A good story will elicit a plethora of emotions from the reader by showing a vivid selection in the story. I enjoy reading a book with juicy little details, the ones that make you smile as your eyes travel across the page taking the words and building a world in side my mind. It’s the little things, the things that many pass over or forget to add. I know I do. These little things are not something I like to see more than once or twice in a story. I don’t personally like when I find them too often or a book is over riddled with them. People don’t generally have every quirk, behavior or habit. They have some, but are generally consistent with what they do have.
While it’s funny to have someone busted for picking their nose or a wedgie when they rarely do or generally never do, once I’ve gone there with that character I don’t usually go back. Unless it’s a well-timed/placed tease later on.
The little things are not what I think of as personality flaws or plot developers, they are just a peek at a character.
Some bad behaviors or bad habits are also actions that can be natural occurrences or results of a situation.
Spitting is one of them. I’ve talked about bodily fluids and functions, spitting is both a bodily fluid and function. It is also an action with many reasons and consequences. I’m not talking about spitting a drink out in surprise or drooling, but the act of expectorating.
Reasons for spitting
Show of disgust/contempt
bad taste in mouth
habit (I’ve noticed some smokers often spit frequently)
medical condition evolved into habit
something bad in mouth like bug or bad food
Act of aggression
To clean or polish something (yuck)
Hands off assault or insult (spitting in ones face)
It’s “Manly” (I’m rolling my eyes)
Types of spitting
Precise and functional
Hawk a loogie (This includes the act of snorking snot into the throat, and adding it to the spit)
In someones face
The cling-on. (Yup it didn’t part ways with the mouth and is now glopping down the chin)
The long shot. (going for distance impressively disgusting)
Examples of how to use it
Amber ducked outside to the back of the building.She took out a cigarette and lit it; careful to stand with her back to the wind. Taking a long drag she closed her eyes as the familiar rush of calm washed over her.
“That’s a filthy habit.” Scott smiled and held out his hand. “Valery’s biting my head off today.” He inhaled and handed it back.
“I noticed. Where’s your ice princess?”
“She’s not mine and apparently she’s taking some time off. Stress or something lame.”
“What a baby. You can do better.”
Scott laughed as she handed the cigarette back. “What like you?”
Her eyes narrowed and he stopped laughing.
“Sorry Amber, but you’re not girlfriend material.”
It was Amber’s turn to laugh, she held her side as he snuffed the embers of the cigarette beneath his foot. “And you think you’re boyfriend material? Please. You can’t keep a woman interested for more than three weeks, and you only wanted Little miss frosty tits because she said no and we all bet you couldn’t bag her.”
“It’s her loss.” Scott spat on the sidewalk.
Amber grimaced staring at the glob sticking and shining in the late morning sun. “You’re disgusting.”
“Says the cannibal who eats her hangnails.”
“I do not!”
Scott laughed as they headed back inside. “You totally do.”
Rachel frowned as Dale entered the lunchroom and started to pack up her lunch.
“Stay Rachel.” His sly smile spread as he sat adjacent to her at the end of the rectangle table. “We should talk.”
She glanced at the other end of the table at the two others and saw Amber and Scott heading toward the door. “I don’t think so.”
“Hey guys.” Dale waved at Amber and Scott. “Rachel here is above eating lunch with me.”
“Oh are you now?” Amber opened the fridge as Scott sat on the other side of Rachel.
“No. I have work to do.”
Dale cocked his head to the side and set his finger on her barely eaten sandwich. “Liar liar, pants on fire. Careful there Rachel your tattle tail might get burnt.”
The five others snickered and tittered behind hands and drinks. Amber lowered her chin and swallowed hard. “Leave me alone, I’ve done nothing wrong.”
Scott picked up one of her carrot sticks. “Is that why Sasha came running to your desk yesterday and why Valery has been chewing everyone out?”
Amber’s brow knit and she glared at Dale. “I don’t know anything about that. Get your hand off my food.”
“Ooh. Someones feeling brave.” Amber crooned the words as Scott ate another carrot stick. “Rumor is you told Valery I put the shrew in Sasha’s desk.” Amber sat across from Rachel and looked at the other two. “We have rules around here, running to the superiors or bosses or the boss’s best friend is super taboo.” The other two nodded in agreement.
“I never did. I’m sick of you all accusing me.” Rachel stood as Dale peeled back the top of her sandwich. “I slipped up that’s all and that was months ago.” She stared in horror as Dale let a string of saliva fall on her sandwich, he spat the last and laid the bread back over it. Amber and Scott both laughed. The other two fell silent. That was too far.
“I’m sick of this.” Rachel clenched her fists as Dale stood.
“What are you going to do about it rat?”
Rachel pulled her arm back and punched his smirking mouth hard enough to knock him on his ass. The laughter from the other end of the room was not reciprocated by Amber or Scott who stared wide-eyed. Rachel was unhurt and that hit looked practiced.
“Bitch that’s assault.” He held his bleeding lip.
“Whatever Dale, I’ve had enough of your constant abuse. Back off, leave me alone. Oh and do try not to be a hypocrite and run to the boss man to tattle that a woman half your size laid you out.” Rachel turned to Scott and Amber as the other two clapped their hands. “The same goes for you two.” Rachel stormed out.
“Ooh she got you Dale.” The man at the end of the table howled with laughter. “At your own dammed game too.”
“Shut up Terrance.” Dale got up and went to get a paper towel.
Spitting is gross(Again I don’t mean spitting out food or drink), there is no way around it. It is however a great method of showing ones character if you want to make them unappealing. There are circumstances when a well-behaved person might spit, and I might even use them if the situation calls for it. For me I will use spitting on the rare occasion and only if I need that character to be disgusting or less likable.I’ve grossed myself out enough for today.
My advice about spitting.
If you can use it and well, then go for it. Otherwise I would skip it.
Other gross posts
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