Quote concerning money spent on liquor, gambling, and women (maybe 1936)

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Mon Nov 16 15:01:00 UTC 2009

This won't push the antedating back, but to add to the collection of

"I bought some pretty good stuff. I got me a $300 pair of socks. I got a fur
sink. Ohh, let's see, electric dog polisher, that was [inaudible].
Gasoline-powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb
stuff, too, you know."
Steve Martin, "Let's Get Small", 1974.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Garson O'Toole" <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2009 9:35 AM
Subject: Quote concerning money spent on liquor, gambling, and women (maybe

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Quote concerning money spent on liquor, gambling, and women
>              (maybe 1936)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> George Raft was an American film star who was known for his high
> income in Hollywood and for his profligacy. His obituary from the UPI
> newswire said this:
> Raft made, and squandered, about $10 million in his movie career, later
> joking:
> "Part of the loot went for gambling, part for horses and part for
> women. The rest I spent foolishly."
> Citation: "George Raft Dies", Ellensburg Daily Record, Nov 25, 1980.
> (Google News Archive)
> Anyone creating a quote book that includes colorful sayings about
> dissolution might include this confession. Several quote books and
> online repositories already do contain it. But I wondered if George
> Raft actually said it, and if he had concocted the joke. There is some
> evidence that Raft did utter the quip contained in the autobiography
> of talk show host Joe Franklin:
> George Raft told me on my show that he spent all of the $10 million he
> made on women, horses, gambling, and whiskey - and the rest he spent
> foolishly.
> Citation: "Up late with Joe Franklin: Stories of the Greats, the Near
> Greats, the Ingrates, the Has-beens, and the Never Weres" by Joe
> Franklin and Richard J. Marx, Scribner, 1995. (Google Books snippet
> view)
> However, examples from the Google Books archive reveal that the joke
> has many variations. The money is spent on wine, whiskey, booze,
> liquor, women, horses, gambling, the finest duds, and three mustache
> curlers. The spendthrift is identified as George Raft, a hobo, a
> marine, a cat skinner, or a sailor.
> In my search for antecedents I could only push the joke back in time
> to 1936 where it appears in the Reader's Digest. Apparently, Channing
> Pollock either created the jest or he submitted an existing jest to
> Reader's Digest. I am not certain whether submitted content is
> supposed to be original for the Digest:
> Do you remember the sailor who, asked what he'd done with his wages,
> answered, "Part went for liquor, part for women, and the rest I spent
> foolishly."? - Channing Pollock
> Citation: Reader's Digest, page 46, volume 29, 1936.
> (This is from a Google Books snippet view and the date may be
> inaccurate. The volume number does match the date and probing with
> years suggests that 1940 is in the future.)
> There are two well known Channing Pollocks in the time frame, a
> magician and a writer. Of course the creator of the joke may be
> another Pollock, or someone earlier in time.
> Garson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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