Public Interest Courtesy Rule #16

Feet on StreetThe human body secretes many substances, some more pleasant than others. Such substances help us break down our food, display our emotions and expel waste. While production of these fluids is generally easy to predict, recent years have seen an increase in the amount of saliva produced by some people. This trend has required these people to spit the excess saliva in the street, surely an embarrassing affliction for those thus affected. Certainly saliva plays an important role in our lives, but its time is surely better served within the human body rather than outside of it.

For the rest of us this means we need to remain ever vigilant to the random expulsion of saliva from individuals who are abundantly rich in saliva. This forced exit of saliva from the body is something which cannot be prepared for, it can happen at any time and in any place. Innocent bystanders or pedestrians may suddenly find themselves having to duck and weave away from a direct saliva strike, or they may have to avoid walking in the resulting drops of saliva which fall on the ground from those who spit. In any case, the simple act of walking down a street now requires much concerted observation.

Unlike other bodily substances the over-production of saliva seems to be a worsening epidemic. It is an area which medical science has often overlooked but surely now should turn its eye to work towards a modern and technologically advanced solution.

For those suffering from this condition, society extends its sympathy. However until a cure presents itself perhaps you could manage your problem more discreetly and not cause other people to suffer from your unhygienic practices.


  1. Navilyn

    Gross! Some countries it is illegal to spit on the street! Nonetheless, another brilliant Public Interest Courtsey Rule…

    ps: how on earth do you come up with these? I know they are things we probably see and come across everyday, but who thinks about it? Besides you of course πŸ™‚

  2. Nico

    I blame “professional” sportspeople spitting for this…

    I meant to ask you, can I borrow the public interest courtesy concept to publish a list of guidelines on how to behave on the bus? I’ll acknowledge it’s your idea with a link in my post. πŸ™‚

  3. jan

    I think this disgusting display can be traced directly to baseball players who seem to supplement their saliva with tobacco or bubble gum. They have also made popular the practice of arranging their…er…packages for all in the stadium to witness.

  4. Tracey

    Hi Navilyn – While I think perhaps making spitting illegal may be going a little far, I can certainly understand the sentiment…it’s a disgusting habit which seems to be getting worse and afflicts both men and women….very gross indeed!!

    I just observe the world around me to come up with these rules….and take note of the things that irritate me.

    Hi Nico – I think you may be right there….I wish sometimes that people drew their behavioural role models from some where other than the sporting field…especially in relation to this kind of thing.

    Good luck with your rules for bus behaviour – go right ahead – people have no idea what should and shouldn’t be done!! 8)

    Hi Jan – Yes I’ve noticed that as well – sport people have a lot to answer for!! And I SOOO get you on that whole ‘package rearrangement’ issue….you would think people would have more regard for the millions of other people watching them…but I guess they don’t really care.

  5. Nico

    Well, I’ve published the bus rules now – I can’t believe how much of what I wrote should be “the bleeding obvious”! And yet it has to be said!

  6. Lee

    I found this to be really interesting – In London, transport workers who deal with the public have recently been given equipment to collect saliva when they are spat upon by irate passengers. The police can then analyse the DNA of the offender.

    It’s a filthy habit that can promote Atypical pneumonia – which is not a very nice pneumonia at all.

  7. LuckySnap

    You have such a way with words. You can pick out the nastiest thing and politely tell people to clean up thier act! Another great one Tracey!

  8. Lloyd BRADBURY

    Where I live there is more blood then spiy on the street/ Bateria has no chance on a street covered with salt the cough is the ene,y.the handrel on the transit etc. but rarely do I see spitting!

  9. The Artist

    So sorry to hear you are having to put up with spit on the streets.

    It seems to have escaped The Gold Coast.

    Will keep my fingers crossed spitting does not discover us.

    Seem to have memories of it when I taught in Sydney years ago. Seems to be a cultural custom.

    Best wishes, The Artist

  10. { K }

    spitting on public is soo uncool! Yet, very interesting topic πŸ™‚

  11. chana

    I often have patients who have an aversion to swallowing their own saliva and choose to keep it on their bedside table in a cup and have me dump it every now and then. Makes me nauseated…people gross me out sometimes.

  12. Tracey

    Hi Nico – I know what you mean. You really have to wonder about the sense and common decency of some people. I thought your rules for bus travel something that should be adopted by all public transport users!

    Hi Lee – Spitting is just plain disgusting…I encourage the London police who can actually follow up on the spitter in question. I’m just not sure when spitting became all so common place and socially acceptable.

    Hi LuckySnap – Thanks in return for your ever lovely words! As you may be able to tell much in this world makes me angry but I figure the best way to vent about things is to present them in this way…a much better option than taking action into my own hands! πŸ˜‰

    Hi Lloyd – Gosh you have to put up with blood in the street…my goodness. I guess at least you’re not also being flooded by spit, but to be honest I’m not sure which I’d rather put up with!

    Hi The Artist – Yes the spitting thing has been growing in popularity throughout Brisbane…I can’t say I’ve noticed it when I’ve travelled elsewhere in Australia. Hopefully the Gold Coast will stay a ‘spit free’ zone for your sake. I just hope people find a less disgusting way to amuse themselves.

    Hi K – I agree with you completely. Spitting really needs to be tagged with the ‘uncool’ factor…maybe there should be a public awareness campaign started in schools…. πŸ˜‰

    Hi Chana – Ewwww!! That is so foul…that has got to be WAY worse than putting up with spitting in the streets. You are having to put up with a much higher level of grossness….good luck with that. I hope your future patients are OK with swallowing their saliva.

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