How Ya Fixed For Spit?

We’ve begun the simple task of canceling a few utilities in Sevilla before our move down to Málaga Province. Not surprisingly, it’s never as easy as it would seem.

There’s an old New York expression in response to someone who excessivly grubs (borrows, begs, asks for assistance, etc.). The Dowager Duchess didn’t approve of the expression, but my father used to like to use it. For example:

“Excuse me. Do you have the time?” 

“Nine a.m.” 

“How far is Lexington Avenue.” 

“Three long blocks that way.” 

“Wow. Can you break a five for the bus?” 

“Yeah. Here’s five singles.” 

“Thanks. Do you happen to have a cigarette?” 

“Sure. Here.” 

“Gee, thanks. Have you got a light?” 

Finally, in disgust, “Yeah! How ya fixed for spit?!?”

Hopefully, you understood the preceding conversation. When I tried to explain it years ago to San Geraldo, the South Dakotan, he didn’t get it. For some reason, it came to my mind when we visited the electric company today.


When we arrived at the electric company, a very coarse, loud customer was consuming all the air and energy in the small office. She was also consuming both staff members, even running from desk to desk. Staffer #1, who was on her cell phone on behalf of the customer, had a very heated argument and hung up. The customer was by that time driving Staffer #2 a little nuts.

Staffer #1 was on her desk phone when her cell phone rang again. She put her desk phone on hold, called across to the customer saying, “It’s her. Watch this.” She then pressed a button on her cell phone (I assume it was “answer”), spit into her phone, and hung up.

The customer cackled. Staffer #2 looked glumly at the papers on his desk. The cell phone rang again. And, again, Staffer #1 pressed the button, gave the caller another raspberry and hung up.

Finally, the coarse customer was done and left. Staffer #2 smiled sheepishly at us and welcomed us to his desk. We explained that we needed to cancel our service beginning Thursday of next week. He was very pleasant. He explained that we couldn’t cancel service more than two days in advance. Huh? Ah, bureaucracy. Anyway, we’ll head back Tuesday morning to take care of it.

In the meantime, I’m not letting that other staffer anywhere near my cell phone.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

24 thoughts on “How Ya Fixed For Spit?”

  1. I loved this post. It made me laugh.
    Mind you I shouldn't laugh too much, here in Germany we are also heavily in to bureaucracy. And we love lots and lots of rules and regulations but we would not tolerate raspberry blowing down the telephone – there would be riots!

    1. Kirk:
      We were both in shock. San Geraldo turned to me and whispered, "What did she just do?" I said, "She spit into the phone?" He said, "Why?" I said, "I think it was a raspberry?" We both sat back in stunned silence. I wonder on what page of the Rules & Regulations that can be found.

  2. Moving eh? When moving in one finds that the establishment is designed for movin' out, when movin' out one trips over the converse, and the cat.

    Usually all of the "old" suppliers want to supply you for all eternity and claim some sort of legal precedent in Magna Carta for doing so, while the "new" lot are invariably not eager to connect anything to an un-tested customers.

    Good luck!

    1. Owl Wood:
      I went to three office yesterday. Two I have to return to next week. One I have to follow up with once we're relocated. Simple, huh? As for the new suppliers, that's already taken care of! Well, except for internet and home phone. That will be another nightmare, I'm sure!

  3. What a load of rubbish – not being able to cancel more than 2 days in advance. You'll probably go back and they'll tell you that you can't cancel within 2 days of moving!

  4. "How yah fixed for spit" sounds like an old vaudeville routine. I hope you're feeling better. If the telephone spitter shares a phone, it would get really gross around that office!

    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      Feeling much better. Thanks! But I think I'm on my 19th nervous breakdown. We were back at the electric company today. She didn't spit, but she was constantly monitoring customers' umbrellas. "Please put it in the umbrella stand." Worried about rain, not spit!

  5. Speechless! Can you imagine that happening here in North America? Guess we have a 'way' to go.
    Now get that video ready to go next Tuesday….PLEASE!!! lol

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