The W.M.A.C.S.N.

The World’s Most Annoying Coffee Shop Neighbor sits down at the next table and says “hello” in a way that makes you worry it’s an apology-in-advance for something. She takes a cell phone call immediately and talks very loudly. She appears to notice that it’s annoying everyone around her, so she gets up and makes to leave the room, but stops right in the doorway — which puts her within a foot or two of your right ear. You can’t help but overhear that she plans to spend the next five hours here, doing work, which isn’t annoying when _you_ do it but seems somehow obtrusive in her case.

After hanging up, the World’s Most Annoying Coffee Shop Neighbor sits back down and takes a bottle of water from her briefcase. It’s mostly filled with ice shavings, and the only actual water in it is the stuff that’s recently melted. She tips it back to get a swallow of the water, which makes the ice crackle loudly (and, need it be said, annoyingly) as it scrapes the sides of the plastic bottle. She pulls the bottle from her lips and says “Aaaaaah.” Then she does it again. Then she keeps doing it, over and over, for two minutes.

This is when you decide to move to a different place in the coffee shop. Hours later, from your new vantage, you can see her talking on her cell phone outside. She climbs up on the concrete pylon that supports the green lightpole that lights the tables out front. Perched there, she keeps talking for another half an hour, all the while tiptoeing around the pole, occasionally splaying one of her legs out in an approximation of a stretch. This is only annoying because you’re choosing to look at it, and yet, you find you can’t take your eyes away, which annoys you even more, and only confirms the notion, fully formed now in your mind, that she is the World’s Most Annoying Coffee Shop Neighbor.