Weird thought of the day (brought on by my cold induced stupor):
“When did anyone ever actually give a rat’s ass?”
“Was there a rat’s ass trading company or something?”
“Why a rat’s ass? Why not a rat’s tail? Or some other part of the rat?”
Please, if you can answer these, by all means, feel free.
The saying originated in the western mining town of Sheldon, New Mexico.
During the late 1800’s a prominent family headed by patriarch, Robert Rhatt, developed a new breeding method for mules which flooded the market in the town and surrounding areas.
An unfortunate side effect was mental retardation among the brood. Never-the-less, the livestock still served it purpose and sold well.
Donkey prices reached historic lows. The animal was so affordable that they would often be used for target practice after heavy drinking binges or as “company” for undesirables.
At first, the term was “I wouldn’t pay a Rhatts Ass…” referencing the mentally challenged mules pioneered by the eminent family. However, it evolved into today’s more common (miss)usage after the mining town was overwhelmed and ultimately destroyed due to an unknown disease in 1903.
Inspired by this post and comment, I founded the Rhatt’s Ass™ Trading Company: