Storytelling

Three Spit Takes

There were two spit takes in my life in the past week that are worth relating as they reminded me of what I consider to be one of the better spit-take stories ever.

The first one happened in my cubicle. Someone stopped by to chat, and they happened to be eating something at the time. I was seated in my chair, and they stood over me telling a story while they chewed on some trail mix. While pronouncing a “t” sound (titillating would be nice, but, alas, it wasn’t that word) a small crumb of chewed food was expelled from their mouth, and landed smack dab in the middle of my left eye glass lens. I was startled, but didn’t draw attention to it lest I embarrass my visitor. I took the glasses off and rubbed my eyes; once they left me (the now forgotten story over) I cleaned my glasses.

The second was in a meeting and the person across from me was speaking. The late afternoon sun streamed in from the window behind their head, and I was able to see their spit expelled during the oratory. One droplet, reflecting the light, fell in a long arc from their lip to the middle of the conference table like a meteor streaking across the night sky. The unhygienic aspects of the spectacle aside, the sparkling droplet of spit was quite pretty. It made me smile.

The best spit-take story I heard happened in a training classroom for a computer system. One of the students, an older gentleman, called to the instructor and complained about the quality of the monitor. There were sparkles all across the cathode ray tube (CRT) that were bothering his ability to see the computer images. The instructor had never seen such a thing, and none of the other monitors exhibited such a bizarre effect.

As she struggled to diagnose the problem, the student sneezed. He failed to cover his mouth, and sneezed straight ahead, spitting all over his computer monitor. The screen lit up with dozens more sparkles, as the spit caught the light.