I Stood Back and Grinned From Ear to Ear
How far can a spitwad actually go? Think about it for a minute. No two spitwads are exactly alike, so I reckon the distance would be affected by how much paper is used, how much spit is soaked up, and of course the lung power of the fella who’s doin’ the spittin’. I only bring the subject up because when I was much younger I actually witnessed what must have been the world record for spitwad spittin’.
It’s something I’ll certainly always remember. As part of my brief Marine Corps career I was stationed with the Marine Detachment, USS Hornet. It was terrific duty, particularly compared to the miserable two years I’d spent as a grunt. I was revelin’ in the great chow, clean sheets and shined shoes. It was great…except for the boredom.
Most bored twenty-one year olds end up doin’ outrageous stuff just to keep from going stir crazy, and the fellas aboard the ship were no exception. The Marines had the rough tough image to maintain so we were naturally surly, often tasteless, and for the most part barbaric, but we had a sense of humor. True, our humor was vulgar, but what else would you expect from guys who were at sea a month at a time? As you can imagine we were preoccupied with the opposite sex. This of course leads me to the whole point of this yarn. Imagine being twenty-one, horny, vulgar, and with a sense of humor unfit for any civilized gathering.
Anderson and Durkin were standing in a passageway oglin’ a Playboy magazine as I strolled by. The particular page they were starin’ at was a page-sized photo of Allison Parks (I can’t believe I still remember her name!), looking extraordinary in her sexy pose, wearing only her beautiful smile.
I thought I’d be cute.
I stepped up to Durkin, grabbed the magazine from him, and ripped out the page. With bravado I announced, “I’d do her in a minute!”, at which time I made a grand gesture of stuffing the page down the front of my trousers and tucking it nicely in my skivvies. Properly impressed with my behavior, both of’em laughed, shaking their heads as I continued my stroll through the area. Not a feather was ruffled.
Get the picture? Not a normal sense of humor, huh?
An hour or so later, I was again wandering the decks when Anderson asked, “Was she good?”
I’d completely forgotten I’d crammed the pic in my skivvies! With a smirk on my face I stuck my hand down the front of my trousers and retrieved the now warm, humid page from its nesting place. I put it up against the nearest locker and tried to flatten the wrinkled mass when another Marine, Albert, walked by.
He glanced. He saw. He acted.
Albert snatched the page from my hand. With a smile on his face and a sense of demented pride he announced to all, “Now she looks good enough to eat!”, at which time he promptly stuffed the page in his mouth and started to chew.
He was makin’ a meal out of it!
Anderson damn near peed himself he was laughin’ so hard. I, being the more mature member of this trio, simply stood back and grinned from ear to ear. It musta been a solid thirty seconds before Anderson could speak, and when he did the magic happened.
“Holt just pulled that out of his pants!”
It wasn’t like Albert thought about it. By this I mean his reaction was immediate, almost too rapid to catch with the naked eye. In mid-chew he spit out the golf ball sized object. From what I could see he didn’t even take a breath before launching it. Putttteeuuwwwwwwy! I sensed something pass by my head but I sure didn’t see it. (Anybody who’s ever been shot at knows exactly what I’m talkin’ about.) Simultaneously I heard a thunk against the wall on the other side of the compartment, maybe fifteen feet past me.
The next few seconds were filled with Albert’s gaggin’ and Anderson’s wheezin’. Only after the moment had passed did I fully appreciate Albert’s talent.
How fast was that thing goin’ when it passed me? How far would it have gone if not for the wall? (OK… bulkhead) Who knows? But I suspect that spitwad woulda made it over thirty feet…easy. Albert sure was motivated to get rid of it, that’s for sure. Come to think of it…wouldn’t you?
Now that I think about it, thirty feet does sound a mite short. How about forty five?