Never Buy a Pig in a Poke

Pigby Anniel   6/18/14
Sellers have always offered less than desirable merchandise using cosmetic approaches. Never buy a pig in a poke, the buyer’s beware of its day, has generated many explanations about sacks and pigs and stuff, but I prefer my mother’s take on the matter.

Many years ago women wore what were called “poke bonnets”. These bonnets were designed with a wide brim that projected out and around the wearer’s face. This allowed women to decorate the inside of the brim to frame and call attention to their lovely faces and away from other attributes that might not be so desirable, no well-turned ankles, perhaps. If a man were searching for a wife he might be taken in by the beautiful flowers, lace, and ribbons arrayed around a comely face and not see or think about flaws elsewhere. Or in the heat of the moment a man might overlook personality or character issues.

When a man falls for a “pig in a poke”, he might not see clearly until he has brought the pig home and removed the bonnet, and we all know what happens when a pig, with lipstick or not, gets loose in the house. Please, if you keep pet pigs don’t tell me how clean they are. We raised the real thing when I was a kid, and it was my job to “slop” the hogs.

This is not to say that women can’t be fooled, too. How many Jane Austin heroines got taken in by handsome men in “regimentals”? And there are always one or two men out there who are less than kempt and of good character. But some woman is always ready to “love” a man and try to clean him up, especially if he’s a bad boy.

The way I see it, the poke bonnet was the Madison Avenue of its time, it held the same false promises we are enticed with today by those who lie and connive for their own ends. Hucksters are everywhere in the world – perhaps they are in every age. Wasn’t it Demosthenes who carried a lighted lamp while he searched for an honest man?

When was the last time you knew an advertisement was legit, or that a politician was telling any kind of truth? And yet we keep on buying things that don’t satisfy and believing what we know are lies. Another old saying about “being led like pigs to the slaughter” comes to mind here. At least the pigs in this case have enough sense to squeal.

There appears to be no area where politics does not rear its ugly head. Think about all the money and lies that go into a political campaign to make a candidate appear desirable, and the opposition not just wrong, but evil. So the incumbents hang around, year after weary year. The current Senate Majority Leader may be a crook, but he is Nevada’s crook and the good citizen’s of Las Vegas and Searchlight want to bless us with his wearying presence to preserve their state’s power. How do we say we don’t want him?

Have you checked to see if there are less than stellar senators and representatives from your State? Are they worth their weight in gold or something else? Have you spoken out for or against them? Why oh why do we keep sending weak men to the trough in D.C.?

Please, don’t use your vote for a politico in a fetching advertisement and then be surprised by the pig. • (1498 views)

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One Response to Never Buy a Pig in a Poke

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I know that there’s some sort of legal requirement for honest advertising (generally not applicable to political ads, though there are exceptions, which has come up in a case in Ohio; the problem is who decides what is true and what isn’t). Here in Kentucky, there was a big to-do over the Papa Johns slogan (“Better ingredients, better pizza”) when some competitor demanded that they prove the accuracy of their slogan.

    As best I can tell from observing, if a neutral-voiced announcer says something, it’s supposed to be true; but if you present some sort of (faked) playlet, there’s no such requirement. Of course, it can be interesting to figure out the hidden catches in those “truthful” statements. And there are always methods for some people to fool others. (I recently read that the reason the Nigerian spammers continue to use the pretense of being Nigerian is that anyone who falls for it enough to pay attention at all is probably going to go through with it. So they can send out the initial spam to millions of people virtually free, and only devote their effort to the tiny handful who are actually likely pigeons.)

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