Pike’s Peak Writers’ Conference
The 2010 Pike’s Peak Writers’ Conference is this coming weekend, April 23-25 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I will not be there, but I’d love to see a report from anyone who attends.
One of the topnotch resources for crime writers, included in my Web Resources for Crime Writers post at The Blood-Red Pencil, is a P.I. team that has a blog called Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes. They also teach online classes for writers.
The Pig in a Poke
According to my Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, a pig in a poke is:
“something offered in such a way as to obscure its real nature or worth.”
This is like:
1. getting the wool pulled over your eyes
2. being bamboozled
3. getting hoodwinked
4. being sucked in or made a sucker of
The origin of “pig in a poke” goes back to the 1500s. According to World Wide Words:
“Though the current version in full is “Don’t buy a pig in a poke”, don’t buy or accept something without first checking or assessing it, it’s first recorded in London around 1530 in a form intended to be good advice to honourable traders: “When ye proffer the pigge open the poke”, but its best known early appearance is in John Heywood’s A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the proverbes in the Englishe tongue of 1546 (a title usually and with good reason abbreviated to Proverbs), where it appears in the form “Though he love not to buy the pig in the poke”. About 1555, Heywood included it in his other famous compilation work, Epigrammes, in the almost modern form “I will never bye the pig in the poke”.
Many Americans know a poke as a small bag or sack, which it was also in Heywood’s day (a usage that has survived in Scotland). A poke, for example, was a suitable container into which to stuff a piglet for sale in the local market.
The proverb encapsulates that wise advice to purchasers of goods, caveat emptor, let the buyer beware — always inspect the goods before you pay for them. Make the seller open his poke and show you the pig within.”
I suggest this also applies to voters and what we should do before we go to the polls. And that’s pretty much all I have to say about that.