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Friday, May 27, 2011

Spit It! by Jeff Donnelly

This is the first post by Jeff Donnelly. He likes long walks on the beach, earl grey tea, and is looking for a soul mate.

Spitting: It’s been accepted on the ball field and into a napkin -like when you take a big heaping bite of something and then the cook has the audacity to divulge that that scrumptious teriyaki chicken is actually Labrador retriever. It’s an act that otherwise is socially unacceptable and widely viewed as tacky or even barbaric. Some countries have made it illegal in public areas. In the U.S, if you’re not from here, it is an expression of disrespect and social deviance.

Since the age of three and into my adolescence my mother instilled in me that it was not good manners and "gross." Yet now that I am an adult, I can’t say that my mother is always right. There is a time and place for everything.

Two dudes yelling start marching toward one another like a couple of apes – but they don’t just walk up and start swinging. No, there’s a ritual that has to take place. Each dude… and it’s usually when they’re about 10 feet away… both pause and take the time to muster up a wad of saliva buried deep in their throats, mix in some snot for good measure, and shoot it to the ground. In this act, they communicate to one another that social norms have gone out the window. They don't spit because they think it makes them look tough or macho. They spit to make a statement.

As I walk home today I may need to make the same statement. I am about to encounter every type of individual you could imagine in a half mile of city streets. But within that variance of awesome people, it’s not the hot blonde in the mini skirt that is going to go out of her way to talk to me. No, it’s that crackhead scratching at the goiter in his neck. I can’t acknowledge him or I’ll be stuck with this guy. I need to send him a message in a hurry. I’m going to have to tell him to “F*ck off. But any sort of verbal engagement will draw him in.

Instead, I need to act smarter yet communicate at his level. Just one quick turn of the head while drawing up that wad followed by a laser beaming spat is all it takes to change a crackhead zig into a zag. You can see it in their eyes right away. They’re so surprised they usually blurt something out to the imaginary friend accompanying them like, “Man, that is one socially deviant individual!”

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