Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

The chicken crossed the road. This fact is rarely disputed. But why did the chicken cross the road? No fully satisfactory explanation has ever been given.

At the fourth Chicken Crossing Conference, held May 10-12, 2000, a team of distinguished scholars met to consider this matter in depth but unfortunately no consensus was reached. Here follow fifty reasons given to explain the behavior of the chicken. It is hoped that at the next conference further progress toward a definitive answer will be made.


  1. All the other chickens crossed the road and this one didn't want to appear different.
  2. All chickens cross roads sometimes and since there were lots of chickens around it was just a matter of time before some chicken crossed the road and this chicken was the one.
  3. Because it felt like it.
  4. Because it needed the exercise.
  5. Because it wished to avoid meeting the chicken it saw approaching.
  6. Because that's what chickens do.
  7. God ordained from the time of Creation that this chicken should come into the world and should cross the road exactly when it did.
  8. Having spent days and nights searching its soul the chicken finally decided that it had to cross the road and did so.
  9. It all depends on what is meant by "chicken", "road" and "cross".
  10. It got bored.
  11. It had a death wish.
  12. It had already crossed the road 999 times that day and wanted to make it 1000.
  13. It had always been intending to and finally decided today was the day.
  14. It saw the rooster on the other side and wanted to get laid.
  15. It wanted a change of scenery.
  16. It wanted to be famous.
  17. It wanted to catch the bus into town.
  18. It wanted to show it was not a chicken.
  19. It wanted to show it was a mean mother-fuckin' chicken.
  20. It was a very confused chicken.
  21. It was caught by a freak gust of wind.
  22. It was collecting experiences for its next book.
  23. It was part of a chicken conga line which happened to be crossing the road.
  24. It was trying out its new pair of roller blades on the asphalt.
  25. It was trying to find its roots.
  26. None of the other chickens crossed the road and this chicken wanted to be different.
  27. The chicken crossed the road because it was daydreaming and did not notice it.
  28. The chicken had just had its head chopped off.
  29. The chicken had prayed fervently all night and at dawn Jehovah had told it to cross the road, and the chicken crossed the road, and Jehovah saw, and saw that it was good, and saith unto the chicken, Verily, thou art a rock of Chickrael.
  30. The chicken was looking for love.
  31. The chicken was running late and took a short cut.
  32. The chicken was trying to make a difference.
  33. The light turned green.
  34. The Moon became conjunct with the chicken's natal Mars in its fourth house.
  35. The other chickens dared it to.
  36. The other chickens told it to piss off.
  37. The Spirit moved it.
  38. The time had arrived for this chicken to cross this road.
  39. This chicken inherited genes predisposing it to cross roads.
  40. This was a Mormon chicken and it was setting out on its mission.
  41. To get to the other side.
  42. Why not?
  43. All events in the chicken's entire life are fixed in 4-dimensional spacetime and the chicken could not have done anything else at that time (as we see things from within ordinary experience) than what it did;  the chicken crossed the road because the chicken's crossing the road has been part of the eternally fixed microstructure of the 4-d block universe from the moment of its creation.
  44. It was helping to stamp out bugs.
  45. It was bearing the white chicken's burden.
  46. It was fulfilling its Manifest Destiny.
  47. It was doing God's work.
  48. It was helping to make the world safe for chickocracy.
  49. It was just following orders.
  50. It just did.


The fourth Chicken Crossing Conference was held May 10-12, 2000 in Chicken, Alaska.

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