Read Michael Bamberger’s column on spitting here.
I don’t understand your preoccupation with spitting. Women shouldn’t spit at anytime, anywhere, or for that matter chew gum or tobacco. Although my paternal grandmother kept a 70-year habit of dipping black snuff, a habit that was common among rural black females from the late 19th century until the mass migrations of Blacks to the North.
A good Southern man should never chew gum in public, but spitting is permissible just as long as it’s not on the town square sidewalk or near a lady.
Tiger is not a good practitioner of the art of spitting. The saliva must come out of the mouth in a tight rope. Tiger’s tends to come out like a water hose meant to wet the widest space possible. Also, he’s just not a spitting type of guy. What do I mean? He’s a golfer from Southern California, not Salinas or Sacramento or Selma or San Antonio.
Boo Weekley is good at it because he knows the context of spitting. He knows the history and has seen good men, hardworking men, perform one of the working man’s greatest crafts.
It’s a skill that was perfected by real country folks, working-class poor people who
lived through the Depression. They spit, but they knew good manners. A kind word and a handshake and opening doors for women and old folks. Yes
sir and no sir. Ask a man about his day, and he told you about how
grateful he was that he could support his family and that there was
good rain last night.
For these people, spitting was a ritual, a way to pause between parts of a story. I call it fluid punctuation.
All that’s another way to say, spitting ain’t about where’s its done, it’s about the men and women who make it mean something.