Writing: Characters Who Add Spit

I collect weird character traits in my writing journal.  If I’m crafting a story that requires braided mullets, pink eye patches, and Elvis Presley white-patent loafers, I have a treasure trove of notes to draw upon.  Whenever I go downtown, I seem to attract quirky personalities like flies to beer. It’s probably because I don’t honor the codes and culture of the high rise district. Partly because I make eye contact. Partly because I don’t know the rules.

For instance, if I pull out of the parking garage too far, so I can dart into the next 6-foot opening in traffic, my vehicle will block the sidewalk.  If one of the downtown bums happens to amble by, he’ll weave  in front of my car and spit on the hood as he passes. Thank you.

Over the years, I’ve been able to record a lot of creative curse words and some startling hand-slamming onto the hood techniques.  Unfortunately, I haven’t encountered a creative spitter yet. It’s alway’s a simple matter of hawking a lugi.  Aim isn’t important. Usually the hood.  Sometimes the window.

According to Lee Carson, the talented photographer who  captures spit in motion, Edinburgh has a sanctioned spitting area. The Heart of Midlothian. What a thoughtful outlet for “hiking up a flob” because cars aren’t permitted in the pedestrian area. The cobblestone heart (see picture) marks the site of a former prison and taxhouse where folks were hung without trial.  The commoners used to spit on the door as they passed to show their disgust. Now the tradition has morphed into an act of good luck and when you spit, it assures your return to Edinburgh someday.

If spit really works that way, I can expect quite a few downtown itinerants to return to splatter my car.  It’s a real character builder for both parties.

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Life, Smiles, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Writing: Characters Who Add Spit

  1. Rose L says:

    I have never “hawked up a loogie,” but do a dainty spit when get somethign in my mouth, like one time when a little gnat flew in. I was teased because when I spit him out I also made a “tooie” sound.


  2. Elephant's Child says:

    How did I miss this joyous treat. I too have problems because I make eye contact. When travelling by bus this also means conversations with people in altered states and people who are challenged in a variety of ways. It is probably a success story that that two of my more challenged fellow commuters have gone out of their way to introduce me to their families. And it has from time to time made some of my friends go a bit cross eyed when they see me be greeted loudly, affectionately, and often quite crassly by a variety of people. A bit of a hoot really.


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  4. I’ve always admired a good loogie projection. Related is the “woodsman’s blow,” which is also handy for bicyclists who need to blow on the go. And I’ve never been able to get anything clear of me. You have to have confidence. She who hesitates is slimy.


  5. Orice Klaas says:

    I love your writing. Each of your characters has “spit”. More than most characters I meet in most writing. Yours are indeed unforgettable.


  6. Orice Klaas says:

    As a newcomer to your writing world, I can’t resist every little word you “spit” out. I’m a fan.


    • Barb says:

      Orice. Outside of being kind of gross, spitting is an interesting human action. I think it says loads about a character who talks and spits, and I’m waiting for an opportunity to write it in somewhere. Thanks for your kind words.


  7. Lisa Nowak says:

    Next time a bum spits on your car, rev your engine and inch forward just a bit. Oh, wait, did I say that out loud?


  8. Susan Landis-Steward says:

    You are just plain insane. Glad to know you. What’s next? Nose picking? Men “adjusting”? Dogs that need a firehose to pry them apart?


  9. Beth says:

    Whoa. Whoever thought a post about spit could be enlightening? Even while thinking “yuk,” I bow to your ability.


  10. moma escriva says:

    Oh wow! No one does better in making spit and interesting story. You funny gal, you!


  11. Alice Lynn says:

    Glad you see you’re blogging again! 🙂 I’m beginning to think you’re something of an iconoclast. Loved the stuff about Edinburgh’s spitting zone. I emailed my granddaughter who going to school in Durham, England. She’s been to Edinburgh several times and loves it. 🙂


  12. Roxie says:

    You have the gift of humor, my dear. Not many people can make me laugh at 5:30 in the morning. You really are SUCH a wonderful writer!!


    • Barb says:

      Owwwww! 5:30 in the morning Roxie? That alone is enough to make a dead man spit. Thanks for the compliment, but I have to admit, writing is made much easier by sleeping waaaaaaaay past 5:30 am.


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