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An Open Letter to Men Who Spit All the Time: WTF Is Going on in Your Mouth?!

Illustration for article titled An Open Letter to Men Who Spit All the Time: WTF Is Going on in Your Mouth?!

I'd like to start out by thanking the man walking toward me on East 33rd between Fifth and Madison who spit at my feet just as we crossed paths on my way to lunch today. Before then I had no idea what I'd be writing about, then voilà: inspiration. So, nasty yuck mouth spit at a stranger's feet, no manners having, rude man, this one is for you.

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There's a question I've been wanting to ask men for years now and it's simply, what the eff is going on in your mouth?! Like for real. I keep waiting for a new scientific study to conclude that men are born with an excess of saliva in their mouths that forces them to uncontrollably release mucus and phlegm in public when and wherever their salivary glands see fit. As of this post, I ain't seen nothing yet that explains the reason men of all walks of life seem to not know better than to hawk a wad of nastiness in their throats and expel of it on park benches, sidewalks, movie theaters, subway platforms, stairwells, and pretty much any other open space in front of them. Gag me. No, literally, that's what it does to me.

I can't even count the number of times I've heard that hair-ball-like hacking from a man I've passed on the street and felt like I had to duck for cover, similarly to the way I avoid pigeons who think it's cool to swoop over my head when I'm minding my business. There are a lot of men like the one I encountered today who are just oblivious, or simply don't care, that anyone else is around and may not want to watch them expel fluid from their mouth and don't even try to shield their spitatry. Then there's my neighbor who'll at least wait until I pass his stoop to let it out, but the problem is he does it like the minute I walk by. Um, if I still have to hear it and feel the need to check my back for water marks after, you might as well just do it in my face. There are also a host of other people who think any surface is spitable. No sir. If we're indoors, you need to keep your saliva inside — like in your mouth. If the urge to release mucus is that strong, find thyself a bathroom and get thee to it asap.

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If I'm not actually hearing and seeing the saliva coming, I see spit bubbles every little where I go looking, like manholes in a construction site that I need to avoid. Every time I leave the house it's like I'm trying to ease on down the spit-laden road trying to avoid the puddles. God forbid I should ever touch the bottom of my shoe and come in contact with some gross man' bodily fluid.

I'd settle on the happy medium of men being free to spit in the grass, but it really needs to be out of eyesight and earshot of other people on the street. Look, this is coming from a woman who had braces for 18 months and was told by my orthodontist I would have an excess of saliva in my mouth during the time. Not once was I unable to control my salivary glands. Men, I'm sure you can do the same. It's just basic common courtesy for your fellow man and woman kind. I don't mind holding up an umbrella when it's raining. But when I need one on a daily basis along with a pair of earplugs to avoid spitballs, we have a problem.

This post originally appeared on Madame Noire. Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for madamenoire.com. Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

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DISCUSSION

I 'need' to spit a lot because the fumes and particulate from welding clogs my sinuses. It's often easier to snort disgustingly and hock it out than to blow my nose constantly. Worst part is that it isn't a problem till I get home that all the crap in my nose gets noticed. It's usually out of other people's site, or i'll go to the bathroom to do it.

And don't tell me to wear a respirator, (though I often do when working in confined spaces) that causes the same problem - pressure on my nose causes buildup that has to be cleared anyhow.

Also, smokers spit a lot out of boredom, or similar problems I experience from welding gases. I smoke cigars occasionally, and it only makes my sinuses worse... I can't help it, I love the taste of cigars.

Other than that... People are rude and stupid? Used to be incredibly rude to spit in front of others especially in the company of women. The idea you shouldn't spit in front of women is stupid and old-fashioned nonsense - the idea you shouldn't spit in front of people isn't.