I didn’t actually have another train ride with Sam recently, but today I befriended him on Facebook. The first thing I read on his timeline was this:
I just found out that the chicken that crossed the road was
suicidal. Like. It wanted to get to the “other side.” Like, die.
My whole life I thought it was just a chicken with quite literal
My sense of humor was built on a foundation of lies.
Of course, I have to dissect this. The first and most obvious question is this: Was Sam truly influenced by the aspirations of a proverbial chicken? Let’s stick a pin in that one and return to it later.
Second question: Isn’t Sam satisfied that the chicken did achieve a crossing of sorts – evident in the way the original question is formulated: Why did the chicken cross the road? Notice the use of past simple tense, indicating clearly that the chicken did indeed complete the crossing, even if it was not the one originally intended. (And surely this chicken knows that the ultimate goal will inevitably be achieved someday, as it will be by all of us.)
Third question: Logic dictates that if the chicken had truly been suicidal it would have only gone halfway across the road. Why did it continue the journey? Isn’t this decision to continue a clear indication of the chicken’s true motivations? Was this all merely a cry for help?
Fourth question: Would it really be so bad if the chicken wanted to go on bigger and better things - the other other side? Let’s face it, a chickens life isn’t all that great. I can imagine a lot of chickens are thinking ”There must be something better than this!“ Being my lunch tomorrow, for instance.
Speaking of which, Sam, I have been meaning to invite you over for lunch for ages now. Do you have time on Wednesday?
While you are here, we could put this chicken question to rest for once and for all.