Posted by Henry on July 28, 2003
In Reply to: "Finger-in-the-water test" posted by GPP on July 28, 2003
: : : : : : A contemporary quotation from Northwestern US: "who often gave the finger in the water test for the indispensable man"--any idea what this signifies? (It's definitely meant to be complimentary, nothing like a finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing.)
: : : : : I'm guessing that it refers to the practice of testing the temperature of the water in a baby's bath using the finger. The temperature is ok if it feels just right. But what would this mere man know of such things?
: : : : It has been said that to establish just how indispensable you are you should measure the size of the hole left in the water when you remove your finger - the larger the hole the more indispensable you are.
: : : Yes, that would fit perfectly; it was from a eulogy. Thanks, Barney.
: : Clarification: the eulogized was said to had passed that test.
: From an attendee: the eulogized, who had been undergoing water physical therapy, was said to have left a big hole in the pool upon his passing.
From The Poetry Library's greatly missed Lost Quotations site;
THE INDISPENSIBLE MAN
Some time when you're feeling important,
Some time when your ego's in bloom,
Some time when you take it for granted
You're the best man in the room;
Some time when you feel that your going
would leave an unfilled hole,
Just follow this simple instruction
And see how it humbles your soul.
Take a bucket and fill it with water
Put your hands in it up to your wrist;
Pull them out and the hole that remains
Is a measure of how you'll be missed.
You may splash as you please when you enter;
You may stir up the water galore
But stop and you'll find in a minute,
That it looks just the same as before.
The moral of this is quite simple
Do just the best you can,
Be proud of yourself, but remember;
There is no indispensable man.
Author uncertain - sometimes attributed to Ogden Nash.
Ogden Nash? No way.
However, there are more verses - and a byline - at