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Mr. Slurppy

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I frequently get coffee and a muffin at a great bakery near my home. There are only two tables set up for those who'd like to eat there. The tables are about a foot apart and right next to the self service coffee.

A few weeks ago, while I'm drinking my coffee and reading the paper, a middle aged man sits at the table next to me and starts slurping his coffee so loudly that I thought it was a joke. I look over to see him completely leaned over the table slurping from the cup.

It was so strange and annoying that I got up and left.

Of course now, I keep running into Mr. Slurppy. When I see him I just take my muffin and coffee to go.

A few days ago I was at one of the tables and a woman sat at the table next to me. In walks Mr. Slurrpy who looked a little confused that someone was sitting at "his" table. Well, he still got his cup of coffee at the self serve....and leaned over the bar and started slurrping his coffee.

I'm sure this story sounds inane, but I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that he is making so much noise that I'm walking out of the store. Would anyone have the guts to say, "Sir, please stop that?"

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  1. If you want to practice your passive-aggressive you could ask about his "technique".

    Or bring your iPod.

    1. I would try to be more generous hearted and think perhaps this man has some social issues, say, maybe he has something in the Autism Spectrum. I would also remind myself I probably have some things that others find strange, perhaps even annoying and give me the benefit of the doubt, and remain silent.Or you can be someone like the person the OP was describing in this thread:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/878000

      1. If it really bothered me and it was keeping me from my regular routine- I would have looked over at him and told him he was "a very loud coffee drinker". Maybe he could keep it down a bit. Smile and make a little conversation to better assess the situation. I bet he is not intending to annoy anyone.Sounds like he is just not self aware (for whatever reason). You can only assess the reason if you talk to him.

        If in the course of this light conversation, he reminds you of a serial killer you saw on t.v. the night before, then keep running from "Mr Slurrpy".

        2 Replies
        1. re: sedimental

          I invited him for Thanksgiving, but have decided not to serve soup.

          1. re: DaisyM

            There is a "work around" for everything :D

        2. He may have small lips.

          1. There's no telling what might be going on with this gentleman. Perhaps he had throat surgery or some other problem. With everything going on in the world it doesn't seem like too bad a problem to have. It doesn't sound from your report like he's doing it deliberately to be malicious or cause others harm. Just enjoy the fact you are able to get out and get coffee and muffins and enjoy them.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Firegoat

              This is how I feel. Now that I have severe chronic back pain 24/7 I see things differently. My priorities have changed. I would dearly love to be able to get out to enjoy coffee but usually I cannot due to pain (I often cannot sit). To watch TV requires lying down on a mattress on the floor. BUT I am grateful my sight allows me to watch! Anyway, I do not feel sorry for myself because I get such joy out of cooking - often that is something I *can* do. :) And eating. Believe me, I am a very good eater! :)

              So, perhaps this gentleman does have a medical or social or other issue. Perhaps he is lonely and that is his spot to go each day that provides him joy. We just do not know his circumstances (or others' for that matter).

            2. I have the guts to say something but why would I?

              I'd assume the guy is enjoying his coffee....like loud soup/noodles slurpers. You have the option of leaving and so you do.

              1. If the slurping sound bothers you, remind yourself to never go out for noodles in Japan.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Tripeler

                  :).

                  Or China....or some flights to China.

                2. I'm pretty sure I saw on TV something about professional coffee testers/tasters who sip coffee this way. Something about aerating the coffee to maximize the aromatic experience or some such. Perhaps he saw the same program...? I don't think I'd say anything about it, but I'm pretty sure I could tune it out.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: ricepad

                    Now I'll think of Mr. Slurrpy as a professional coffee taster.

