The following obituary, circulated on the internet, was purportedly even printed in the London Times. Most people will find it interesting; and some will find it quite sad, albeit true.
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for a long time. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
Known affectionately to close friends as Horse Sense and Sound Thinking, he selflessly devoted himself to a life of service in homes, schools, hospitals, and offices, helping folks get jobs done without a lot of fanfare, whooping, or hollering.
A most reliable sage, 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 After All.
A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, Two World Wars, the Cold War, and the Technological Revolution, he survived sundry cultural and educational trends, including disco, the women's (and later on the men’s) movement, body piercing, whole language, and even new math.
Along the way, Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (such as “Don't spend more than you can earn!”) and reliable cultural strategies (such as “Adults, not children, are in charge!”).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place in the latter half of the twentieth century, especially in the late 1960s when he became infected with the infamous If-It-Feels-Good, Do-It virus. In the following decades, his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing federal and state rules and regulations and an oppressive tax code.
He was sapped of strength and the will to live as political correctness began to take over society, the Ten Commandments became contraband, rights in general became more important than responsibilities, and judges stuck their noses in everything from Boy Scouts to professional baseball and golf.
Through the years, reports of such things as a six-year-old boy being charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher being fired for reprimanding a disorderly student all worked only to worsen his condition.
Common Sense lost significant ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. He declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer things like sun lotion or aspirin to students; yet they could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense apparently lost the will to live as churches became businesses and catered their watered down message only to the felt needs of their audiences. When prisons became hotels where criminals received better treatment than their victims did, he lost his will to resist. In addition, he took a severe beating when individuals could not defend themselves from a burglar in their own home; and yet the burglar could sue them for assault if they did.
Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was literally hot, spilled a little in her lap, decided to sue the restaurant where she purchased it, and was promptly awarded a huge cash 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 two half-brothers: Mr. Half Wit and Mr. Dim Wit, as well as four step-sisters: Ms. I Know My Rights, Ms. I Want It Now, Ms. I Am Not At Fault (Also known as Ms. Someone Else Is To Blame), and Ms. I Am A Victim.
Perhaps saddest of all, not many attended the funeral of Common Sense because so few even realized he was gone.
NOTE: It seems that this piece originated with Lori Borgman in the March 15, 1998 edition of the Indianapolis Star. Over the years, it has apparently gone through several iterations on the internet. Her original article can be found here.