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-- b i o --
P.L. Frank enjoys writing both nonfiction social satire and funny, thought-provoking novels.  Dr. Frank has been a researcher in the field of Behavioral and Social Sciences since 1983, and has worked as a university professor and therapist. 

A Lack of Common Sense
by P.L. Frank

The effects of a lack of common sense are everywhere these days. It is evidenced by the amount of people calling psychic hotlines, ridiculously high divorce rates, and the growing number of grandparents raising their grandchildren because the natural parents have moved on to "more important" things.

We can see it in the growing amount of personal debt and in sexually transmitted diseases. It is evidenced by the amount of people that think daytime talk shows are a good source of therapy, and in the fact that ninety percent of American women intentionally wear shoes that are too small for their feet. Interesting choice. It has shown itself in tongue and genital body piercing, and again in the new trend of urine therapy (whereby people drink a glass of their own urine each day under the pretense of "purifying" the body. I know what you're thinking, but you are wrong. It is not just a "California thing".)

The effects of a lack of common sense is further evidenced by the amount of people who think that giving breast implants to someone as a Christmas present is a good idea, and by the growing number of people who have spent thousands of dollars on home computers and pay for on-line services when they have known their entire lives that they (a) hate to write, and (b) hate to read.

A lack of common sense is also evidenced in the vast number of emergency ward injuries these days stemming from kitchen knife wounds in the palms of people's hands. This injury is so prevalent, in fact, that emergency unit personnel have dubbed it the "Bagel Injury". (I'll let you figure that one out.) And again, by the number of people getting married only weeks after having met, believing they are "soul mates" because they like the same rock bands.

The effects this lack of common sense has on our society can be devastating. It is up to the rest of us to band together and do something about it. Fortunately, adverse outcomes at the personal level can be minimized. They are within our control. We can curtail the amount of negative consequences by simply demanding that those people lacking common sense start taking responsibility for their reckless acts of disregard for self and others. This can be done in a number of ways. Among them:

(1) do not ever tell these people the Phrase That Pays. Namely, "Oh, I forgive you for what you did",

(2) do not encourage them to go into any career, no matter how good of an idea they think it is, that requires plastic surgery as a prerequisite,

(3) actively discourage any penchant they may have for writing to prisoners,

(4) refuse their request that you only call them on their beeper, refer to them by their CyberSex handle, or cover for them so they can plot to sabotage their ex-fiancé,

(5) refuse to cosign,

(6) stand firm on your agreement not to baby-sit for their children unless it is an emergency. Explain to them that an emergency does not include advice from their psychic that they give themselves permission to go out and party more.

Warning: Those people who lack common sense and refuse to abide by any of the above items should be prohibited from being around small children, pets, and the elderly. They lack good judgement and should not be trusted with carpools, executive decisions, dispensing medications or operating heavy machinery. Perhaps the best solution for these folks is to keep their mouths shut and sit very still.

The writer of this article welcomes your comments: