Page Tabs

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Death of Common Sense and the Quest for Ad Fontis

Last week my wife sent me a forward. I generally delete forwards, buts since it was from my wife I entertained the possibility. Below is the email as I received it:

Obituary printed in the London Times - Interesting and sadly rather true.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has
been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since
his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be
remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more
than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but
overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy
charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended
from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for
reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job
that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent
to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform
parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses and
criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a
burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to
realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her
lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his
wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you
still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

I think this is quite clever. Nevertheless, it was a forward and I kept to my philosophy of email forwards, which can be summarized succinctly:
  1. Read subject line and then delete
  2. On rare occasion, skim the forward, and then delete.
  3. Never forward such emails to your friends, family, or co-workers. If you send it to 10 people you never prove how much you love Jesus and you will never receive a check in the mail for your effort. Save the next person the trouble...just go ahead and delete the bugger.
Now back to the point of this post. The claim of the obituary is that it was printed in the London Times. I could never find any supporting evidence for this. Of course, countless hits showcase its reprinting on other websites. After another 5 minutes of searching for the source, two things popped up. One came from Anne Whitfield's blog (I have no idea who she is). She shares the same obituary as I did, but includes an updated note referring to the original author. She writes (taken directly from her blog):
2009 update: At the orginal time fo posting this article I didn't know who wrote it and simply found it online. Since then I have found the writer. She deseves the kudos for writing it.
Note from Lori Borgman: This piece was first published March 15, 1998 in the Indianapolis Star. It has been "modified" and "edited" by others and circulated on the Internet, even sent to me several times. Imagine my surprise to see it attributed to some guy named Anonymous. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I take having my work circulated on the web as a compliment.

The other came from a message thread on No, I didn't search through threads from this website--many thanks goes to google search for locating the page! One post on the thread included a link directly to Lori Borgman's blog with the original post!

The quest for Ad Fontis proved fruitful and enlightening. If anything, please take away two things from this humorous exericse.
  • Always seek to hear directly from the source.
  • Delete email forwards (if they are from your spouse or your mom, read them first...then trash them.)

No comments:

Post a Comment