On a seventh grade field trip that took our class aboard a boat, I looked out into the ocean and made a decision: I was going to spit.
At this age, spitting, like hurting animals, was an endeavor worthy a boy of ambition and balls, and I strove to embody these qualities.
I gathered what contents I could from my mouth and throat, and attempted to eject them, with force, into the sea.
What resulted was a not a strong bolt of saliva-and-mucus-amalgam, but a rather limp and droopy plummet, a trajectory the second half of an inverted parabola. My contribution to the ocean barely made it overboard. Instead of joining the sea, it landed against the side of the boat, where it clung, and began its slow descent.
I was not alone in watching this failure. My peer Stuart Hochman also gave it scrupulous attention. He squinted his eyes and opined, “That was so feminine.”
To add definitive punctuation to his statement, Hochman—who was, by the way, unquestionably virile—hocked up some material, and fired a line-drive of phlegm off into the Atlantic.