On this final day
Of 20-15 –
I bought a few red herrings
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.
Notes to this poem…
Written yesterday as to when I’m posting this and annotating it, the day makes a difference to note. Any other day, I could just ignore the fact I posted it yesterday and nobody would care. 🙂
For those who don’t know, “red herring” has a metaphorical definition of something that draws attention away from the matter being discussed or dealt with. There is also a literal definition of
1. A smoked herring having a reddish color. The former is theorized to have come from the use of smoked herrings to lay scent trails for hounds to follow, with the full history below courtesy of the Free Dictionary:
Word History: A red herring was originally a herring cured by smoking, a process that imparts a reddish color to its flesh. It is not known how red herring came to denote something that diverts the attention of observers or investigators, but the modern meaning may have arisen in connection with the sport of hunting. A clue to its origin is found in A Gentleman’s Recreation, a guide to hounds, hawks, horses, and other hunting matters first published in 1674 by the Englishman Nicholas Cox. This enormously popular book went through many editions, and in it Cox describes a practice that may have given rise to the modern expression red herring. If the day’s hunt has been uneventful and the huntsman’s horse has been unable to work up a good sweat, Cox recommends having a dead cat or fox, or lacking these, a red herring, dragged over the countryside for about four miles, and then setting the hounds on the scent trail thus created. As a substitute for an animal carcass, a red herring would have been readily available in any English kitchen, and its pungent, fishy-smelling flesh would have left a scent that the hounds could track easily. By riding after the hounds as they followed the scent, the huntsman could ensure that his horse has received sufficient exercise. The modern meaning of the expression red herring was perhaps inspired by practices similar to this and developed from the notion of deliberately laying an artificial trail that could distract one’s pursuers. However, the first known use of the term red herring in its modern sense, “something that distracts attention from an important issue,” occurs in the 1800s, well after the publication of Cox’s book.
I’m using the phrase “red herring” in both contexts here, although I only mean the deception definition. That meant I didn’t buy any red herrings as in the fish. I did buy some really cheap toys on sale that would be used rather out of context, like toys for photography rather than gifts, to be played with, and so on. This is the sort of thing I’ll be doing with those toys, as seen on my new Instagram account that Santa brought me for Christmas! 🙂
Thundercracker, the Transformer shown, was only one of two action figures I had when I started it, but there’ll be plenty more, and some macro glowing dinkies photos, too, among others and other kinds of photos as seen in the gallery already.
I also bought a rice cooker when my 20 year old one is working just fine. It just has a really nice lid to pressurize in the cooking, and is non-detachable, which is messy for cooking and cleaning the more flaky quinoa that is really healthy to eat. That had stopped me from making quinoa, but no more.
Happy New Year!
The H-series poems comprise of haiku composed while I was not engaged in some activity during which I frequently composed poetry. That is why these are called the Inactive Haiku collection.