The Amateur in the Room.

I remember hearing a saying that used to be passed among some old Greek men around the table. It alluded to some idea that “You Can Tell the Amateur in the Room by the Way They Squeeze a Lemon.” Yes, that is with or without a fork and most definitely not taking into account the considerate use of a cheese cloth. The only cheese cloth I knew of in the house was Theo Bobby’s undergarments.

Perhaps many thoughts are flooding your mind right now. Understandably among the first might very well be: “What the hell?” and “Are You Serious?” Indeed, this whole Lemon Test sounds overtly general and foolish in its simplicity at the same time, to the point of being all kinds of wrong. Then again I did say “some old Greek men,” right? You get the idea.

But let’s hang on a sec before we start tearing into those old Greek men. After all, there is quite frankly something to be said about being able to spot out The Amateur In The Room. I mean we all could appreciate that, right?

In that case, those old Greeks applied their Lemon Test in order to find the amateur. Passing the test meant one was able to squeeze it without anyone “noticing.” And when I say, “noticing” I mean no one was supposed to feel its acidic drops. Anywhere.

Let’s take into account that we have all squeezed a lemon or two in our lives and put it this way: When you did so – whether you used your hands or a fork or a shield – did the lemon’s bitter juice launch itself onto the far wall? How about into someone’s eyes? Perhaps your own? Well, that’s the whole point of being an amateur in this sense. An amateur might approach it carelessly enough to squirt lemon juice in any direction other than where they should have intended.

Wouldn’t it be nice to approach everything in life that way: with commitment and focus? Don’t be the amateur in the room. At least do your best to avoid it. Be precise; make a committed attempt at what is before you that very moment. Move more toward competence than being a novice. Damnit, use one hand to cover the other if you have to!

And maybe stay away from any table full of old Greeks for now.




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