(Theory of mind is the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one's own.)
Wednesday morning I was in Starbucks, picking up my grande no whip mocha (an important detail, in case anybody wants to buy me a cup of coffee at some point) and in front of me in line was this chick named Sarah.
Sarah was on the phone, chattin' away. When it was her turn to place her order, she rambled it out to the barista and then went back to chattin' it up. The barista then had to say "do you want a bag? Ma'am? Ma'am? Ma'am? Do you want a bag? Do you want a bag?" while Sarah just kept on going. (It turned out she did want a bag. I got to the register and said "that must be really annoying to you." "I get paid by the hour," he said. Good answer).
Then Sarah and I both stood there at the little table at the end, waiting for our drinks. She continued her conversation, loudly. Occasionally she would SHRIEK with laughter. Did I mention she was loud?
The other people in the place exchanged some glances, and we all knew that we were all thinking "this chick is really fucking annoying." At one point, after a particularly loud shriek, Sarah says into the phone "I'm totally annoying all these people around me." So, not only was she apparently aware that she was really fucking annoying, she also just didn't give a shit. On and on she went, as the barista yelled and yelled "Sarah! I have your extra hot chai at the bar. Sarah! SARAH!!"
Finally... FINALLY... my drink came and I was able to leave, but then I walked behind her while she stumbled across the (red light) crosswalk and to her car, never even taking a breath.
Sarah was not autistic. But, hey. You know who lacks Theory of Mind? Autistic people.
Yep. True story.
For more (non-sarcastic) information about how autistic people lack Theory of Mind, but NT people totally don't, visit Autism and Empathy.