That Look

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.

*     *     *

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.


*     *     *

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.


Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Childhood Traumas, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Family, History, Huh?, Humor, Mom, Stupidity, Wild Beasts

78 responses to “That Look

  1. Everyone should have a “Fred” for a brother. You learned valuable skills at his side. Your sense of humour had to of come from your Mom so you know she is enjoying being able to use that Mom look one more time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mom had a terrific sense of humor, but not that time! She was furious. Rightly so!

      But Fred was/is wonderful. He is now a relatively normal adult. Not a convict or on the lamb!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You must have some very powerful puppy dog eyes Elyse, very powerful, because it really is a miracle you only got “the look.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hhaaaha this made me laugh XD I like the detail of how you write! I felt like I was there lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gross indeed! And living in the south, I’ve seen men at stop lights opening their car doors to spit out a plug of tobacco or some such thing. Yikes!
    On a lighter note, Happy Thanksgiving. I hope it is ‘spit’ free.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I’ve SEEN the Louie a time or two – so, so disgusting! I just could never figure out WHY they boy (and it was ALWAYS a boy) would want to suck that crap back up into his mouth. Just the thought of it is making me cringe! However, your story made me laugh and laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jana. It is almost always a boy/man although as poontrd out earlier sometiomes you do see a girl doing it. Gross me out the door!

      I hadn ‘t thought of this incident until ibwas standing there in front of the gas station. I laughed and laighed. Glad you laughed along !

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oops. Happy T Day (thanksgiving or Thursday, one will work no matter where you are!


  6. PsiFiGal

    I have never been able to hawk up a “loogie” as we called them. We were taught that ladies don’t spit. And I hate it when I’m walking on a sidewalk or parking lot and I see a loogie, it’s just gross! Still, I would like to be able to do it, (not in the street! into the sink) sometimes I get really phlemy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This? This is what you choose for your 400th post. Gad.

    This is truly a blessing, to read this. Thank you, from the bottom of my cracked heart, thank you. I laughed right down the inside of my leg.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Julie

    Ewwwwwww! I have a mom look that can stop a bullet!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Eeeewwww!! I hate seein that too! And your tale of spit was kinda gross, but held my attention nonetheless.
    (Please take note that I’ve changed my blog’s URL to:, make any necessary changes on your end if needed. And Happy Thanksgiving, and congrats on 400!)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have a “teacher look” that has evolved after 20 years in the classroom. I can’t make it intentionally. It just comes out as an automatic response to something inappropriate. It’s even popped out at home and has stopped Oregano in his tracks.

    Fun story, Elyse!


  11. I TRY to get “the look” from my mom. It’s hilarious.


  12. meandcoffeefairy

    Yes, I am blessed in family, we gather almost every Sunday to eat, and run our mouths. My Robin saved my soul in my darkest time, it was only fitting that God put her in my path with the answer to my unspoken prayer of need for help to find sobriety.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. merbear74

    I’m also not a master of my spit. Great post! My mom look is quite evil, or so I have been told.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I wish I could add to the chorus of ‘loved’ and ‘awesome’ but I’m in the middle of my breakfast. This was an ill-timed read! I’m going off to try and un-think that my bagel has gob on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. meandcoffeefairy

    I was Batman, my baby sister was Robin, she never got onto trouble for our misdeeds, that sit squarely on my shoulder’s every time. Reminds me of the time my baby sister was wiping her nose on the sleeve of her sweater during church, my grandma told my mom I had a perfectly good tissue in my hand and didn’t give it to her. Guess who got into trouble, me, I knew better, she was only 3, I was 6, I knew better, and that was my life. I would not change it one iota either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a huge price you and my brother and all older siblings pay for absolute devotion, isn’t it?

      I hope you and your sister are still close. I still think my brother walks on water, i just no longer let him know i do!


  16. Perhaps worse than guys doing it though is when you occasionally see a teenage girl doing it. Why would anyone thing it’s a good thing to do? (Other than as a joke above your mother of course).

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dan

    When I was about 16 a few short years ago *NOT* my mother was teasing me about a girlfriend. I got mad at her and told her “If you weren’t my mother, I wouldn’t choose you as a friend!” OUCH. She may not remember it, but I sure do.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 400 posts! Awesome, Elyse. I was going to spit in honour of this achievement, as I am a little bit phlegm-y at the moment (I invented ‘phlem-y’ just now. You’re welcome), but I am extremely polite as a general rule and my father would probably drive up and smack me.

    I am really glad my wife doesn’t have a look like that… well, she sort of does. I think he’s practicing. I caught her a couple of times in front of the mirror… it was weird.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Haha! So funny! Well, not for your mom. How gross. I am always disgusted when men do that. And yes, it’s usually men. Except in your case… 😉


  20. Paul

    You know if I had said that to the guy going into the service station, he’d have turned, walked over and plowed me in the face with his fist – leaving me broken and bleeding on the ground. Just how do you Moms get away with the comments and “Mom Look”?

    Fun post Elyse. Thank You.


    • Because men, contrary to popular belief, do have some shame.

      Glad you liked it Paul. But if I were you, I wouldn’t comment. I would just send these guys to me. I’ll tell them. You probably look better with your teeth!


  21. NotAPunkRocker

    Apparently I threw “The Mom” look at a coworker years ago in a staff meeting. None of us cared for him and he never quit talking, so one day I did it without meaning to. Luckily, only my boss caught me, and then she thought it was funny (whew!)


    • How funny. There are lots of folks who need it in an office — glad you got away with it. I will remember your experience each and every time I want to use it!


  22. Although not a Master of the Louie, but a recipient of the Mom Look … congrats on #400. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Your Mom must not have been using Aqua Net Hair Spray. A hocker the size of a bowling ball couldn’t penetrate that stuff.

    Great story, Elyse!

    P.S. Hi, Mom! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  24. “Moms always know”…so true. This post is SO funny. Happy 400th!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Great storytelling, Elyse! I can so see this happening. We got the Mom look once, and pretty much only once, when my brother threw chewed up bananas onto the ceiling (he really did not know any better) and it stuck there. She walked into the room at the most terribly wrong time, when it was detaching itself from the kitchen ceiling just overhead. Yep. The Mom Look.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your brother didn’t know any better? I’m doubting that, Naomi. I have two brothers, so I have experience with this sort of thing! But what a funny story. how did our parents ever survive us? My son never got away with half as much!


      • My brother was special ed and in a world of his own–nowadays he probably would have been diagnosed with some form of autism. He flushed things down the toilet to watch them spin and threw things out the car window to watch them bounce, and I really think he didn’t understand what he was doing. But it never even occurred to my kids to try some of the stuff we got away with.


        • Oh, how insensitive of me! So sorry, Naomi. I guess I am still back at that age, when I would pretend the most outrageous thing — that nothing was my fault and that of course I ddin’t understand what might happen. When of course, I did…

          I think that we had a lot more free time to get into mischief (and OUT of it) than our kids have. And I really think that we are better problem solvers as result!


  26. Loved this post. I could just envision the whole thing going down (pardon the pun). Moms sure have to deal with a lot, don’t they?


Play nice, please.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s