Why did the chicken cross the road? Good question, because I hit it with my car on my way to work.
The whole thing took seconds but I recall everything in slow motion. I saw that prairie chicken emerge from the grass at the side of the road. Like all those Roadrunner cartoons I watched on repeat as a kid, its back legs spun like wheels, its neck extended as forward as possible, so fixated, so intent on reaching its destination, like any moment it might catapult like a missile.
Despite some part of me cheering it on, I knew what was imminent because that chicken was simply too far from that elusive other-side-of-the-road. Why the rush chicken? Why did you need to cross the road at that precise time? Were you being chased by Wile E. Coyote? Was an anvil about to drop from somewhere? What’s on the other side? An important meeting? A manicure? The pub? A KFC protest? Who knows, because even though that prairie chicken reached the center line (narrowly avoiding an oncoming truck)...boom: feathers. Chicken, out.
Later at work, I pulled it out of my grill and threw it in a dumpster. Now that’s a bummer of a Friday.
I must say there are things we can all learn from that chicken. We all recognize the meaning behind “running around like a chicken with your head cut off,” and yet, based on this incident, I can tell you that even with his head attached that chicken looked super frazzled. Peeps, getting from point A to point B shouldn’t be so stressful. Just what is SO IMPORTANT on the other side of the road?
Not much. Most of what we worry about never happens. But stress (the result of an overloaded nervous system repeating "imminent threat imminent threat") compels us to believe the best time to cross the road and get to the other side (whatever that may mean to each of us) is yesterday. Some would argue against this vehemently, but let’s be honest: we all have the same amount of time every day. Until suddenly, we don’t. So if you get my meaning, slow down chickens. Slow down.