Last week, I walked into a supermarket in Cross Hands just as a young man was walking out. As we passed, he nonchalantly spat out a huge, nasty-looking mass of phlegm onto the pavement and walked on, not giving a second thought to what he’d just done.
Spitting was as natural to him as breathing.
Normally, I’d have said something, though in retrospect I’m not sure what.
Maybe, “Excuse me young sir! I think you dropped something!”
No, that wouldn’t have worked.
But his repulsive action made me feel so ill, I nearly retched.
Had I followed through, it would have made an even bigger mess on the pavement…and someone might have written an article about my anti-social behaviour.
There used to be signs in ‘buses that made no bones about how you were expected to behave on public transport…
“No Swearing And No Spitting”
The dark font of the sign looked so menacing, almost daring you to defy it, everyone took notice.
Back then it was rumoured that spitting could spread TB – although it could have been a ruse to prevent male passengers on the top deck of the five am ‘works’ bus from depositing mouthfuls of tobacco-flavoured phlegm on the floor as they coughed-up their lungs, while enjoying their first Woodbine of the morning.
(By the way, I hope you’re not eating at the moment…)
At some point in the last 40 years, those signs were removed on the orders of someone who obviously has never travelled by public transport.
I believe they should be reintroduced immediately – not just on ‘buses but in pubs, parks, shops, bus stations, railway stations, banks, cafes, your street, my street and up every high street.
To make the message clear to the ‘Spitterati’ and the loud-mouthed oiks whose vocabulary is mainly limited to four-letter words, the signs should be in flashing red neon, 20 feet high.
Apart from warning people not to swear and spit, the signs should also say:
Drop Your Chewing Gum In A Bin – Not On The Pavement.
Don’t Ride Your Bike Or Skateboard Through Pedestrianised Areas.
Don’t Sneeze And Wipe It On Your Sleeve – Use A Tissue.
Don’t Shout Into Your Mobile Phone.
Don’t Walk And Text.
And Do Not Scratch Your Doo-Dahs In Public.
With the additional wording:
“Ignore This Sign And You Will Be Hung, Drawn And Quartered!”
If you think I’m being harsh, you should catch me when I’m in a really bad mood…