Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road ?

Adapted from the University of Oregon Philosophy Dept. web page

For the greater good.

Karl Marx
It was a historical inevitability.

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.

Because of an excess of black bile and a deficiency of choleric humour.

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.

Noam Chomsky
The chicken didn't exactly cross the road. As of 1994, something like 99.8% of all US chickens reaching maturity that year had spent 82% of their lives in confinement. The living conditions in most chicken coops break every international law ever written, and some, particularly the ones for chickens bound for slaughter, border on inhumane. My point is, they had no chance to cross the road (unless you count the ride to the supermarket). Even if one or two have crossed roads for whatever reason, most never get a chance. Of course, this is not what we are told. Instead, we see chickens happily dancing around on Sesame Street and Foster Farms commercials where chickens are not only crossing roads, but driving trucks. [Chomsky continues for 32 pages. For the full text of his answer, contact Onanian Press.]

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

Douglas Adams

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

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.

B.F. Skinner (again)
Under carefully controlled experimental conditions, the chicken did what it damn well pleased.

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 being.

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.

Richard Nixon
Edgar will find out! Or, uh, we could put, uh, Liddy on it. Liddy. I worry about Liddy sometimes. Remember when we assigned him to figure out which 1 of those [expletive deleted] passenger pigeons had been leaking campaign secrets?

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

To actualize its potential.

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

Catherine Mackinnon
Because, in this patriarchal state, for the last 4 centuries, men have applied their principles of justice in determining how chickens should be cared for, their language has demeaned the identity of the chicken, their technology and trucks have decided how and where chickens will be distributed, their science has become the basis for what chickens eat, their sense of humor has provided the framework for this joke, their art and film have given us our perception of chicken life, their lust for flesh has made the chicken the most consumed animal in the US, and their legal system has left the chicken with no other recourse.

Bill Clinton
It is one of the challenging problems of our time, isn't it? And, although we have known of this problem for many years, nobody has ever taken it seriously enough to really feel the chicken's pain. Clearly we need to move forward on this issue in a measured, humane way, bearing in mind that the federal government can't be all things to all creatures, but that, in the final analysis, it is the Constitution of this great land of ours which guarantees freedom of action, within prudent limits, for all of us. God bless you, and thanks for asking.

Bob Dole
How should I know? Get that microphone out of my face!

David Hume
Out of custom and habit.

Salvador Dali
The Fish.

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

Emily Dickinson
Because it could not stop for death.

For fun.

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

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

Ernest Hemingway
To die. In the rain.

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

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

Pyrrho the Skeptic
What road?

The Sphinx
You tell me.

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

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 occurence.

Ronald Reagan
I forget.

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

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

Woody Allen
The chicken was faced with a crossroads - one way led to complete despair, the other to total destruction; let us hope the chicken made the right choice.

Todd Rundgren
The Supreme Court wouldn't do it,
The President and the Congress wouldn't do it,
The UN wouldn't do it, the H-bomb wouldn't do it,
The sun and the moon wouldn't do it,
And God wouldn't do it,
And I certainly wouldn't do it -
That left the chicken - the chicken had to do it.

>From the Firesign Theatre, an audio comedy group
A: Why did the shorthair cross the road?
B: I don't know.
A: Because somebody told him to. Why did the longhair cross the road? B: (tentatively) Because somebody told him not to?
A: (disappointedly) Aw - you heard it already.