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?