I feel the need to write about bodily fluids. Perhaps it is all this perspiration, as TV ads and well-mannered people used to call sweat. I don’t really know why they called it perspiration. Sweat has such an honest, hard-working, 1930’s ring to it. That’s why George W. pretends to sweat on his ranch, but he’s a perspirer if I ever saw one. I, on the other hand, am shvitzing. That’s Yiddish, of course, and therefore the best word in any language for this slippery situation brought about by heat and humidity.

And now that we’re on the subject of bodily fluids, I really, really hate spitting. When my sons were younger, they would arrive home from camp and spit, every few feet, like H.B.O. cowboys, on the sidewalk. It was disgusting. We would have loud arguments on every street corner. Haven’t you ever seen a sign that says “No Expectorating”? I would ask. They would shake their heads sadly at my quaint notions. Then I would begin jumping up and down. It’s unsanitary and spreads disease! Tuberculosis is making a comeback! I don’t want to step in someone’s spit, not even yours! It’s, it’s, it’s … low class! (That was their favorite.) What if you forget and spit in front of a girl? (But girls spit, too, they explained. And they were right — I see lovely, delicate creatures in their pretty dresses cocking their heads to the side and letting one rip. Oh, dear. It is, as my grandmother said throughout her 98 years, the worst era in the history of the world.)

My grandmother and grandfather used to give a good spit once in a while, when I was really little, but my mother would go crazy with revulsion and try to embarrass them. The times changed (even in the endless worst era in the history of the world), and eventually they pretty much stopped. My great-grandfather spat tobacco, but that was before my time. And now, my sons have pretty much stopped, too. Even after watching a baseball game. In fact, I think the Mets spit less now than they did a few years ago. That’s what a really good manager can do. It’s obviously why they’re winning. I will go further and say that on the streets of New York City in August, when I expected to see a staccato of spitting provided by all those cigar-smoking men who consider it a summer style statement to reveal their hairy shoulders, I have seen no spitting whatsoever. Is it fashion? The zeitgeist? Their mothers’ voices ringing in their heads—“Are you crazy? That is disgusting!!!” — ?

Or is it? … Yes, it is, I’m sure of it — it’s all the shvitzing. There are no bodily fluids left to expectorate!

Again, I say, God bless August!