen or studied enough subjects to draw statistically sound conclusions, but I know this: an awful lot of people are ill-mannered pigs.
It’s not a generational thing, since I see an even distribution among young and old eaters. It doesn’t seem to be terribly socioeconomic, since I see dapper, well-educated professionals and alleyway schlubs exhibiting their disastrous etiquette. There is also something culturally revealing about the fact that a lot — but by no means all — of the chewbreathing involves people talking at each other. I say culturally because it’s clear that getting your tedious little thought out in the open is far more important than chewing and relishing your mouthful of food.
You might conclude that this isn’t really an important thing, but it is. Like bad breath, picking your nose, or digging your underwear out of your butt, eating with your mouth open is utterly and supremely disgusting. It says a lot about you and your self-image (or lack thereof). It says a lot about how you were raised. It says a lot about how little you care that you are offensive to behold.
So, I implore those of you who have to sit across the table from a socially repugnant chewbreather. Put down your fork. Put down your spoon. Pick up your knife and put the pig across the table out of his or her misery.