Moby Dick and Tartar sauce


Senior Member
"271. When facing a difficult task, act as though it is impossible to fail. If you're going after Moby Dick, take along the tartar sauce."

Book: The Complete Life's Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown

I haven't read Moby Dick. From google search, I kind of understood 'going after Moby Dick' here means obsessive quest. I still don't understand what the author means by 'take along the tartar sauce.'

  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Some googling would have got you the answer.
    I haven't read Moby Dick.
    Moby Dick is a book about a sea-captain's quest for revenge on a whale that had seriously injured him.
    If you're going after Moby Dick,
    This is a reference to Captain Ahab's going after Moby Dick to kill it, but can also be interpreted humorously as meaning "going after Moby Dick to catch and eat it". Whale meat is seafood, and tartar sauce is often eaten with seafood.
    Tartar sauce - Wikipedia
    It is most often used as a condiment with seafood dishes...


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It's meant to be humorous while making a point. By bringing the tartar sauce, you are telling yourself "I'm serious about this. I will be successful. If I am not successful, there would be no reason to bring tartar sarce."

    It's humorous because no one in 2019 is 1) really going whale hunting by themselves (or with anyone else either, except in a few exceptional cases) and 2) tartar sauce is eaten with fish, and whales aren't fish and 3) you'd need 500 gallons of tartar sauce.
    < Previous | Next >