Fun Alive And Fun Dead
( Originally Published 1906 )
IT was on a beach in New Jersey. A party of young people were romping in the surf. They whispered together, " Let's duck her ! " No sooner planned than done. Down went the luckless girl, held by the mischievous jokers, who rushed back, screaming with laughter, to the beach. They waited, looking out over the surf, in expectation that a dripping, scolding girl would rise and follow them in ; but the girl never rose, nor had they, at the time when the newspapers printed the story, found her body.
That is a case of what would have been called, but for the " accident," " fun alive." It turned out to be fun dead. What is the difference ? and how can we be sure that our "fun alive "will never become fun dead ? Let me tell you.
Fun alive, like a living person, is just as fine to look upon tomorrow as today. Fun dead decays faster than a corpse.
Fun alive talks and laughs boldly. Fun dead is as secret as a ghost's gliding movements.
Fun alive has a heart that beats warmly for the other fellow. Fun dead has no pulse.
Fun alive has brains that are in good working order. Fun dead has no brains at all; they have been removed by the undertaker.
Fun alive has eyes that can see into the future. Fun dead is blind as any skull in the graveyard,óblind to all consequences and to all possibilities.
Fun alive has nerves,ónerves of sympathy, nerves of tact, nerves of love. Fun dead prides himself on not being nervous.
Fun alive has a smile ; fun dead has a grin. Fun alive says, " What sport for him !" Fun dead says, " What a grind on him!"
Fun alive makes friends ; fun dead makes foes.
And finally, fun alive enlivens his master, while fun dead makes his master, every day more and more, just such a malicious, ugly skeleton as himself.