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How to Spit


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Proper spitting is important. Any American male over the age of eight, who spends any time outdoors, spits.

Causation and utility

It may well be true that the very act of going outdoors is sufficient to elicit what I will here call the spit reaction. (There is also indoor spitting, but that should involve receptacles of various kinds and is not the subject of the current essay. (Occasionally one might see an American male over the age of eight standing indoors with a distracted look on his face, glancing around hopefully. You can guess what's on his mind.))

The spit reaction, like many human behaviors, can have multiple interacting etiologies. Suffice it to say, for our purposes here, it is typically either caused by, or used for, one of four things:

1. Displacement reaction -- The eight-year-old wants to hit his twelve-year-old big brother, but knows that if he does he'll get pounded. So instead he spits.

2. Boredom -- It is, after all, something to do (often while waiting for the pitcher to get the ball over the plate).

3. Emphasis -- "Damn all, Jake, you're right! [Ptooey!]"

4. Hacked a loogy -- Although it goes without saying, there's always that terrible choice.

What to aim at

The ground. Not your best friend's shoe, the front step, the cat, or even third base. The ground.

How to spit

Practice. Now that we're all grown up, we've forgotten that as eight-year-olds our lives were little more than one practice session after another. As soon as we embarrassed ourselves in front of our friends by dribbling down our chins, we added spitting to our list of things to practice. If, for some unfortunate reason, we were limited by circumstance in our opportunities to practice this necessary skill, then we paid the price later, both as individuals and as a society.

As for the details, spitting is a skill which cannot easily be taught. In that regard it's rather like walking (which reminds me of a joke...), but I'll try:

1. Either work up a manageable volume of sputum or hack a loogy. In the latter case, be very cautious of its tenacity.

2. Take a breath. It's the rapid exhalation of this air that carries the load safely away from the chin.

3. Form the lips as if pronouncing the German ö or the French eu. I'm aware of no English equivalent.

4. Aim (see above).

5. Using the diaphram muscles (think stomach, not lungs), fire!

And don't forget to practice, practice, practice.

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ST was badly affected by the media as a child

'Beavis and Butthead's Hockaloogie'


Classifying Spit

Classifying the different types of spit is important when playing competitively.

*Glob or Gob - The standard spit, a globule of pure saliva.

*Orbiter - Two globs of spit attached by a thin wire of spit. This is difficult to achieve.

*Stringer - A watery spit with some mucus. This is not fully released from the mouth as it stretches outwards thus reducing distance. This method is sometimes frowned upon in spitting circles. However, should a stringer reach an abnormally long way down, these are often very well recieved.

*Froth/Cappucino - The froth is caused by aerating the saliva before firing. A certain amount of mucus is helpful to keep it together, and looks very impressive when landing on a watery surface. The Cappucino is the poetic name for this spit.

*Cluster Bomb - These have very little mucus indeed. They do not remain together, and scatter over the playing surface. The distance achieved is difficult to measure, thus a low score rating is accredited to this method.

*Greeny/Greenie - A spit with a large proportion of mucus. Named due to its colouration, greenies are notoriously slimy and remain together. They adhere strongly to surfaces. Greenies are highly rated in scoring.

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Classifying Spit

They forgot one:

*The Sneeze - This is a camoflage spit useful in situations where any of the above variety would seem indecorous. Invented and perfected by Dexter Manley. "Sometimes I can sneeze and it can go 15 yards," he once said.

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