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"finger-in-the-water test"

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;

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.
From: tigermonkey

Ogden Nash? No way.

However, there are more verses - and a byline - at paraklesis/vol1iss2/bucket.htm .

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