By Jody Worsham, Oct 2010
All rights reserved for membership in the NSA (National Spit-wadders of America)
In an effort to infuse our raised-on-the-farm heritage into my five-year-old and to insure that this historical school boy past time continues, I decided to teach him the manly art of spit wad shooting.
Now, as a teacher, I stand totally against spit wadding. If you have ever had to scrap spit wads off a black board aka chalk board, aka green board now known as a "white" board, you know that only Cheerios soaked in milk and sugar is harder to scrap off. Cheerios in milk and sugar is the forerunner of super glue. Still the boy needed to learn. Spit wads aren't the problem; it's the people who spit them and there is a time and place for everything, even spit wadding.
The time and place appeared simultaneously as we were waiting in the car for his sister's violin lesson to finish. We had made our prerequisite stop at McDonald's so we were equipped with the needed supplies: straws, napkins, and a very moist mouth. To keep him entertained, ok and me, we first had target shooting. We blew the paper coverings off the straws. The contest was based on distance, velocity, and aerodynamics. I won.
Having retrieved the straw jackets, we progressed to spit wadding. I showed him first how to tear off a bit of the paper straw jacket and chew it into a nice soggy wad. Now judging from his t-ball days (a few months ago) I knew he was directionally-challenged. To protect his fragile ego and bolster his self-esteem, I went for the ancient African Pigmy Blow-gun Technique. We retrieved our straws, tore off a piece from the paper straw jacket, placed the straw in our mouth and positioned the wad correctly, and let loose with a heavily saliva loaded wad. Bull's eye! He hit the windshield dead solid in the center. He was ecstatic! His Dad would be so proud. I beamed. Once a teacher, always a teacher I
Nothing breeds success like success. He continued tearing, salivating, wadding and blowing with ever increasing accuracy. When his sister reached the car, he demonstrated his new found skill by hitting her right between the eyes with a good wet one which immediately started WWIII.
After negotiating a peace treaty and reiterating the appropriate time and place, we headed for home. There were still mumblings coming from the rear seat. The nine-year-old had long ago mastered the womanly art of spit wad dueling. I think she was just waiting for a worthy opponent and one had been found.
Two minutes out and at the first mile marker, the peace treaty was broken and WWIV began in full force. It was only seconds before all napkins and sacks were decimated and the two children looked like they had some new kind of chicken pox. I pulled over with hazard lights flashing. "No more spit wads. The war is over and I am the victor!" I screamed. "Who's Victor?" whispered the five-year-old to his sister.
We drove on in silence past the three mile marker when suddenly "ping". Loose gravel? Ping! A petrified mosquito? Ping…ping..ping! A glance in the rear view mirror revealed straws to their mouths but no evidence of white wads anywhere. As I turned into our drive-way and parked, the children bounded out of the car, each with a straw and a cup of ice. Ping! Ping! Ping ping ping!! Mouth Gatling guns spitting out ice wads.
"Hey Daddy", yelled the five-year-old, " Guess what! Mama showed me how to make Spit Rods." The ice pelting continued as both children headed for cover behind the frog condos in the sand pile.
"Spit rods?" quizzed my husband.
"So he didn't get the name right, but check out his accuracy. He's headed for the pros."
"If he doesn't head for the principal's office first."