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From the sunny side… Grit

Disclaimer: The purpose of this column is for humor and parody. It does not necessarily reflect the attitudes or opinions of Greene Publishing, Inc., the writer or anyone else, for that matter.

Some of you may remember from several months back, when I spoke of my experience with Sea Monkeys, that I am a big fan of old comic books. Like most things that are old, they don't make them any more. I still have my stack of old comic books in the closet of my old room in the house I lived in during most of my youth. I was always more of a fan of the humorous comics, such as Casper, Richie Rich, Beetle Bailey and the like. I would read an occasional Batman, Spiderman, or Aquaman, but when I rode my bike to the convenience store, I was more likely to come out with a Sad Sack comic book than Superman.

One thing that all these comic books seemed to have in common, regardless of what kind of comic book, is the array of advertisements that could be found in the back pages. One of those common advertisements encouraged boys to sell "Grit" newspapers. Any enterprising young man, 12 or older, could be introduced to the wonderful universe of entrepreneurship by selling Grit newspapers. You could easily make a whopping five cents profit for every copy you managed to sell. According to the enticements of the ads, a boy could easily make a dollar or, if he were particularly enterprising, a whole five dollars. Not only that, he could win "dandy" prizes such as a bike, or camping supplies, or a catcher's mitt, or a basketball, or other "nifty" prizes like that.

I was telling one of my dear co-workers, who happens to be of the female persuasion, about selling "Grit" newspaper (I must say, as tempting as the Grit ads were, I never tried my luck at selling Grit newspapers). Her immediate response was, "Girls weren't invited to sell Grit newspapers?" My answer was, "Well, no. It specifically said 'boys.'" I explained to my well-meaning co-worker that the prizes offered were things like baseball bats, baseballs, footballs, etc. Grit simply did not offer prizes like dolls, make-up, sewing kits, etc. Hey, I didn't make the rules, that's just the way it was. There was a statement in one of the ads that said boys could "receive valuable training operating your own business which will be helpful to you through the years to come." I further explained to my wonderful co-worker that Grit did not offer experience in laundry, cooking, doing dishes or things like that. Again, I didn't make the rules, that's just the way it was.

Thinking about Grit newspapers prompted my nostalgic mind to investigate whether Grit was still in publication. I discovered that it is, indeed, still in print, although with several changes. I don't know if Grit still recruits salespeople in the backs of comic books any more. I'm sure that if they do, they have progressed along with the rest of the world and have opened opportunities for girls to sell Grit as well … just so long as the dishes are done.

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