Why did the chicken?

John Mcreery (JLM@TWICS.COM)
Mon, 7 Aug 1995 08:01:32 +0900

What, pray tell, do our colleagues on H-IDEAS (the history of ideas list)
talk about? With credit to Burt Bledstein...


Plato: For the greater good.

Karl Marx: It was a historical inevitability.

Machiavelli: So that its subjects will view it with admiration, as a
chicken which has the daring and courage to boldly cross the road, but
also with fear, for whom among them has the strength to contend with
such a paragon of avian virtue? In such a manner is the princely
chicken's dominion maintained.

Hippocrates: Because of an excess of light pink gooey stuff in its

Jacques Derrida: Any number of contending discourses may be discovered
within the act of the chicken crossing the road, and each
interpretation is equally valid as the authorial intent can never be
discerned, because structuralism is DEAD, DAMMIT, DEAD!

Thomas de Torquemada: Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll
find out.

Timothy Leary: Because that's the only kind of trip the Establishment
would let it take.

Douglas Adams: Forty-two.

Nietzsche: Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes
also across you.

Oliver North: National Security was at stake.

B.F. Skinner: Because the external influences which had pervaded its
sensorium from birth had caused it to develop in such a fashion that it
would tend to cross roads, even while believing these actions to be of
its own free will.

Carl Jung: The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt
necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical
juncture, and therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into

Jean-Paul Sartre: In order to act in good faith and be true to itself,
the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.

Ludwig Wittgenstein: The possibility of "crossing" was encoded into the
objects "chicken" and "road," and circumstances came into being which
caused the actualization of this potential occurrence.

Albert Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road
crossed the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.

Aristotle: To actualize its potential.

Buddha: If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature.

Howard Cosell: It may very well have been one of the most astonishing
events to grace the annals of history. An historic, unprecedented
avian biped with the temerity to attempt such an herculean achievement
formerly relegated to homo sapien pedestrians is truly a remarkable

Salvador Dali: The Fish.

Darwin: It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees.

Emily Dickinson: Because it could not stop for death.

Epicurus: For fun.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: It didn't cross the road; it transcended it.

Johann Friedrich von Goethe: The eternal hen-principle made it do it.

Ernest Hemingway: To die. In the rain. Alone.

Werner Heisenberg: We are not sure which side of the road the chicken
was on, but it was moving very fast.

Schrodinger: Chicken? Chicken!? Where's my cat?

David Hume: Out of custom and habit.

Saddam Hussein: This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite
justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.

Jack Nicholson: 'Cause it (censored) wanted to. That's the (censored)

Pyrrho the Skeptic: What road?

Frank Perdue: I breed the finest chicken I know how, and it crosses the
road as part of a vigorous fitness program to raise the leanest,
plumpest birds anywhere. Besides, I was chasing it with this axe atsing it
with this axe at
the time.

Ronald Reagan: I don't recall.

John Sununu: The Air Force was only too happy to provide the
transportation, so quite understandably the chicken availed himself of
the opportunity.

The Sphinx: You tell me.

Mr. T: If you saw me coming you'd cross the road too!

Henry David Thoreau: To live deliberately ... and suck all the marrow
out of life.

Mark Twain: The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.

Molly Yard: It was a hen!

Zeno of Elea: To prove it could never reach the other side.