I never knew there were so many ways to spit, but the art of spitting is practiced with fervor here in the Bush. As if snot rockets and the yellow goo hanging precariously out of your nostrils aren’t enough, why, oh why, do you have to spit like that!?
Let me be clear. It’s not the tactful, lengthy spitting like Jack teaches Rose to do in Titanic (a clean spit from pursed lips that flies into the wind, where it’s assured it won’t touch you or anyone else). No… these kids use some creativity and ingenuity in their spitting techniques:
Stringy Saliva: If you imagine little Frankenstein’s string of spit that he releases to touch the ground and sucks back up again in the movie Big Daddy, that’s a start to understanding this kind of spit. The only difference is that these kids don’t do it for show, and they don’t suck it back up into their mouths—they just casually let out an endless string of spit that slides down the bag in the trashcan like a waterfall from the cave of doom.
The Shameless Lugi: These are the green, gray, or yellow balls of snotty saliva sitting on the boardwalk, in the sink, in a trashcan, or, heaven forbid, on the bottom of your shoe. It seems there’s an endless supply of lugi junk in these kid’s lungs and throats because it never fails that there’s at least one shameless lugi-hocker in the day. These are the most disgusting wads of colorful mucus you’ll ever see, and you can only pray that one doesn’t touch you.
Iqmii Spit: This is the first kind of spitting I was introduced to when I came to the Bush. “Want some iqmii?” The kids would ask. “It’s chewing tobacco,” Kim would tell me. “Oh, no thanks,” I said, and watched from afar as they all took turns splattering out brown juices from their mouths. Iqmii’s used just as often or more often than gum here, and you KNOW how kids like gum, so almost everyone uses it—girls and boys alike from kindergarten to high school and from adults to elders. This kind of spit happens outside the school, and I’ve had to dodge the wet flying balls of stinky brown nastiness before. It’s not that they purposely spit it at you, it’s just that they’re so used to this kind of spit being normal, and they don’t mind their bodily fluids being public news anyway, so iqmii spit landing on your pants just isn’t something to freak out about.
The Hack-and-Spit: You may consider this the same thing as the shameless lugi, but let me assure you… it’s much worse. This is the type of spitting that you can hear from across the hallway, and if a kid is in the echoey bathroom when they let out one of these babies, you’re sure to hear it from half a football field away. It’s not just that deep gargle-hack that you already know. It’s an entire symphony of snorting, sucking, and half-coughing throat noises that result in what must be a golf-ball sized mass of spitting gold. May God have mercy on anyone standing within audible range of the offending hack-and-spitter because the noises of these hacking sessions will haunt you in your sleep.