I HAVE SPENT MUCH TIME (CENTURIES, IN FACT) AND TRAVELLED MANY MILES IN SEARCH OF WISDOM ON THIS MOST PROFOUND OF QUESTIONS. HERE IS A SELECTION OF ANSWERS (NOTE: EMILY DICKINSON WAS THE ONLY WOMAN SERIOUS ENOUGH TO RESPOND):
Aristotle: To actualize its potential.
Buddha: If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature.
George W. Bush: We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either with us or it is against us. There is no middle ground here.
Bill Clinton: I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What do you mean by chicken? Could you define chicken, please?
Salvador Dali: The Fish.
Darwin: Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically dispositioned to cross roads.
Jacques Derrida: Any number of contending discourses may be discovered within the act of the chicken crossing the road, and each interpretation is equally valid as the authorial intent can never be discerned,because structuralism is DEAD, DAMMIT, DEAD!
Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road moved beneath the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.
Emerson: The chicken didn’t cross the road; it transcended it.
Emily Dickinson: Because it could not stop for death.
Epicurus: For fun.
Freud: The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.
Bill Gates: I have just released the new Chicken Office 2010, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your chequebook.
Goethe: The eternal hen-principle made it do it.
Grandpa: In my day, we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken had crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.
Hemingway: To die. In the rain.
Hippocrates: Because of an excess of light pink gooey stuff in its pancreas.
David Hume: Out of custom and habit.
Saddam Hussein: This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.
Carl Jung: The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being.
Martin Luther King, Jr.: I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.
Captain Kirk: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.
Nigel Lawson: The chicken did not cross the road. This is a complete fabrication. There is not even such a thing as chicken.
John Lennon: Imagine all the chickens crossing roads in peace.
James Lovelock: The chicken’s habitat on the original side of the road had been violated by unchecked industrialist greed. The chicken did not reach the unspoiled habitat on the other side of the road because it was crushed by the wheels of a gas-guzzling SUV.
Machiavelli: So that its subjects will view it with admiration, as a chicken which has the daring and courage to boldly cross the road, but also with fear, for whom among them has the strength to contend with such a paragon of avian virtue? In such a manner is the princely chicken’s dominion maintained.
Karl Marx: It was a historical inevitability.
Moses: And God came down from the Heavens, and He said unto the Chicken, “Thou shalt cross the road.” And the chicken crossed the road, and there was much rejoicing.
Nietzsche: Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you.
Plato: For the greater good.
Pyrrho the Skeptic: What road?
Ronald Reagan: I forget.
Jean-Paul Sartre: In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.
Jerry Seinfeld: Why does anyone cross a road? I mean, why doesn’t anyone ever think to ask, “What the heck was this chicken doing walking around all over the place, anyway? Where do they get these chickens?”
Dr. Seuss: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed, I’ve not been told!