The disgusting man got “The Mom look,” after he did it right next to me. Seriously grossed me out.
I was standing in front of the gas station late this afternoon watching the sun set, while my car was getting its safety inspection. The sky above the bank across the street was aflame — the colors rivaled some of the tropical sunsets I’ve seen. You never know where you’ll see something beautiful. Or not.
A pickup truck pulled up and stopped just to my left. The driver got out, crossed in front of his truck, walking towards the station’s office. That’s when he did it.
There are few things more disgusting than some guy who needs to spit a germmy, phlegmmy glop of goo on the sidewalk. This delightful gent spat out a huge louie right in front of the door to the gas station. Right where anybody who needs to go inside must step. Thanks, pal.
I did not hide my disgust. “Uck — that’s gross!” I commented as I gave him The Mom Look. The look that says “You are the grossest human on the planet.” It is not nice to be on the receiving end of it, let me tell you.
In real life, I only saw it once. But that was plenty. I still feel rotten about it. Mostly. Although, like watching the guy who will get smacked by the ladder, or slip on the banana peel, I still have to laugh when I think of it. I just can’t help it.
As I may have mentioned a zillion times, my mother was an incredibly sweet woman. One of those people who made everybody feel like they were special. One who rarely had an unkind word for anybody.
Except probably that day, although I don’t remember any. All I remember was that that was the day The Mom Look was born.
The house I grew up in had a mirror in the front hall. Mom was a bit vain – with good reason – she did a fair amount of primping in front of that mirror. My brother Fred and I liked to hang out at the top of the stairs just over Mom, and pretend to drop stuff on her head. I was six or seven. Fred was a more mature nine or ten.
Like all of our games, the allure of dropping a ball only to catch it before it could hit Mom quickly lost its allure. And so we started dropping things on either side of her.
Mom not only had 5 kids and so was not easily ruffled, but she was a really good sport. She would stay at the mirror, letting us bomb her with stuff while she fixed her hair, pretending not to notice the ever-increasing pile of toys that suddenly landed to her right. To her left. Behind her. She’d dawdle there and let us have our fun.
“Now who left these toys here,” she’d say, confiscating them as part of our unspoken game.
Then Fred had an idea. It had to have been Fred’s idea. I’m sure of it. All our most evil plans came from his diabolical mind. I was merely the faithful sidekick. And it was definitely his recipe – he’s a guy. Guys instinctively know how to do this.
We were at the top of the stairs, when Fred cleared his throat. Brought up some phlegm. Mixed it with spit. A “Louie.”
He leaned over the railing, looking down at the top of Mom’s head.
He let his louie out of his mouth about an inch. Downwards, towards Mom’s innocent, unsuspecting head, twelve feet below before sucking Louie back up into his mouth.
Fred did it again, letting it go lower, before snapping it back and swallowing it. Wow — he was good! It was hilariously daring and dangerous and there was no way we could get in trouble.
It was possibly the funniest thing either of us had ever done. We wiped tears away and rubbed our bellies we’d laughed so hard.
“What are you two giggling about?” Mom said cheerfully from below.
For a bit, I was content to watch Fred. He’d clear his throat, combine just the right ratio of phlegm and spit and down it would go. Dangerously far away from his mouth.
But Fred was a master. He snapped it back up each time, just as it looked about to fall. He made it look so easy!
Naturally, I insisted that I get a turn. It’s the trap that all faithful sidekicks fall into sooner or later. OK, I fell into it all the time. I’m pretty sure that’s why Fred let me hang around with him so much.
I was not a louie master.
In fact, my first try led to the Mom Look. Because I apparently did not get the ratio of phlegm/spit quite right. It didn’t have the elasticity that Fred’s had had. Or I didn’t have the suck-up action down quite right.
I can still see it happen as all bad memories do, in slow motion. Me leaning over the railing with Fred next to me. Both of us watched in horror as the inevitable happened.
Uh, Mom? Meet Louie. Louie, Meet Mom’s head.
At first she assumed dropped a toy on her head. But when I said “I’m sorry Mom” with eyes velvet-painting-sized with guilt, well, somehow Mom Knew.
Moms always know.
That was when she gave me The Mom Look, just that one time.
I have never forgotten it. That poor, sweet woman with a humongous wad of my spit and phlegm on top of her lovely curls. I’m pretty sure I have never felt so bad about doing anything to anybody as I did for spitting on my mother’s head from the upstairs hall.
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So guys (and faithful sidekicks), don’t spit in public or you, like the guy at the gas station today, will get The Mom Look. Spitting is just sooooooo gross.
I considered posting a video, but decided against it. You’re welcome.
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Oh no. This is my 400th post. I’m pretty sure Mom is laughing uproariously at the subject matter. And she probably has The Mom Look on, just for good measure.