observation and judgment

The Asian man opposite me has been stuck in his newspaper for over an hour now. I’m happy he’s finally stopped sucking food from his teeth. That lasted a half-hour. I was about to offer him a toothpick, a safety pin, the corner of a book cover, anything that would work better than tongue and saliva. He’s got to have perused the whole paper by now.
Once he took notes from an Ace Hardware advertisement and once he said something out loud – something I didn’t understand, something that sounded like wick-a-low. A little tot just came up, looking hungrily at the library’s globe, but when he saw my Asian friend sitting right beside it, he sneered at the globe and went for the window blinds instead.

. . .

A man in Starbucks started coughing loudly while I was reading my book. Okay, so I didn’t see that it was a man, but it sounded like a man-cough. I felt my eyes get closer to popping out of my head each time the loud car-offing continued.
And then, it got worse. A quick, bluesy song came through the speakers, and he started tapping the table to the rhythm. Twitch your foot, sway your body, do anything but tap the table. Okay, so I’m not positive the cougher was the table tapper, beings my back was to both… but I just couldn’t imagine two equally annoying people in one place at the same time.

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