August 16th, 2008

The westerners’ image of Chinese people as inveterate spitters has resulted in a cadre of spitwatchers in Beijing — a city that will go to any length to clean up its act for the Olympics. Spitting is not allowed any more than a girl with crooked teeth can be shown singing the Chinese National anthem.

If you’re like me — an American man — you spit. Maybe over the curb and into the street, or into the gutter, or on the patch of dirt surrounding a newly planted tree. Naturally, you expect your athletes to spit anywhere, even on artificial turf. However, American women do not spit — probably because men would be too grossed out. Roseanne Barr proved that twenty years ago when, in a parody of a baseball player, she stepped into the batters box in San Diego, adjusted her crotch, and spat.

In San Francisco’s Chinatown, both Chinese men and women spit. I’ve been with enough of my male friends to know it’s not really welcomed.

But one of my friends had it put it into perspective for him. He once talked Chinese man about it. The man pointed out that, yes, his culture had no problem with spitting in the street. But this man had a hard time understanding an American’s willingness to hawk up a wet one, deposit it into a square of fabric, then wad up the sticky fabric and stuff it into a pocket. Or a purse.

5 Responses to “Anti-loogie.”

  1. Bob Gilbert Says:

    Seems to be trendy here in Sweden for teenage girls to spit. I don’t get it, but maybe it’s part of their struggle to be equal. or to look tough. Is there a popular music video or movie with its starlet spitting? Are all the new supermodels doing it? It could be a side-effect of that popular swedish nicotine delivery system, snus, but something tells me these girls are just trying to mark their territory.

  2. Katherine Says:

    Excuse me, gents. But depositing your germ laden spit into a tissue to be disposed of properly is called KEEPING YOUR FUCKING TB TO YOURSELF–a public health issue. My theory is that men who spit in the streets don’t use condoms either. Just a thought—-

  3. Fred Wickham Says:

    Katherine –

    Point taken, but thank god for CAPITALS or I would have missed it.

  4. Jean McKenzie Says:

    Does spitting out gum count? Once it’s lost its flavor, it’s so nice to take a deep breath and launch it into the nearest bushes or ugly ground cover. It seems to cause no harm and is quite exhilarating. But is it spit?

  5. Sylvia Says:

    Eww, just eew, you guys!

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