                    1. re: DaisyM

                      Possibly you have run into a cultural difference without realizing it. I feel based on your post and first impression situation described it is that, "They slurp to annoy their neighbors and cool their food." Furthermore, "If an asian person realizes that you don’t like them, they will slurp especially loud to annoy you. Asians are non-confrontational in nature, so slurping allows them to get back at someone" (see top link below). As Tripeler / latindancer both said above it is very common in Asia to loudly slurp food. Especially hot soups, noodles, and liquids. Noise is often a complement to who made. Slurping is a sign of enjoyment or lack of. In some situations consumers are rewarded to slurp. “More than tradition, slurping makes the noodles taste better (and in the case of hot noodles, you’re less likely to burn your mouth). -mechamecha” Slurping adds air to hot liquid to cool it. Most places serve coffee so damn hot is almost too scalding to drink when get. Is true many from Asia slurp out of habit. The first time at the table with him my guess is some combination of: habit, was too hot, wanted to annoy, or/and he tested you to see the effect. You got up and left. Then you avoided him multiple times upon sight. Think back to yourself did you give him dirty looks? Possibly he realized you didn't like him somehow is why ask. You may have pissed him off or could be he doesn't want you sharing a table. Consider it may be his reward to slurp for you to leave. Seems he may have you right where he wants you. Saying, "Sir, please stop that?" could aggravate the situation and make him do it more even louder. If care to know the best reaction do a few internet searches and maybe even talk to other people from Asia. Additional cultural info you may find useful including the quotes above came from:

                      http://www.asian-central.com/stuffasi...

                      http://answers.yahoo.com/question/ind...

                      Smell is a big part of taste. In the OPB/PBS show NOVA ScienceNOW titled "Can I eat that" the host plugs his nose takes a drink, swirls in mouth and swallows, then says it is water. Takes a second sip from the same cup, while swirling in his mouth is told to remove tape plugging nose and quickly realizes is drinking browned butter! Is explained smell is a huge part of taste (swirling & slurping helps taste some things especially liquids better). The smell gets to the nose through our throat even with mouth closed (especially when swirl or slurp). You can watch the video and / or read the transcript at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/can... You are right he may be getting the most out of his coffee as professional coffee tasters do (but I doubt it). Yes slurping is the right way to taste coffee:

                      http://www.ehow.com/how_2087310_prope...

                      http://www.2basnob.com/coffee-tasting...

                      1. re: smaki

                        Mr. Slurppy isn't Asian.

                        1. re: DaisyM

                          Ha!

                          1. re: thegforceny

                            Was an easy mistake based on reading the post: "I'm now thinking of him as a professional coffee taster from Japan by way of China." By DaisyM on Nov 21, 2012 10:08 AM

                            Still something may be learned here. Could have DaisyM right where he wants her. Slurp and is rewarded when she leaves.

                            1. re: smaki

                              I think a lot of people probably feel that way about me. Mr. Slurppy is just smart enough to do something about it!

                  2. Maybe he just a slob?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: beevod

                      I'm now thinking of him as a professional coffee taster from Japan by way of China.

                    2. I have had three friends in my life who used to slurp. One was a guy who had lots of professional dinners and lunches with people who might offer him business, so I told him one night about his slurping. He told me afterwards he thought this advice might have helped him with one particular person who became a client. He'd grown up on a farm and told me he honestly didn't know any better.

                      I told my other two friends, and they both stopped, too, when I pointed out the grossness of it by slurping as loud as they slurped. They agreed it was pretty disgusting to listen to. Thankfully, it has never backfired on me, not that I've had to confront many people (most people I know *don't* slurp).

                      Slurpers, a question: how do you feel about people who make that clicking sound with their gum? Or other mouth noise? Does it simply not register? (I find this noise just as disgusting as slurping.)

                      1. Have you tried one upping him to see if there is a reaction? Try slurping extra loud 3 seconds after he finishes, maybe he will open a door......

                        1. In the week this has been posted, another post came into this board. The person asked if it was "OK" for them to dine at a "upscale" restaurant, since they have some facial scarring. In a whole, all replies have come in that, "Hey, it's all on the people that would consider this an offense, you have every right to dine where you wish".
                          I am sorta seeing how those remarks, speak to this issue as well. Just a thought to consider.