Nitty-gritty redux

Michael Quinion TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Wed Jan 21 18:55:17 UTC 2004

Looking for something else, I stumbled across this pastiche in the
Daily Journal (Commerce, Texas) for 19 June 1956. Note the presence
of "nitty gritty" - is this earlier than previous examples?

"This story is ficticious and any similaritry to any 15-year-old
hepcat is purely coincidental. The head-hen begins to squawk at seven
in the early beam, trying desperately to arouse the jitter-doll of
the cave from her dreams of blue Broadway. The first, thing on the
young filly's schedule is to feed her map with gas and moo juice.
After this ordeal she heads for the chamber of commerce to mow her
grass and to sack. After dragging on the leg sacks and stompers, she
blows the castle in the gas buggy and aims at the main drag. After
running this through the mill she jives for the city drink. This soon
ferments and she buys, with buffalo heads, ducks to the local
flickers, but they prove to be corny and along comes a nitty gritty
gator in a cattle train which she hops. As tick-tocks pass, the hour
of line-up for 15-year-olds approaches, and the butterfly must return
to her cocoon. Just as she reaches her blue henven, the juice to the
wagon pans out, leaving the colt only his drum sticks to reach his
cell. The moral of this dribble is: Unless you're a jitter-ager don't
try too hard digging this mush or your juice will pan out too."

The introduction says that if you can't understand any of it, you're
over 60. Sounds fair.

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: <TheEditor at>
Web: <>

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