Can't somebody--CNN, Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, AAA--anybody--give us some good news? I had resigned myself to $5 a gallon gas coming soon to a pump near me...just have to start drinking wine from a box to make up the difference in the household budget, right? (Wrong. Other corners will be cut.) Then this morning I awoke, as usual, to the phone ringing by the bed. Wherever Jim is in the world, he makes sure I don't oversleep. He's such a good husband. Anyway, the first thing he says to me is, "Now don't get all worked up about this terrorist thing." Worked up? Until he alerted me, I hadn't woken up.
You may recall we leave on Saturday for vacation. On a jet plane. Our dear friends (the next-door nuts) and my brother-in-law and his wife are traveling with us. All day, I didn't turn on a TV. I didn't need to. I was getting hourly updates from my friends and family about what I'd have to take out of my purse unless I wanted it thrown away, and what specific things people on the other side of the world were trying to mix together to kill as many Americans as possible. This is what I don't get.
I understand personal hate...I don't participate in it as a rule; it tends to make me tense. But I understand it. Your best friend steals your fiance, the pervert down the street molests a kid, a drunk driver kills someone you love. I get that. It's all this anonymous hatred that I just can't wrap my brain around. How can you hate people you've never met, who've never done you or anyone you know any harm, enough to want to kill them in as spectacular a fashion and as great a number as possible?
If you have some philosophical, politically correct, touchy-feely theory why terrorists really just need understanding and copious quantities of US tax dollars because it really is all our fault their lives are devoted to trying to kill us all, type it on 8 1/2 by 11 paper, in a twelve point font, with one-inch margins. Then, send your response to: Suicide Passengers - Dept. of Volunteers, c/o al-Qaida, Pakistan. Responses may also be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm glad I got that off my chest. I needed a pre-vacation rant. Since none of the news outlets had anything positive to offer, I went looking for humor. Having no control whatsoever over the price of oil or terrorist activities, I decided my best course of action was to have a shot of levity. I have a folder where I keep the best of the jokes that make the email circuits. One of my favorite recent ones was the list of celebrity answers to the proverbial question, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" (Thank you, Demon Diane.)
As a writer, I was concerned about violating someone's copyright, so I Googled the question, "Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?" just to see what I would get. Apparently, he's quite popular, this chicken. I stopped counting at thirty websites that had everything from hundreds of answers to the question (organized by category) to sound-bites of various clucks, to instructions on how to do the chicken dance. Since all of the jokes that I received by email were posted on every site I checked, I figure they're public domain. If you've heard these, read them again. (They're silly, yes, I know...but I needed silly today, all right?) They'll give you a chuckle...and who doesn't need one?
Why did the chicken cross the road? (My favorite is the Jerry Falwell answer.)
DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on "THIS" side of the road before it goes after the problem on the "OTHER SIDE" of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his "CURRENT" problems before adding "NEW" problems.
OPRAH: Well I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.
PRESIDENT 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 against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
DONALD RUMSFELD: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.
ANDERSON COOPER/CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am for it now, and will remain against it.
JUDGE JUDY: That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level.
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.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain. Alone.
JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth in front of your face? The chicken was going to the "other side." That's why they call it the "other side. Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like "the other side." That chicken should not be free to cross the road. It's as plain and simple as that!
GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.
BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.
JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together - in peace.
ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2006, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet explorer is an integral part of eChicken. The Platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^( C \..... reboot.
ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?
AL GORE: I invented the chicken!
COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?
Talk to y'all from St. John...