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Warning: Today's column may cause nausea or vomiting, and not just because of the writing.

Ladies: Men spit. It's a fact of life like puberty or celebrity drug addiction. It will not be solved by handkerchiefs, and Prohibition would only lead to underground spiteasies.

So you, the dignified woman, say, "Okay, fine, but can't you just wait for a restroom?"

I believe that I speak for all men when I say -- haaawk -- "No." Tooey.

I support this premise by revisiting early history, when Neanderthals roamed the earth with brains no bigger than those of our current world leaders. Without the aid of fences, Early Man defined his turf with loogies (those weren't all stalagmites).

What I'm saying is that spit is in our genes. And on our jeans. And in our hair.

It's a little-known fact that Isaac Newton discovered gravity not beneath an apple tree, as the squares would have you believe, but from the local bell tower, where he and his buddies were spitting for distance. Fascinating how they all fall at the same rate...

E=mc2? Same thing. Spit contest.

In China, spitting is so chic that government fines the spitter 50 yuan and makes him clean up the mess (and you thought soy sauce stained your laundry).

Recall, ladies, that we are dealing with a gender that belches by way of hello. As boys, we vow to become baseball players not for fame or fortune or love of the game, but for the freedom to spit at will, in the middle of "The National Anthem" if necessary.

In third grade, when I was still training for baseball, Principal Dirk sent me home for spitting on a colleague.

"It wasn't spit, sir. It was just water and a little grape juice."

"I'm not going to argue the semantics of spitting, Jason. I'm calling your parents."

I didn't know what "semantics" was, but it had something to do with a big ol' butt-whoopin'. So it goes.

Expectorant, as it reads on your progress report, is a tradition for grade school boys. Steve Allison and I used to spit for style -- that's right, form and posture -- off the roof of Wildwood Elementary. Sometimes we dabbled in synchronized spitting.

Imagine what we might have achieved had we a role model like Kentucky spit champion George Craft.

"A spitter's greatest joy," he said to Time Magazine, "is hitting the moving target. You ought to see a cat run when you spit in his eye."

I'm sure that means something.

On the other side of Wonderland, painter Albert Reyes performs "spit art" outside his exhibitions, spewing on the sidewalk like a celebrity with drug addiction.

"I prefer to use wine," he told The New York Times. "It's like a finely sharpened pencil."

At the risk of being kicked out of The Man Club, I will confess that researching this topic grossed me the hell out.

Above the drinking fountain at my gym is a sign reading, "Please don't spit in the basin." And while I appreciate their reasons, the last thing I want to think about when I bend down for water is SOMEONE ELSE'S SPIT.

Do we really share the freeway with people who need a no-spitting reminder? How about a sign above the urinal: "Please don't pee on your neighbor. Thank you. Management."

Perhaps it is time for some ground rules -- places on the ground where men can spit. Surely there's a compromise between Prohibition and the spittoon. Left to women, guys would spit only in the event of food poisoning and then with permission.

How about this, gentle reader: Men can spit, without dirty looks, on any grass surface providing that no one is eating. Consider it an environmental service, like donating to The Sierra Club. Men can also spit and/or adjust themselves during all sporting events, whether playing or watching.

Remember, ladies: Spitting is a biologically encoded function. If you don't make concessions, men will eventually revolt and run naked through the streets, belching to each other in hello, spitting in cats' eyes, building stalagmites ...

And it would take some pretty big signs to stop it.


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