689. Hoisted by his own petard

689hoisted

Quite frankly, the younger staff members at the local newspaper were fed up. The rule said “In the event of a tie, the oldest in age shall be considered the winner.” This rule was as old as the hills. It applied to whenever the staff voted as to which journalist got to go on a mission to an interesting event.

There was one interesting event annually vied for. It was to the Wearable Arts Festival in Wellington. It was well-nigh impossible to get a ticket. Year after year, the staff vote equalled oldies versus youngies. And the same bloody fuddy-duddy old fart got to go every year.

Young Tristan had a plan. At a meeting of staff when they reviewed the paper’s constitution, he suggested that the rule be changed to the youngest winning in the event of a tie. It passed! Yes! He was set to go! The Wearable Arts Festival was coming up. The staff voted.

Tristan got half the votes. Natalia got half the votes.

Tristan was the winner! Yah! Yah! Hurrah! Oh, wait a minute… We forgot. We changed the rule. Natalia wins! She’s the youngest.

Yeah. Tristan thought Natalia needed to go. She might pick up a few ideas. She dresses like a slut.

(The photograph above is of the Wearable Arts Festival in Wellington, New Zealand).

33 thoughts on “689. Hoisted by his own petard

  1. Cynthia Jobin

    I have always enjoyed the expression about being hoist with one’s own petard….I realize that a petard was actually a small bomb of the sort that would have been familiar to Shakespeare, but to me, when it came with the the word “hoist,”— and “petard” was extremely similar to the French word for “fart,”—-I would picture someone being blown up in the air from his seat by his own windbreak.

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            1. Bruce Goodman Post author

              I’m not sure… it’s no longer really used. I think “an old tart” would be someone older who was a bit like a dolled-up old fart. And a tart – mid-life – would be mutton dressed as lamb. A young tart would be ever so slightly slutty… Hope this helps, and is it much the same? P.S. From tomorrow on – inspired by yourself – I’m starting to read some of my things aloud…

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      1. Cynthia Jobin

        I found the reference I was looking for, at Dictionary.com

        Word Origin and History for petard
        Expand
        n.
        1590s, “small bomb used to blow in doors and breach walls,” from French pétard (late 16c.), from Middle French péter “break wind,” from Old French pet “a fart,” from Latin peditum, noun use of neuter past participle of pedere “to break wind,” from PIE root *pezd- “to fart” (see feisty ). Surviving in phrase hoist with one’s own petard (or some variant) “blown up with one’s own bomb,” which is ultimately from Shakespeare (1605):
        For tis the sport to haue the enginer Hoist with his owne petar (“Hamlet” III.iv.207).

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