Chicken, Or Egg?

Gary Steel suggests that the question is not ‘why did the chicken cross the road’, but ‘why did nobody stop for it?’

Chicken crossing the road2ON A LATE afternoon shopping expedition yesterday I saw the strangest thing.
Exiting the Westgate shopping centre complex and about to turn onto motorway feeder roads, sitting there waiting for the lights to change on a multi-lane street, I saw a chicken wandering amongst the waiting cars.
Now, I know the immediate temptation is to crack a joke about why the chicken crossed the road, which in itself is worth dissection as a source of humour. I mean, why the heck do we find it necessary to endlessly take the piss out of chickens?
Anyway, as soon as the lights turned green, every single car ahead of me barreled forth as if their lives depended on getting through. No one stopped for the chicken. No one deviated from a straight line to avoid the chicken. No one even hesitated. It was as if the chicken was invisible.
Now, the chicken was not invisible. It was a gorgeous multi-hued brown-to-red, and it was scared as hell. I don’t know where the chook had come from – escaped from KFC just up the road? – but it was clear that it was out of its element. It was also clear that, unless the chicken somehow negotiated the traffic in all the lanes and made it to some brief respite amongst the tiny bit of greenery near the Westgate parking area, it was doomed.
Ironically, I had just been looking through the array of Easter merchandise at one of NZ’s icons of consumer madness. I didn’t buy anything, you understand, but I was intrigued to see that each year the choice of chocolate-type sweets increases, as does the garishness (and size) of a lot of the choc-eggs.
I couldn’t help noticing that just about everything they had on display involved a bunny or an egg, and the egg, as usual, was the celebrated item.
Unusual, because while there was an array of characters turned into chocolate edibles, there wasn’t one chicken amongst them.
What is this? We celebrate fertility by creating a chocolate tribute to a chicken’s egg. Meanwhile, we think so little of chickens themselves that a green light is more important than a chicken’s life?
Sometimes, I am not proud to be human. GARY STEEL

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