Why Did The Chicken Cross the Road?

Posted on May 20, 2012


In my blog posting “Moving Right Along” I used a video featuring Dr. Who and a song from the Muppets to introduce the idea of a move half-way across the country for my wife and me. In this blog about the culmination of that move, I feature the opening line to what may be the oldest and most used joke in the world. It would not surprise me if someday we discover a cave drawing of a chicken crossing a path. If the Guinness Book of Records had a category for jokes with the most variations, this would be the winner without a cluck of dissent. Every five-year-old has his or her own answer to this question, which represents the three most basic questions of life: who, what, why. The who is the chicken. There are two whats: The first is the road that the chicken crossed; the second is the action of crossing the road. The why is the punch line to the joke.

One of my favorite answers is the obvious answer: “to get to the other side.” I also like the sarcastic answers:

v “to prove to the opossum that it could be done;”

v “because it was too far to walk around;”

v “because the chicken heard a rumor that the Colonel was opening a new KFC franchise next to where he was standing;”

v “the chicken saw a farmer dump half of his load of corn kernels on the other side of the road;

v “the chicken saw a cute chick on the other side of the road.”

Why did I think about the chicken joke? My wife and I didn’t chicken out. We have completed the 650 mile move, crossing many roads along the way. Why did we do it? With my medical retirement, there were more attractions on the other side of the country and across many roads. We are now within 30 minutes of each of our daughters and their families, instead of 650 miles. In our first week after crossing all those roads, we got to see our older grandson sing in his school’s spring choral concert. The theme of the concert was Rock and Roll Forever. Our grandson’s costume was a white tee-shirt and a black leather jacket ala Fonzy. It was a special treat to see him and his fifth grade classmates sing some of the songs my wife and I listened to and sang as teenagers (several years ago).

This coming week, we will be able to see our older granddaughter play as a ninth grader in the state’s district softball playoffs. We were one week late in crossing all those roads. Thus, we missed the game in which from her catcher’s position, she threw out two runners trying to steal second base. While at bat, she hit a home run and two singles. The only time the other team got her out, she hit a screaming line drive that could have been another homerun, if the left fielder had not made an unbelievable catch.

In the last inning of the game, she was disappointed when the other team intentionally walked her with the tying running on second base. Her coach consoled her by pointing out that she did score the winning run when the two batters behind her got hits. He tried to encourage her by pointing out that the intentional walk was a sign of respect of her batting ability. He told her that if she continues to improve her hitting as she has this year, she should expect many intentional walks throughout her career.

My wife and I look forward to watching her develop as a ball player, as well as her as a student. She has just recently been inducted into the National Honor Society. After high school and college, she wants to be a veterinarian and a professional softball player. As a very biased grandfather, I think she can do it. It will be great to be close enough to see her try. That’s why we crossed all those roads.

Posted in: Jokes, Moving