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Posted by Bob on July 28, 2003

In Reply to: "Finger-in-the-water test" posted by Henry 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 .
Tried that link without success.

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