If you've ever studied mortal age cartoons, you'll remember this one. A coyote was always plotting the demise of a smirking long-necked bird. The coyote never succeeded; instead, his plans always backfired. He would blow up, or get shot, or splat from a ridiculous height. And it was funny, because no matter how deadly his failure, he was always back in the next scene, as if there were a revival center just beyond the edge of the animation cell. I've seen human foibles that have resulted in temporary maiming or momentary loss of life. People stumble into manholes, are hit by falling objects, trip into the paths of speeding vehicles. And when it happens, people laugh, because no matter how gruesome the event, that person, just like the coyote, will be back in a day or two, as good as new, and no worse or wiser for the wear. Immortality has turned us all into cartoons.
by Neal Shusterman