Sunday, April 18, 2010

Expunge Expectoration!

Most common courtesies that have morphed into manners - eventually emerging as what we call etiquette (see Emily Post's Etiquette, 17th Edition (Thumb Indexed)) - actually owe their origin to public health concerns.  Picking your teeth in public having been already dealt with, spitting comes next to mind.  Saliva, whether mixed with mucous or not, is not toxic to your body - in fact, your intestinal armamentarium may be able to extract useful nutrients from your spitacious contents, if given the chance, but may be infective to others.  So, be "a swallower".  (I don't know if I'd wear the T-shirt though.)  Barring that, if you have a communicable disease or have just eaten a clove (yuck!) or insect part (yum!), make sure you always carry a handkerchief or two (offsets the wallet on your alternate bun quite nicely for that "balanced behind" look) and use it to expectorate into, in private please.  Hocking a loogie in public is just plain revolting, shows a total lack of breeding, and is a public health menace.  During the Black Death in Europe you would be hung, drawn and quartered for expectorating in public - if the Bubonic Plague didn't get you first!  Why do you think the spittoon has gone the way of the Dodo?  Show some couth, man!  As the song says, "respect yourself" - and the rest of us.  Hey, and thanks!