It’s a touch peculiar to long for devices of times gone by, when one has no experience of their use. One never knows what downsides or health risks one may overlook, and students of history may justly criticize breezy whitewashing of the same.
And yet, here I am, craving the return of the spittoon.
I’ll be frank: I don’t yearn for the gilded age of the spittoon because I look back with fond nostalgia to a time when people stuck chewing tobacco between their cheek and gums, ruminated until the nicotine was consumed, then spat the whole foul lot into a receptacle set aside for it. Though I hate the sight of a parking lot or sidewalk caked with blackened spots of chewing gum, I think it’s a better chaw, on the whole, than tobacco.
Nor do I necessarily crave the company of other present-day cuspidor users: the dental patient beside the spitting sink, the wine taster who would not pass the point of hilarity, or the folks who still buy wintergreen Skoal and main street gas.
It might be argued that I wish more spittoons were around so they could crop up in conversation; try having dictionary.com pronounce it for you and it rapidly ascends to Joke Word status. But that is not the chief reason for my current cupidity.
No, mostly I wish we’d kept spittoons because at the moment I’ve got a cold.
It’s been lingering over a week. My throat gets a bit better, then grows more inflamed again. Efforts to stay hydrated doubtless improve the general situation, but there’s no escaping the vexation of a productive cough. Avail oneself of Kleenex? Ahh, summer’s lease hath all too short a date, and a 500-count box hath all too small a count, particularly when one soggy tissue soils whatever pocket or purse it must be stuffed into. Forgive my excessive candor, but there are times when one cannot do anything but spit.
Mayhaps they needn’t come back into general fashion (seems there may have been some tuberculosis passed about last time around), but please: someone bring me a spittoon!