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2 definitions by Mark Caruso

 
1.
Out of desparation, the act of reaching or stretching for a solution, no matter how irrational or inconsequential. Literally - a drowning person who, unable to find any substantial floatation immediately at had, attempts to save himself from certain death by grabbing hold of a few stray pieces of straw floating on the water within arm's length.
The Senator from Florida, caught red-handed sending lewd and lascivious text messages to underage male pages, was clutching at straws for an alibi and escape. Alcoholism? Resignation?
by Mark Caruso October 16, 2006
 
2.
This seems to be a mixture of "led down the garden path" (meaning misled) and "sold up the river" (meaning "handed over to law enforcement", slang derived from the fact that Sing-Sing state prison is "up the (Hudson?) river" from New York City).
The enthusiastic young first-time buyer was led down the garden path by the unscrupulous used-car salesman.

The entire gang that pulled off the bank heist was sold up the river by the getaway driver after he was picked up and interrogated the next day.
by Mark Caruso August 23, 2005