Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Common Sense

There have just been all kinds of crazy things popping up on my commute lately. One phenomenon was mentioned in a few articles in the Tribune yesterday - namely people who walk and text at the same time. You can read one of those articles here .

Then you have the cell phone talkers; people jabbering on their cell phones - they kind of behave just like they do when they are driving and talking - they slow down when they are walking, don't pay attention to what's going on around them, etc. I can't imagine how much of what they say is heard and vice versa (if you have ever walked under the el when a train was going by you know what I mean).

Then I started to notice people reading. Books. While they were walking through the Loop on their way to work. How the heck do you read a novel and walk through rush hour traffic in a busy city like Chicago? Obviously there is a safety issue - believe me the streets (and sidewalks) of Chicago are not in pristine condition; there are cracks, holes, construction cones, spit blobs (or worse) that I tend to want to notice well in advance so I can walk around them.

Then from a practical standpoint - just how enjoyable is reading while you are walking? Generally when I am reading a novel (versus say a business report, or trying to quickly absorb something for a meeting) I am reading for pleasure. I want to be in a relaxing atmosphere, maybe have my feet up and something to drink. I do not want to try and negotiate the city streets with one eye while trying to read the latest John Grisham book. How much fun is that?

So, texting, talking, reading all while walking through the City of Chicago. You have to wonder... which leads me to part II of this post. I think it dovetails nicely, don't you? (thanks to my Dad who faithfully forwards me all of those internet chain mails he gets, bless his heart)

Obituary for Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense. 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.
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 charge.

His health began to deteriorate when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Tylenol, sunscreen lotion or a band-aid 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 Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when it became punishable for you to defend yourself from a burglar in your own home but the burglar could sue you for assault.

He began to lose ground 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 finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled it in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement by a jury of her peers.

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

He is survived by his 3 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else Is To blame, and 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...

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