Disgusting.

I recognize that even though I have lived in North Dakota for 16 years now, I am not a native.  As such, there are still some things that I do not understand.  I come to you dear readers for some clarity on a matter that I find disgusting, but that seems to be fairly common practice on the campus of NDSU – spitting on the ground in public.  And by spitting I mean – really spitting – as in hocking a loogie.

I personally find this behavior disgusting.  Every single day at the campus I see students walking along and randomly spitting wherever and whenever they see fit.  I look around when this happens to see if others are likewise disgusted, but it seems like no one even notices but me.  Which got me to thinking – is this a North Dakota thing?  Is it socially acceptable to spit in public whenever the urge strikes you?

Now, don’t get me wrong – I know folks spit when they out in the pasture or camping – but spitting in a public place traveled by many is quite a different thing.  I don’t want to step in someone’s nasty old spit as I traverse the campus.  And I certainly don’t want to have to bear witness to them spitting – yuck.

I seek input from those of you who have been around the state for awhile, because we all know that in being here a mere 16 years that I just barely got my training wheels off.  Why do so many folks in North Dakota spit in public and is it socially accepted behavior?  If it is accepted, are there any rules in regard to spitting?  Rules like – when in public one must spit into a grassy area or other such area where folks do not traditionally walk.  Surely, there must be some informal parameters to spitting in public (please God, let there be some).

Someone please clear this up for me, because seeing so many students spitting here, there, and everywhere is gagging me.  I need to better understand this behavior from a cultural, historical, or medical perspective…otherwise, I may feel compelled to start a campaign against public spit.  Is this a North Dakota thing or is it just regular old uncivilized behavior? This inquiring mind needs to know.

Day one thousand three hundred and ninety-three of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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8 Responses to Disgusting.

  1. Kris says:

    I’m a North Dakota native going on 49 years and I can assure you this is not an acceptable behavior. Spitting is my biggest pet peeve. I made certain my son would not pick up the filthy, bad habit. I told him if he has to spit, to try and do it inconspicuously and never in a place where someone else has to walk. I hate to admit it, but I think poorly of people that do spit. If you do start a campaign, count me in!

  2. Nicole Krapp says:

    It is not just a ND thing. It is gross and unfortunately I see it everywhere I travel.. Just watch baseball and that is all you see is spitting. No one has manners anymore and they think it’s ok to do what ever they please. I too do not understand it and it’s very disrespectful. Sad :(

  3. Katherine says:

    I postulate that some men have a problem with swallowing. They cannot handle a normal amount of saliva and seem unable to learn appropriate discharge of said product. I expect these same men have wet pillows in the morning from drool. :)

  4. shawna says:

    No worse or less worse than people who feel its necessary to spit their nasty gum all over sidewalks. Or leave their cigarette butts all over the walkways, those are bigger pet peeves of mine than spitting is.

  5. Kathi says:

    I agree with Shawna, at least spit can be washed away with the rain, cigarette butts and gum can’t be. But that does not mean I think spitting is proper. I dislike it too. It’s gross, disrespectful and dirty. Not sure why men feel the need to spit. Does it make him more manly? Not by my standards.

  6. B-dubya says:

    I think the spitting thing IS one of those “Macho” illusions, but I agree that cig butts and gum is even worse shoes-wise. But the spitting is just such a gross and ewww thing to actually witness– One of those knuckle-dragging redneck things.

  7. tim haering says:

    Gadz, you struck a nerve. Mostly female nerves. Gross, yes. Though I am a Hoosier by birth and never even drove through a Dakota. The only Dakota I’ve ever seen is in NYC. Spitting is universally gross. I never used to do it, then I had a stroke and lost my swallow reflex. I spit all the time now, out of necessity. Maybe that explains why only my dogs and my son love me since the stroke. I have all sortsa yucky habits now. Though I’m sure none of your spittin’ Dakotans have this excuse. I really got nuthin pertinent to say. Good luck on your crusade, Joan. Thanks for writing. I read you on the Superior [WI] Telegram. Wonder why a bloggin’ Dakotan is posted in WI.

    • B-dubya says:

      So sorry about the redneck comment, Tim–I had no idea that sometimes there’s a legit medical reason to spit. And I find your comments on this blog to be very pertinent and interesting. (Also I’m a former Wisconsin gal so we’re kin in a way :) )

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