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March 24, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Home to roost


Postcard of rooster dressed as dapper man V.O. Hammon colletion/Newberry collections (USPD. artist life/

All dressed up and nowhere to crow. (USPD/


Totally hick word. Hated it when mom used it. Especially when friends were around. So embarrassing.

“If I had my druthers….”

  • The word is a shortening of ‘would rathers’. The phrase seems to be from late 19th century America – earliest use possibly in January, 1870’s edition of Overland monthly and Out West magazine’s story Centrepole Bill” by George F. Emery.
  • Mark Twain frequently used the common dialect in Tom Sawyer, Detective for conversations between Huck and Tom.
  • It’s not supposed to suggest a lack of sophistication or education, but listen to it!

“If I’ve got my druthers, I druther not.”

This double usage became common usage from the American cartoonist Al Capp’s popular, long-running Li’l Abner comic strip.
The dialect phrase was also featured in the song “If I Had my Druthers” in Li’l Abner: The Musical (1956).
In the story, curiously, Senator Fogbound, Dogpatch’s U.S. congressman, tells the locals that Congress has declared their town of Dogpatch the most unnecessary town in the U.S., so it’s got to be evacuated as Congress has decided to use the area as a nuclear bomb test site.


Talk about government overreach and elites being totally out of touch and casually deciding what is good for the “little people”.

Geesch. Rinse and repeat.

postcard Goose dressed as woman (V.O. Collection/Newberry colletion/ USPD artist life .,

“Yes, I am a quack. How astute of you, a city person, to notice. (USPD/

Back to the story:
Enter “Yokumberry Tonic”, made from the one-of-a-kind Yokumberry tree…Suddenly, the Pentagon sees a possible military use…Will the tonic a redeeming factor for Dogpatch and save the community?
(Short summary here)

Of course, despite some universal themes and timeless characters “à la manière de” Blazing Saddles, Li’l Abner, would probably be canceled now: stereotyping, insulting, and condescending to rural life and country folks.

And then, through wit, being too close to reality with government and elected officials…Facebook and twitter would be quick to protect the public.

Especially as there’s a hint of government scandal and a “dastardly scheme” involving femme fatale, Appassionata Von Climax. FAKE NEWS. It’s fake news – look away!

Not sure I’d make it through the entire musical, but this smooth song from the show sits well:

Hick or not, I’d druther be laughin’ than finger waggin’.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge


Leave a Comment
  1. marina kanavaki / Mar 24 2022 7:32 am

    …and I’d druther wag my tale! Duh, humans! 😉 Paw waves!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 24 2022 9:03 am

      HA! It’s like there’s aa mirror being held up by artists, writers, and musicians repeatedly to reflect human behavior, but we never see it!
      Wagin’ tails for tales, indeed.
      Paw waves to Hera – and hope for a great weekend. Thanks for having your druthers but stopping by to chat

      Liked by 1 person

      • marina kanavaki / Mar 24 2022 9:06 am

        Our furry friends see it though! 😉
        Here’s to better days, my friend and more wagin’ tails!


  2. Pied Type / Mar 24 2022 9:50 am

    I’ve had my “druthers” on occasion, lightheartedly, without giving it a second thought.
    You’re right; L’l Abner, like Brer Rabbit and many others, would never be allowed today.


  3. 1bl0gr3ad3r / Mar 24 2022 10:25 am

    One more fun song, “Jubilation T. Cornpone” for the trifecta. Did the musical in high school. Parents & grandparents enjoyed it. It was dated, but we knew of Abner, Daisy, Granny & Grampa Yocum from Sunday comics. Even had a real little pig in the cast. Today schools are doing “RENT” or “Spring Awakening” or “Dear Evan Hansen.” Btw– if you really haven’t seen it, there is a movie, actually the stage show filmed, still (rarely) shown on the old movies channels. Probably on youtube unless banned!


  4. Anne Mehrling / Mar 24 2022 10:36 am

    I’ve used the word druthers because I grew up with it. When I say it occasionally now, no one asks for clarification. Either people know what I mean or they don’t bother to ask. In any case, they don’t attack me for using it. Thanks for bringing it up today. I enjoyed reading about it.


  5. Ally Bean / Mar 24 2022 10:52 am

    I’ve never heard this song. It’s delightful. I grew up in a world where everyone used the word ‘druthers’ so it sounds normal to me.


  6. sustainabilitea / Mar 24 2022 7:40 pm

    I went to high school with a girl who cleaned her clothes in the “warsh” and had a friend back in Ohio who bought “punkins” at Halloween and thought “dunkies” were cute. 🙂 I’m familiar with “if I had my druthers” but not sure I’ve heard anyone use it in speech.



  7. shoreacres / Mar 25 2022 7:17 pm

    If I had my druthers, I’d druther read your posts than some of the flapdoodle being published elsewhere! I can’t decide if I think Lil’ Abner would be cancelled today or not. After all, stereotyping, insulting, and being condescending to rural life and country folks is the “in thing” in some quarters — even in Texas. (We see you, Austin!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 28 2022 7:43 pm

      Ha! You snapped to it – not sure any would.
      Thanks for the kind words. (Hope you are managing the pollen better than I – looks so lovely outside, until I go out…still gave in and planted 5 new plants…so just waiting now for the killer cold to return haha)
      Well, ( a deep subject, as we used to say…)Dither on and continue to laugh loud and free!

      Liked by 1 person

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