Saturday, June 14, 2008

There's An Englishman, A Scotsman And An Irishman — 4,793 Camels And A Masseuse... 3

‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’

‘What chicken?’

‘Any chicken. It doesn’t matter.’

‘How so? There’s millions of chickens in the world, all with different circumstances. Some are reared exclusively for human consumption, and of these, a few get to roam around in a field while the majority spend what passes for their miserable lives in an overcrowded prison cell. Then there are the wild chickens, spread about the globe in a variety of climates and cultures. The term “any chicken” is therefore meaningless.’

‘OK. Suppose it’s an imaginary chicken.’

‘Now you’ve made the situation even worse. Why would an imaginary chicken cross a road?’

‘Yes! That’s it! Why would it?’

‘Are we talking a real road or an imaginary road?’

‘It doesn’t matter.’

‘I think the nature of the road is almost as important as the nature of the chicken.’

‘And I think you’re just splitting hairs. The point is that the chicken — real or imaginary — is crossing the road — real or imaginary — to get to the other side. Get it? As far as punchline setups go, it’s pretty straightforward.’

‘Not to me, it isn’t. You’re presenting me with a conceptual nightmare, here. Unless you’re more specific, in all likelihood we could end up conceiving of entirely different imaginary chickens and roads — and that’s before we’re in with any hope of resolving the question of whether anything might exist on the other side, either in accordance with the geographical properties of the road, the genetic makeup and learned behaviour of the chicken and — for fuck’s sake — my understanding of what constitutes a joke. What is on the other side, anyway?’

‘It doesn’t matter.’

‘Of course it bloody matters. There isn’t a species of creature on the planet that wanders round aimlessly in some sort of perceptual vacuum. Even amoeba gravitate towards something. It’s blind instinct, yes, but underlying it, there’s a fundamental purpose. So why would a chicken — OK, any chicken — bother to engage in the tedious business of hauling its sorry plumage across a potentially dangerous road unless there was something on the other side, something it had seen or heard or smelled that it wanted, like another chicken, or a biscuit, or — I dunno — a fucking enormous chicken theme park?’

‘Did you just say chicken theme park?’


‘You’re full of shit.’


Robin S. said...

Ha! Was this based on an actual conversation you really instigated, um, I mean, had?

Because it sounds like it could be.
Oh, yeahhhhh.

Wish I'd been there. I'd have taken pictures.

Kiersten said...

Are you an attorney? My husband always accuses me of thinking like a lawyer when I answer his hypotheticals like that. I've never tried it with a joke though.

Loved this.

Whirlochre said...


OK OK — so the cat had a few friends round last night. They're impossible.


Wish I was an attorney — preferably Perry Mason, as played by Raymond Burr. Better still — the car from The Dukes Of Hazzard. Or McCloud's horse. Anything, anything, as long as I can answer hypotheticals.

Bernita said...

How simplicity confounds...

Shona Snowden said...

Remind me never to ask you to tell a quick joke.

Kiersten said...

Wow! I thought I was on the wrong blog. Until I realized no one else would have a post titled this.

It's much less...abyss like. Defintely easier on the eyes to read though.

Whirlochre said...

Morning, Shona — ABW welcomes all new visitors.

Thanks K.

I wanted a colour scheme that reflected the tone of my heart — so deepest black suited me to a tee. (he joked). Actually, white on black is the most eco-friendly colour scheme, and if everyone adopted it instead of black on white, we'd save enough energy between us every day to help one poor obese teenager make it to the bathroom.

Truth be told, I was thinking of all your eyes — and my own solitary oracle, of course.

Kiersten said...

I'll keep all the lights in my house off to make up the difference, WO.

Whirlochre said...

The fat kid round the corner says 'Thanks K — with your help I can shed 13g by 2099'