Hocking Up A Loogie

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*Gross Topic Alert: If you are squeamish, you might want to skip this one.

I remember joking about this when I was in high school. If someone would cough, we would chime in with, “What? Are you going to hock up a loogie?” I always thought it was a sudden necessity, due to having an excess of phlegm in your throat…a life or death matter, I was sure. And that it would be extremely embarrassing if you ever actually did it. Boys would try doing it on command to impress others, in the same way that they would try to impress with an armpit fart, or conjuring up a huge belch. Well, apparently, the loogie has reached a new level.

I was sitting on my porch on Memorial Day morning, relaxing a bit, and watching the neighborhood. A car pulled up down near the river with a canoe on top, and a young fellow opened the driver’s door and swung his feet out, but stayed seated. Casually, he used his index finger to close off one nostril, and then the other, blowing his nose, sans Kleenex, onto the street between his feet. And then he wiped his nose.

I found myself riveted to his activity, although I was disgusted, and in total disbelief. What could be ok about this? And what was the point of jettisoning his boogers onto the pavement below, if he was going to wipe his nose afterwards anyway? Why not just use the hanky or Kleenex to blow your nose, keeping it personal? What made him need to share his boogers with all of us? And they were even lying there, beneath his feet, as he got out of the car to loosen his canoe and embark on his family holiday outing. I’m sure he had to be stepping on his own boogers. Maybe it was to increase his sure footing when getting into the canoe, providing some adhesive to the bottoms of his shoes???

I realize that blowing your supply of boogers onto the street is not quite the same as hocking up a loogie, but very similar. Both involve phlegm, or mucous, and both say, “I love you, and I want to share something very personal with you, even though you don’t know me.”

In case you haven’t noticed, loogies are everywhere these days. Parking lots, sidewalks, streets, medians…I wouldn’t be surprised if I spotted one on the floor of a store, right in the produce department, or perhaps in front of the deli case. Like the booger sharing canoeist, folks just seem to want to share their bodily fluids with the public at large.

You’ll see them freshly spewed, or slightly dry, and sometimes old enough to just be a spot collecting dirt like a sticky lint brush. Why? Do these people even give a thought to the folks that will be walking along after they have ditched their phlegm, stepping in it? What if you drop your jacket as you’re getting out of your car in a parking space with a fresh deposit? What about someone walking barefoot? Or a small child, intrigued by the shiny blob…kids put everything in their mouths, you know. Eeeeuuuuwww!

Some things should just be private…keep your phlegm to yourselves, please!

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