Thursday, June 16, 2016

target zero

My favorite bathroom cubicle, in the restroom on the same floor as where I work, is often cursed by habitual hawk-and-spitters. These bastards have no shame, and they always land their nasty, wet wads in the same spot: on the floor, just to the right of the toilet bowl as you're facing the bowl. If the spit has landed far enough forward, this becomes a problem for me: with my pants around my ankles, there's a good chance that my clothing will accidentally drag through the saliva and mucus, leaving a disgusting deposit that I might not notice until I try to put a hand in a pants pocket. Almost without fail, it works like this: when I visit the john in the morning, there are no loogies on the floor. By the afternoon, there are loogies.

Today, the mightiest loogie I've ever seen greeted me when I went for my afternoon constitutional. The foul liquid had spread out in a shallow pool that was almost as wide as a dinner plate. Like many Korean toilet stalls, this cubicle had no toilet-paper roll inside it.* I had brought my own supply of toilet paper, precisely calculated down to the last square for wiping; I knew I didn't have enough toilet paper with me to take care of this disaster. Luckily, I had my satchel, which contained a packet of tissues. I took the packet out, plucked a few tissues, bent over to the floor, and got to work.

I almost vomited. It was a clear puddle, but almost the entire thing was made of mucus. The thick, slippery texture was nauseating, and chunks of mucus fell back to the floor with a moist splat whenever I tried to pick up a glob to throw into the toilet. I used up several tissues and finally got that spot clean, after which I could poop in peace.

I'm tempted to make my own sign—one that I would lay down right at Target Zero. Something along the lines of, "Don't spit here, you fucking piece of shit." But that would only invite more spitting. Spiteful spitting. Maybe figuring out some way to automatically deliver a strong electric shock would be better....

*Depending on the restroom, you might find a large toilet-paper dispenser out in the communal area. You walk over to it, unspool as much tissue as you think you'll need, then do your sacred business in the privy.


  1. I'm sure you will be happy to hear that I could not get this entire post read due to the gagging and retching. I damn near lost my breakfast!

    I am so not kidding.

    Why can't they spit in the damned terlit?

  2. wherever you are, I suggest leaving before you come down with some incurable 3rd world disease.

    Back ~ 1918, subsequent to the Spanish Flu Epidemic in which 652,000 Americans died, the US Health Dept went on a nation-wide battle against spitting. Anywhere at any time. What had been a common habit became utterly verboten...think of the anti-smoking campaign...

    If you live in a spitting environment, your health is at risk and your posts are germ-laden excresences.


  3. Ruth,

    Damn. I wanted to have the reader projectile-vomiting while typing comments!

    AD Nymph,

    I'm guessing you've never visited my blog before. Welcome. I live in a backward hellhole called Seoul, South Korea, where people spend all day strangling their cats, rolling around in their own dung, and pooping off building ledges onto the streets below.

    No, in all seriousness, the ROK has clawed its way up from third-world status in 1953 to first-world status now. Although there are constant problems with litter in places like Seoul, the country is generally clean, and spitting isn't nearly the epidemic problem here that is in places like China. So my post needs to be put in perspective.

    I also practice infection control whenever I encounter the problem described in this post. I could feel the nasty texture of that pool of mucus through the tissue, not because my fingertips had been soaking in the gunk. So fear not. I've lived here for eleven years; this is my second home, not to mention my mother's country (I'm half-Korean). It might kill me eventually, but probably not anytime soon.



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