Column 8
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Column 8

Now that we are clear on the “No Expectorating” issue (C8), a little context. John Keen of Bowral, Alexandra Lansdown of Hunters Hill, Llewellyn Dickeson of Culburra Beach and David Rose of Hamilton all inform us that such signs came about in an effort to combat TB (tuberculosis), with David recalling seeing them in Perth in the 1960s.

Still on the spitting issue, Lee Gaynor of Green Point writes: "You’ve just reminded me of my first reaction to The Spit area of Mosman when I had just arrived from the UK in 1956 as a young bride. My in-laws lived in Mosman and took me for a drive over the Spit Bridge (the old wooden, noisy one) and on passing a low building with the name Spit Baths on it, I really started to think what strange habits Australians have."

On a stranger note, Paul Lenehan of Lane Cove remembers that at the, now extinct, Roseville Baths "there was a notice on the wall saying, 'If you can spit on the floor at home, you can spit on the floor here because we want to make you feel at home' ".

Vancouver’s Vegemite drought (C8) has reminded Andrew C Taubman of Queens Park of the time he took an overseas business trip a few years ago: “Entering the EU at Helsinki airport, I’d brought a couple of tubes of Vegemite to educate/horrify my colleagues about Australian cuisine. They were taken away from me because the bomb sniffing device could not definitively identity them as food! I offered to eat some on the spot to show them, but computer said no.”

Moving on to that other problem import: Milo (C8). Judith Moore of East Maitland says: "Kathryn Forward is fortunate her grandsons live in Canada and not Ireland. Our son had the tin of Milo he was taking into Ireland confiscated as 'an unfinished milk product' and threatened his visa would be revoked if there was another breach."

Michael Sinclair of Melbourne "was about to roll my eyes this morning as I cycled past a high school student, chatting away to herself as she walked to school". "I expected to see her headphones on, talking on the phone. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover she was holding prompt cards and practising for a school debate. And yes – it is indeed a fact that polka dots are better than pin stripes!"

Column8@smh.com.au