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Spit List XI: Tea Party Pat Down

Today on Alphabet City: Jon Paul sounds an alarm regarding preparations for The Spit List.

Chloe Sevigny was the original Spit List nominee 11 years ago

Confused by the kooky controversy surrounding TSA pat-downs?  Bored by the bogus buzz around Black Friday?  Then turn your attention to that imminently more critical consideration—the question that gets everyone gobbling at Thanksgiving gatherings: Who’s on your Spit List?

For those of you who don’t have time to read an excerpt from Alphabet City about The Spit List origin that includes Chloe Sevigny and the Condé Nast cafeteria, let me lay the ground rules:

  • Your Spit List nominees should be folks you so dislike that if you saw them, you would spit on them.  It is a guttural response based upon a visceral reaction, which means there’s really is no rhyme or reason.
  • You can only spit on famous people—someone that you might see on a red carpet.  It can’t be Bob in accounting.
  • Your Spit List doesn’t have to be long; people can move on and off the list over time.  Scarlett Johansson was on my very first list, but has since moved off.  Although the recent appearance of her lips on Saturday Night Live has me reconsidering.

Did someone just spit on John Boehner?

Friends have tried exporting The Spit List to overseas celebrations with varying degrees of success.  Last I heard, my friend Aimee was debating the delicacies of introducing The Spit List to Kabul based on her limited success with it in Liberia.  At last year’s Spit List 10th Anniversary Celebration, favorite choices included Lou Dobbs and Rihanna, the latter nominated because of a bad haircut that just seems to be getting worse.

WORD OF CAUTION: In a post-election daze, it’s easy to go wild with political appointees to your Spit List.  Believe me, I am all for a full on TSA pat down of the Tea Party baggers.

Gwyneth and a rain of spit?

But from experience, the game is far more fun when there’s a Spit List balance of party officials and pop-culture wackos.  So, for every John Boehner there should be a Gwyneth Paltrow—damn, her Glee appearance is throwing a curve ball at my Spit List.

Good luck, guttural speed, and may your Spit List be thoughtful and controversial.

And by all means, let me know whom made your Spit List.

Excerpt from Alphabet City’s Episode 11: Bold Faced Names


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Spit List Recap

Today on Alphabet City: Jon Paul’s heart is warmed by Spit List nominees Lou Dobbs and Rihanna.

As I recover from a serious food coma, thought I’d reply for you some of the highlights from Thanksgiving Spit List 2009.  (For those new to Spit List, CLICK HERE for a background post).  Some trends: in years past people reported having no problem coming up with famous faces to spit on—the challenge was always narrowing them down.  But this year, guests at the table reported having to think long and hard about their nominees—it just didn’t seem so obvious.  I theorized this was known as Obama Effect—having a reasonable leader of the free world makes us less edgy and aggressive.  At the same time the Obama Effect draws out reactionary, religious right nut cases who just don’t seem worthy of our spit.  Thus, our field is narrower.

As the host, I celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Spit List by re-nominating my very first spitee Dakota Fanning, mostly because she is appearing in Twilight—and last year I spit on any type of vampire hyped films.  CNN took center stage with double nominations for Wolf Blitzer and ex-host/anti-immigrant Lou Dobbs.

In the category of 15-minute Famers, we decided that spitting on Levi Johnston would make his Playgirl photo spread hotter.  Thankfully, and perhaps surprisingly, John & Kate didn’t make an appearance on anyone’s list—people just said they were exhausted of hearing about this not-so-interesting couple.  And that’s the thing about the Spit List—it takes a lot of effort to spit on someone, so you better do it wisely.

A new category called “Spit On When They’re Down” appeared this year.  First up, John Travolta—Darrell is offended by the actor’s inauthentic life.  And then this one really drew gasps all around—Rihanna.  Why would Scott spit on a talented singer who was beaten by her boyfriend this year?  Because he doesn’t like her haircut.  Fair enough.  And that’s the true spirit of the Spit List—it makes no rhyme or reason, just a guttural response.

Sometimes, I get nervous when a new person joins our feast—I am well aware the Spit List is not an everyday family tradition.  So I always make sure that the newbie have a full grounding in the rules before they arrive.  This year, Angela and Jim’s friend Laura seemed slightly nervous as we rounded the table and got closer and closer to her.  As the game allows, participants can ask for a quick recap of the rules, which are simple—you don’t have to defend your spitting because it’s just visceral response; people can move on an off your spit list over time and for no reason; your spitee has to be famous, someone you might run into on the red carpet—it can’t be Bob in Accounting.

Laura considered the rules and leaned forward, “I’ve been thinking that actually spitting on someone would be like an actual assault, right?”

Nods and all around.

“So, I’d just like to say, if anyone ever got to spit on their nominee, and then got arrested.  I’d bail them out!”

Cheers went up all around!  We all raised our classes.

“Welcome Laura!”

I got a little emotional.  That’s the true spirit of the Spit List—gathering strangers at the Thanksgiving table and bonding over mutual disdain of famous personalities. To me, that’s something to be thankful for.

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