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Refers to the common and acutely frustrating "doggedly pretending not to understand and thus getting the help-requester to repeat/rephrase his tale of woe over and over till he finally gives up" strategy that many adults/older siblings resort to in an effort to eventually discourage a youngster in his efforts to motivate said elder to intervene on his behalf, but the elder does not wish to get involved or bestir himself. This destructive and selfishly-deceitful practice involves a similar "hiding behind a veil of fake confusion" ruse used by the jackal in the famous fable --- the jackal pretends to never quite be able to understand the situation and thus flimflams the frustratedly enraged tiger into tempestuously re-entering the cage so that the jackal could lock him back inside again, thus preventing him from devouring the Brahman for dinner.
I tried to get my uncle to step in and settle the quarrel I was having with my cousin, but he always just kept smiling amusedly and scratching his head in apparent bewilderment and asking me to repeat my story and "explain myself" over and over --- I know full well that my story was perfectly clear and easy for him to understand, though, so I suspect now that he was pulling the old Dr. Jackal and Mr. Hide ploy on me just so that he wouldn't have to get involved in the dispute.
by QuacksO January 18, 2017
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