I glommed on to the mysteries of psychology at some point in hi school, but as usual my perception of some of its basic concepts was a bit ‘off’, so some ideas took me ‘till college to figger out.
As in: ‘Spit Personality’. (What a difference an ‘L’ makes….)
Now, Mom was adamant about No Spitting (or biting – but that’s another story entirely). We were raised to believe (a) anything that could be spit could be (daintily) less obtrusively swallowed instead (b) hacking, for any reason, was UnLadyLike. Thus Diane’s Hacking Contests were of necessity conducted out of Adult earshot with an enthusiastic entourage of schoolyard imps.
Mom’s attitude DEFINITELY eliminated the quintessential Spitting Contest (of which admittedly I was NOT the best – not getting in the practice time homework that my peers obviously enjoyed. Thus proving: homework IS important…)
So imagine my surprise when my cigarette-smoking Grandpa briefly took up tobacco chewing – a nastily impressive habit that involved hacking spit across the room into a ‘spittoon’ with sometimes-accurate shooting.
Forbidden the tobacco (it was nasty stuff anyway), I endeavored to replicate the experiment and its results using the kid-available, more socially accepted chewing gum, and therefore honed my skills out of sight of any potentially un-admiring Adults.
Diane’s Gumshots were DEFINITELY a neighborhood hit. In fact, I may modestly say the habit spread like wildfire and any adult unwitting enough to enter our backyard without a callout at the doorway first was at risk for inadvertently walking into a literal line of fire.
The BEST spitting contest I held involved (unfortunately for her) Mom’s Sheets. The ones she made us kids laboriously clothespin to the clothesline we could barely reach (in a wanton act violating Child Labor Laws, I maintained).
Revenge is sweet, especially when (a) the sheets are white and (b) the entire neighborhood is invited to participate in a Saturday experiment involving which brand of gum makes the best color when spit onto the too-inviting sheets wafting unsuspectingly in the breeze.
FYI: Yipes Stripes WON, hands down. The rainbow colors were AMAZING – and TOTALLY a big improvement over ‘tidy whiteys’.
You’d THINK Mom would’ve appreciated our efforts (and our budding talents).
MORE unfair accusations and screaming (even though it’s important to note that I was not the Yipes Stripes gum-bringer; nor even the spitter on this occasion. Blame Sally Smartpants from around the corner – and kudos to her parents, who continued to hold the record for providing ‘the best’ of everything, contributing to Miss Sassy’s ongoing education. And snobbiness.)
How do you know if you have Spit Personality?
No need for expensive therapeutic diagnosis. Buy a wad of Yipes Stripes and find out…