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  1. Stefaan

    to polish the canonball

    I'm trying to find out the correct meaning of the phrase "to polish the canonball".
    I've had 2 possible explanations:
    1. to do needless work with result that your best opportunity is passed
    2. to do needless work because you can't improve an object

    Thanks for your replies.

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    Re: to polish the canonball

    I have never met this phrase. Do you have a sentence in which you found it?

    It seems to suggest that it is pointless to polish cannonballs as they will be fired out of cannons, so = pointless work.

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    Re: to polish the canonball

    The trip's climax comes when my home town, Marshall, Mich., is reached. Marshall, 7,000 pop., was once a station on the Underground Railroad, which has since fallen into disrepair. However, in this town of sparkling waters (home of the Gastric Pop Co.) one may find such things as the Bilbo House, a mansion built by Sidrach Bilbo, which is an exact replica of the customs house at Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Here one may also find the custom of the Polishing of the Cannonballs. The populace gathers on the Courthouse lawn to watch the mayor and the High Sheriff of Calhoun County polish the cannonballs which are piled next to the town cannon (kept for defense). The scene is amusing to those who know that the mayor will eventually drop an eight-pound ball on his foot, due to his having swilled too much elderberry wine. The ceremony ends with a drinking bout which usually results in the destruction of one or more of the picturesque mansions in the town. The quaint county jail awaits the survivors of the affair, and thus the trip ends.
    Last edited by David L.; 16-Jan-2008 at 15:42.

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