Monday, November 24, 2014

2357 Spew

Today I'd like to talk about spit. As in saliva. Spittle. Spew. That fluid that pools up in our mouths in anticipation of a delicious meal. Or gets expectorated into a spittoon after masticating chaw.

We are told spit is unsanitary. That the human bite is far more infectious than any animal bite. And that one should steer clear of gobs of spittle when they are ejected in one's direction.

People spit to signify disapproval or disgust. They also spit at other people in the ultimate insult. "I spit on you, you English pig-dogs."

So why is it we use spit as a cleaning agent? I read an interesting article on spot removal recently and it said that if you had bloodstains in a garment the most effective thing to do was to spit on the stains, rub it in, then put said garment through the wash. The article went on to say that the spit was most effective if it was spit from the same person from which the blood originally bled. That's right, your own spit can help remove your own bloodstains. 

Then there's the long established military tradition of spit shining one's shoes. One is not in that instance trying to insult one's footwear. No, it is the ultimate in tender care. That whole shoe thing is very human anyhow what with tongues and eyelets and even soles. I suppose a little human bodily fluid fits right in.

Then there's the spit and polish tradition of the military generally. "Spit and polish" referring to the ultimate in cleanliness and sparkling purity. Because, you know, we used spit to polish it.

Must be why my mom always got out her hanky and spit on it before wiping my dirty face. 

Eeyew... Spew...

America, ya gotta love it. 

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