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John Cowan wrote:
> Roger Mills scripsit:
>
>
>>Don't recall ever hearing about its origin-- must google! It's very old;
>>oddly, I've always associated it with cows kicking over the bucket
>>while being milked, but don't see what that has to do with dying.
>>On Apr. 12, 1945, my little 9yr old cousin came running home from
>>school and shocked his mother by saying "Guess who just kicked the
>>bucket!?" (A:  President Roosevelt)
>
>
> I've always assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that it refers to kicking away
> the bucket you are standing on when you hang yourself.
>
> --
> "While staying with the Asonu, I met a man from     John Cowan
> the Candensian plane, which is very much like       [log in to unmask]
> ours, only more of it consists of Toronto."         http://:www.ccil.org/~cowan
>         --the unnamed narrator of Le Guin's _Changing Planes_

This idiom always brings to mind the old movie (1963) "It's a mad mad
mad mad world" with Ethel Merman, Buddy Hacket, et al. I'ts been a long
time since I've seen it, but I remember at the beginning of the movie
Buddy Hackett's (or was it Mickey Rooney?) character sees someone drive
off a cliff (Jimmy Durante). When Hackett and his partner go down to
investigate, Durante's character literally kicks a bucket -- oddly, they
are out in the middle of nowhere -- and dies.
--
=============
James Worlton
          "We know by means of our intelligence
          that what the intelligence does not
          comprehend is more real than what it
          does comprehend."
                           --Simone Weil