I wish I could spit, filthy habit though it is. I saw somebody spit today and I thought to myself: that is so manly.
I never spit, although as soon as those words fall from my fingertips, I realise that I've just typed a lie. I do spit but on those very rare occasions most cyclists experience when you're flying along, enjoying the sensation of air against the face, and then suddenly you're enjoy the sensation of a fly hitting the back of your larynx. It happens enough times in a year for me to have figured out my usual operating procedure. First I gag, cough, and then I reluctantly swallow and say 'urgh!' There then follows a series of splutters which are my equivalent of the manly spit. You see, because I'm not a regular spitter, I don't have the technique right. What I really do is 'spittling', that slightly plosive thing you do with your lips and also involving your voicebox when you try to make manly spitting noises by saying 'spppphhhit'. I sound utterly ridiculous.
A true spitter would find that it begins somewhere down in their guts. It then becomes a rising force, a roar in the back of the throat, and when it emerges, it's a thing of -- well, perhaps not beauty or if it is a thing of beauty then it's that strange ugly beauty like H.R. Giger's Alien or the goalkeeper in a women's netball team. Unlike my spitting, which ends up a fine spray landing back on my face, the true spitter can send it flying feet ahead of them. The true greats have the accuracy too and can hit a spaniel in the eye at about ten paces causing significant tissue damage.
So, there you have it: I wish I could spit like a man. I wish I could spit like the person I saw spitting outside my local Tesco about half an hour ago. It was so manly I just had to give them an admiring look, even as I thought it such a shame because, otherwise, she was quite an attractive woman.