What’s worse than a close talker? The answer is a close talker who also happens to be a food sprayer (C.T.F.S.) It’s not a good combination. I bring it up because I had another sloppy encounter recently while I was, not coincidentally, shopping for a few new shirts that were not permanently stained by the very food sprayer we’re talking about here.

As anyone who has fallen prey knows, these people are very difficult to escape from. They just keep coming. Sure, you keep back peddling trying to dodge pieces of flying avocados, but they just keep advancing, totally oblivious to the fact that they’re invading your territory and ruining your shirt in the process. What’s bound to happen is because you keep backing up, however slowly, you’re going to eventually back into a wall…walls are everywhere…and then, you’re kinda screwed…nowhere to go….and the close talker/food sprayer (C.T.F.S.) is still oblivious to the fact that you’ve actually moved what seems like about a half mile during the course of his conversation…and you end up with a completely chewed meal on your shirt, plastered against a stupid wall about a mile from where you parked your car!

You would be well within your rights to question what possesses someone to behave that way. Of course, you could always be slightly rude and ask them if they wanted their cheeseburger back but that would probably fall on deaf ears, so why bother? The only thing to do is just go home, throw your clothes in the laundry and jump in the shower.

It’s one of those behaviors that everyone but the offender notices. Very similar to that guy you see at the mall who just lowers his trousers in center court to give himself a big ‘ol ‘man scratch.’ He’s totally oblivious that everyone within a 500-foot radius of Orange Julius sees what he’s doing and but he just keeps scratchin’ away…and probably drooling.

To research this column, I spent six grueling hours sitting in the food court observing people chewing and talking. I learned several things but perhaps the most constant behavior was the food most likely to be chewed and then sprayed during a conversation were the free samples given out at Kung Yun Ho’s Chicken Palace. Why that one? From my observations, I believe it’s because they’re free and, consequently no one really cared if they spit it back up. Just spit-balling…so to speak.

Because the offenders aren’t aware of their actions, we, as attentive adults, must do the job for them and if that means toting a facemask with us everywhere we go, so be it. It’s common for adult birds to chew their baby’s food before giving it to them but humans don’t do that (with a few exceptions in rural Alabama), so let’s up our game people. Let’s take a stand for all food sprayer recipients (FSR). We will take it no more.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to buy some more shirts.


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