One thing that has become an increasingly annoying pet peeve of mine is people who call me up and slap their gums all over food while they're trying to talk to me.

As an offender, do you really think I want to hear you wetly processing food, with your tongue slithering around against the slimy mash in your mouth, as you attempt to form a coherent sentence? It's gross. And it's stupidly poor phone manners. If you don't think I can hear it, think twice. Seriously, wtf. WTF.

I'm not as bothered by this when it's a personal phone call (because we all have gross friends or friends who can be gross sometimes, and you just learn to tolerate this in small doses)... but when it's someone calling me up for business reasons? I can feel the Hulk in me stir each and every time this happens.

Even worse is when I get a person who's busy eating AND who is compelled to say "like" or "um" every other word. It makes it impossible for me to put together exactly what it is that they're saying. They become the Uncle Ugh-tucks and Auntie Unga-bungas that no one ever wants to deal with.

Today, masticators are the source of all the world's problems. I feel like I should fight fire with fire and keep a bag of rice cakes on my desk. But then we might end up with a firestorm made of spit, and where would that get me?

I want to be able to spit real fire. Now THAT would be a superpower that Bear Grylls would be proud of. AND, it would be a good way of relieving the anger whenever I answer the line and an Uncle Ugh-tuck is busy chomping away at my soul. Urban survival at its finest.