on a fool's errand

*on a fool's errand

Fig. involved in a useless journey or task. (*Typically: be ~; go ~.) Bill went for an interview, but he was on a fool's errand. The job had already been filled. I was sent on a fool's errand to buy some flowers. I knew the shop would be closed by then.
See also: errand, on
References in classic literature ?
I do not know why I had an inkling that it would appeal to Strickland's sense of humour to bring a furious stockbroker over to Paris on a fool's errand to an ill-famed house in a mean street.
But it ended in nothing, and I will not be sent on a fool's errand again.
It struck him at once that Philip had been sent for, and he was amused that he had been brought on a fool's errand.
Take my advice then, and do not go travelling about for long so far from home, nor leave your property with such dangerous people in your house; they will eat up everything you have among them, and you will have been on a fool's errand.
It was the cheapest shot in the game; the dear ones were sending old Theobald to Southampton on a fool's errand yesterday afternoon, and showing one's own nose down Regent Street in broad daylight while he was gone; but some things are worth paying for, and certain risks one must always take.
Peter Collins reviews Garcon Brasserie 7 Terry Walton is sent on a fool's errand on the allotments.
Given how poorly commercial leasing and sales have done in the city this year, some people might think they're on a fool's errand.
And the campaign for a new mayor 7/8 Tommy Carcetti (Aidan Gillen) feels he's on a fool's errand running as a white mayoral candidate in the predominantly black city -- gets increasingly ugly.
If Belmont were to become the permanent home of the event, Aidan O'Brien and Godolphin could, when they had chosen the likely candidates for the various events, send the horses to New York during their summer break in order to ascertain their suitability for the surfaces, rather than sending them on a fool's errand on the day of the race.
The Democracy Center's Jim Schultz frets that the youthful energy of CalPIRG's grassroots army was mispent on a fool's errand.