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Feeling Spit-less

Feeling Spit-less by Debbie

Spitting is such a simple thing, a natural thing, even. Baseball players and rodeo riders, and old-timers and sailors and oil-riggers all spit.

Even nature is full of spitters. A walrus spits out a jet of water from it’s mouth into the muck at a clam as it blasts away the mud. After dinner, the walrus spits out the shells: double spitting. As a side note walruses’ spit on other occasions, too, but that’s more like Wild Kingdom footage than a family friendly blog.

There are bugs called spittle bugs. The young ones cover themselves in spittle. They don’t just spit, they cover themselves with it! Of course the trajectory of the spit of a grasshopper is remarkable!

Llamas, which are famous spitters, normally don’t spit at people. They spit on other llamas when they’re perturbed. Well… baby llamas will spit at people if they’re raised in pens but otherwise its more species specific.

Spitting cobras technically don’t spit. They just squeeze certain muscles and that sends venom flying from the tips of their fangs. Still, it seems like spitting to me.

In 20+ years as a public speaker and trainer I didn’t experience any of the common symptoms: no stage fright, I rarely forgot my lines, people were polite enough to listen to my stories and laugh at my jokes.

My besetting problem was that I had a perpetually dry mouth. It was bothersome enough that I even asked my dentist what was wrong with me. He said my problem was that I don’t make spit. Wouldn’t you think a dentist could at least call it some kind disease or syndrome? Anyway, I still don’t ‘make spit’.

That single fact may set me apart from my colleagues here in Shiner, more than any other distinction. More than being from Iowa or even being a female (spitting isn’t even gender specific here). I’ve never seen so much spitting! Shiner may be the “Cleanest Little City in Texas, but they sure do spit a lot!

I’ve known some spitters. I had a neighbor who used to spit in a coffee tin and an uncle who was a spittoon spitter (hit and miss). I’ve read about the lose 10 pounds in 10 days diet where you chew gum and spit a lot, which I think basically just means you dehydrate.

Back in Tilden, I didn’t see a single person spit: not a supervisor, or a driver or a welder or the ladies at the convenience store. So I know it’s not just Texas. Maybe it’s a regional thing, although Jimbo is from Louisiana and George is from Mexico…?

I can’t look out the window or have a conversation without seeing a lot of spitting. There are guys here that chew and spit. But there are also guys that drink and spit, guys that spit sideways and some that spit a yard straight out. There are guys that spit at the end of each sentence and some that wait until the end of the paragraph.

All this spitting makes my mouth drier and drier. I’m wondering if spit-envy is a sin?

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11 thoughts on “Feeling Spit-less

  1. Pingback: I Always Wanted a Brother « FORK IN THE ROAD

  2. Hiedi and Debbie,

    I spent some of my misspent youth at a pool hall that had spittoons next to pillars. Spitting close was good enough. I remember a line from some movie that the value of whatever they were talking about wasn’t worth a bucket of warm spit.
    Tom

    • Tom, I’ve heard if you want to generate comments on a blog site, just say something controversial to get the ball rolling. I found nothing controversial in this post, but it sure jiggled loose some memories for people.

      I remember Grandma making a sour face when I asked about the big brass spittoon on the front porch. It may have been the only time I saw that saintly woman make such a face. I decided I wouldn’t have one on my porch when I grew up. I never did. Come to think of it, I don’t have the front porch either.

  3. I was raised that spitting was not lady like so I for one am NOT a spitter. The men would spit but that was usually the ones who chewed tobacco and of course, outdoors. I hadn’t really given spitting much thought but I believe I will pass and leave the spitting up to the pros!!! I am wondering what made you write so much about spitting??? 🙂 Are you really that bored?? 🙂 May be tomorrow will provide even better topics!! Take care!

    • It’s possible that what seems like an interesting topic to me at 3:00 a.m. might be a little less interesting if I were rested. 🙂 On the other hand, it’s the first time I’ve had 4 comments! Tonight I’m trying again. Maybe you’ll like the next one better…

  4. I remember when I was younger, working at church camp during the summer. Toward the last couple of years we would open up the clientele to more than just ‘church people’. We had one particular group of high schoolers come with no rules about smoking and chewing. Cleaning up after them was yuck. Chew sitting in the bottom of a pop can in 90 degree weather for a week is disgusting and totally make my stomach turn just thinking of it!

  5. In California men spit in pop cans, I know because my newphew got quite a surprise one day while trying to sneak a quick sip of the forbidden MT. Dew. Also, I remember my great Aunt from TEXAS came for a visit to see grandma and she and grandpa would dip snuff or tear off a pinch of some bar type chew.

    • Deb – That’s really funny and thanks so much for writing! I never know if anyone ever reads this. So, your Great Aunt was from Texas…hmmm… Maybe it is a Texas thing after all!

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