03-31-09 - Spring Cleaning and Mucus

Living up here reconnects me with the idea of "Spring Cleaning". Living in the warm south it never made any sense - why pick Spring to do a big cleaning once a year? Just do little cleaning all the time. (actually I'd like to have a schedule of one major cleaning item to do each month, like Jan - launder drapes, Feb - remove grates and dust inside air vents, Mar - move appliances and clean behind them, etc).

Anyway, up here it's cold enough that you close everything up for the winter, and I guess in the really cold places that's even more true. Heck in the old days when Spring Cleaning became a custom, they were still putting boards over windows and bringing livestock inside for the winter to stay warm. You would close up for the winter and swaddle in blankets and live in the stale musty air and dead skin and dust.

Here it's getting stale and dusty inside. I prefer to live with my windows open all the time. Sadly I haven't been able to do that for quite a while, since here it's cold and wet, and even in San Francisco if I opened my windows a pound of filth would come in the window every day. Anyway, I'm looking forward to when this cold and gray and wet finally ends so I can open up all the windows and shake everything out.

As I've gotten older something has changed in my nose geometry. As a child I always had a leaky nose, causing me to frequently wipe on my sleeves and t-shirt when I couldn't find a kleenex fast enough. Finally I gave in and started carrying a handkercheif like my mom (which I always found disgusting). Gradually something in the cartilage has changed, and now the snot drips down my throat instead of out the front (maybe this is just because it's constantly plugged with boogers). Anyway, it now makes me spit up loogies instead of dripping snot, which is also gross, but is better I guess because I can at least control it a bit and decide when to let it out.

Anyway, while my constant spitting of loogies is gross, and I sympathize with spitters, there are some spitting habits that people have which I find completely repellant and mind boggling :

1. The constant hocking / sniffling. This guy has got a mucus problem but for some reason is not going ahead and expelling the offending matter. He just keeps hocking or snorting over and over without ever spitting. This is sometimes done by people who were told by their mother not to spit, so they're trying to have good manners - well bud, hocking over and over is much worse than just doing it once and getting the spit out.

2. The gratuitously thorough hock. This guy reaches deep and grunts and rumbles to stir up mucus from deep inside then does a massive hock and spits out a liter of saliva. If you really needed to hock that hard to get the stuff up then you really didn't need to spit that bad in the first place. It's like they do it as a show intentionally to hock as loud as possible, as if it's manly or tough or something. This is usually done by working class males; it's sometimes used as punctuation in conversation.

3. The dripper. This guy hocks and then doesn't spit a tight wad with force the way you're supposed to, he just sort of leans over and opens his mouth and lets it drip out. Most of it comes out quickly, but there's usually a long trail of sticky slime that hangs off his mouth for many seconds, and he just sits there and lets it slow stretch and finally detach. Come on man, first of all spit it harder so that doesn't happen, but if you get a hanging trail, use your hand to detach it or something. This is often done by smokers or tobacco chewers.

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old rants