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Like a rotten mackerel

Posted by Woodchuck on October 02, 2002

In Reply to: Like a rotten mackerel posted by ESC on October 01, 2002

: : : LIKE A ROTTEN MACKEREL IN THE MOONLIGHT - "John Randolph, the eccentric Virginian aristocrat, invented this phrase in the 1820s and used it against at least two of his congressional colleagues. Henry Clay, he complained, was so corrupt that, 'like a rotten mackerel in the moonlight, he both shines and stinks.' The phrase has lived on not only because of its cleverness, but because it defines a moral ambiguity most of us find very hard to understand. We look for heroes to represent us, although we rarely find them." From "Mackerels in the Moonlight," a column by Alan Ehrenhalt, executive editor of "Governing" magazine and author of "The Lost City." The Courier Journal, Louisville, Ky., Oct. 1, 2002.

: : Rotten mackerel often glow even in the absence of moonlight. The effect is caused by luminescent marine bacteria that decompose the deceased.

: I didn't know that. I thought they had shiny scales or something. Thanks.

Let's hope a recycled jar filled with luminous rotting fish doesn't catch on as the environmentally friendly alternative to the Halloween glow stick for the organic set.