The Nitty Gritty

Ken West
2 min readApr 1, 2022
Photo by Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash

Editor’s note: The Nitty Gritty was a sensation in the 1960s. But what would happen to the Nitty Gritty in today? Let’s find out…

It caught on in a flash — the “Nitty Gritty.”

Suddenly young kids, teenagers, parents, even Grandma and Grampa were doing it.

Wasn’t hard to learn.

You didn’t have to be coordinated.

You could be spatially challenged.

Even left-handers could do it.

Dance bands, caught by surprise, took crash courses in Nitty Gritty rhythms.

Musically, it made no sense.

But on the dancefloor people came to life, waving arms, stomping feet, and hell… doing the Nitty Gritty.

The trend began in a small club in Hoboken, New Jersey, then quickly spread like a benign pandemic across America.

Then it travelled all over the world.

In China, the leadership tried to ban it as subversive. But enterprising Chinese entrepreneurs set up underground “Nitty Gritty Speakeasys,” that stayed one step ahead of the police.

North Korea was a different story. Kim Jong-un discovered that he liked dancing to the Nitty Gritty, especially with the young girls. Soon, the entire country was ordered to learn the dance. The Great Leader figured it would help everyone forget the food shortages.

Japan, the UK, all of Europe, and soon the rest of the planet were doing the dance.

Even astronauts were jiving to the rhythms in zero gravity.

Then suddenly the dance sensation came to a grinding halt.

Government scientists at the CDC declared that the Nitty Gritty could be harmful to one’s mental stability, especially with all the arm movements and stomping of feet. They recommended that the practice be banned.

A huge public relations effort began to eradicate the dance.

Then came mandates, allegedly “backed by science.”

People were “mandated” to wear masks when doing the Nitty Gritty.

Government bureaucrats then mandated that one must present a CDC “Mental Stability” card to be allowed to do the Nitty Gritty in any public venue.

Specially trained doctors and nurse practitioners were empowered to issue Mental Stability cards.

Elaborate tests were set up to determine if one was mentally stable.

Eventually, the Nitty Gritty went underground across the world.

Secret Nitty Gritty get-togethers were held in people’s homes, abandoned warehouses, and other places out of sight of the authorities, and even deep in the forests.

Meanwhile, those unfortunate enough to get caught were sent to reeducation camps.

There is a silver lining, however.

It’s rumored that these camps have become hotbeds of resistance where even the guards are doing the Nitty Gritty.

Let’s face it — the Nitty Gritty will never die.

It lives in the hearts and minds of humankind.