Things that Cross the Road
Successful Attempts and Epic Fails
Has the following ever happened to you? Have you ever driven home, your heart racing and your knuckles white from gripping the steering wheel, and pull into your driveway, just to sit there for about ten minutes, the engine running, as you stare blindly at your garage door? And then you finally get out, feeling numb, and you go inside your house and get in the shower, not even bothering to take off your clothes first? And then you sit down in the bottom of the tub, hugging your knees to your chest, and you start rocking back and forth, while muttering, “Why? Oh, dear God, why? Why did the chicken cross the road?” Was it fate that placed that chicken under your tire? Was it just chaos, or a sequence of carefully planned events? Did you murder the chicken, or did the chicken commit suicide? Very deep questions. But none of the answers matter, really, because you’re scared to death and scarred for life. You’ve just murdered something. You go out and grab the garden hose, wash the undercarriage of your car and get rid of all the feathers and ketchup. You tell yourself it’s ketchup, because you don’t want to faint. But even after you get rid of all the evidence, you still feel like the chicken left some very noticeable damage. The entire front of your car looks caved in. You start to panic. What if someone notices? You make a hasty decision and drive your car over to the rock quarry, and then you put it in neutral, get out, and push the car over the edge and into the dark water, thus getting rid of the murder weapon. And then... (continued at the end)
Here’s a short list of different things that you might see crossing the road.
Chickens cross the road, that’s a fact of life. It’s just that nobody knows why. There was this guy who climbed a really high mountain, just to talk to a hermit that lived in a cave up there. This hermit had been born in that cave and lived his entire life there, and he was very wise. He had the answer to everything. So the guy went to visit the hermit and the hermit offered him a bowl of soup. After he ate the soup, he asked the hermit why the chicken crossed the road. The hermit asked him what a chicken was. He’d never even seen a chicken, because the hermit was also blind, as well as very wise. The guy tried to describe what a chicken was to the hermit. A domestic fowl, usually with brown or black feathers and a fleshy crest on its head. The hermit shook his head and repeated his question. What is a chicken? The guy didn’t know how else to explain a chicken, so he was silent. A chicken is someone who is afraid, the hermit pointed out. If this chicken crossed the road, then it wasn’t showing fear, which wouldn’t make it a chicken at all, now would it? The guy couldn’t argue with that logic. And then he fell over dead, because the soup that the hermit had given him had been poisoned. Moral of the story? Don’t seek advice from hermits in caves, or you will be poisoned and the hermit will eat your remains.
Possums cross the road, even opossums. But unlike the chicken, if the possum thinks it’s going to get ran over, it’ll play dead. Why? Because it’s smart. It knows that people swerve to avoid hitting dead things in the road, whereas they only slow down when they see something that’s alive. It’ll play dead in the middle of the road, and then it’ll get back up and finish the crossing after traffic has cleared.
Deer are very unpredictable. If they see a vehicle approaching, they’ll stand still for a moment, and then they’ll start running parallel to the road. Why? I don’t know, I’m not a deer. But at that moment that the deer and the vehicle are neck-to-neck, that deer will try to cross the road. It sees the danger, and yet it still decides to leave the safety of the side of the road to try and dash to the other side. I think it’s because deer panic. They see you driving on their side of the road, so they try to get over to the other side where you’re not driving, but they do it at the worst possible time. And sometimes they don’t make it. They’re horrible decision makers. And then there’s those deer that just stand in the middle of the road and stare into the headlights of oncoming vehicles with wide eyes. They’re standing there, trying to remember what they’re supposed to do in that situation. Finally, they just get out of the way, feeling all awkward and embarrassed. I think it’s the same feeling that people get when they’re sitting at a traffic light that’s turned green, but they haven’t noticed, and then the person behind them honks their horn, as if to say, “Hey, idiot. It’s green. Get the hell out of my way.” And then that person realizes their mistake and takes off, feeling all sheepish. Or deerish, I should say, because sheep don’t cross the road and won’t even have a mention in this article. I’m sure they cross the roads down in New Zealand or wherever they grow sheep, but not over here, so I don’t have to worry about that.
Turtles cross the road. That’s a big decision for a turtle, because it knows that it’s going to take a couple of hours to get to the other side, so it makes damn sure that it wants to go over there. And that’s a couple of hours that the turtle will spend trying to dodge traffic. Like the possum, the turtle has a defense mechanism for escaping death on the road. It goes into its shell. Why? Because a turtle’s shell is like a bomb shelter. It can withstand anything. That’s what the turtle thinks, anyway. It can withstand a nuke. Have you ever looked in a turtle’s shell, before? It has bottled water in there, some MREs, a battery-operated radio---just whatever it’d need to survive a nuclear war. But that shell’s defenseless against a simple rubber tire with 32 pounds of air in it. One day, turtles will come out with a better shell. One that can shoot missiles at any vehicles that threaten to run over it. Maybe even surface to air missiles. Maybe it’ll even get Wi-Fi, so that it can surf the web. Maybe it’ll even be a Hybrid shell that’ll run on electricity, so that the turtle doesn’t actually have to use its legs to move.
Snails cross the road. The question naturally arises: why bother? It’d take some serious commitment for that snail to get to the other side. Maybe 3 years? By the time the snail makes it halfway across, that road might not even be there, anymore. It might get repaved. Turned into a four lane. Can you imagine how upset that snail would be, if it got halfway across a two lane road, only to find out that it’d been turned into a four lane road, and now the snail’s only a third of the way across? That’d suck. It keeps crossing and they keep adding lanes to the road, all the while the snail’s been hiding in small cracks in the asphalt to avoid getting ran over, but it never reaches the other side, because the road just keeps getting wider. It’s like a bad dream that just doesn’t end. And the snail’s fighting rain, and sleet, and snow, and cigarette butts, and it finally gets to the other side of the road, only to get eaten by a chicken that crossed the road in under ten seconds. And then the chicken runs back into the road and gets ran over, and then the snail crawls out of the chicken’s throat and starts the slow process of crossing the road again, more determined than ever. But that’s 3 years in the life of a snail.
Jaywalkers cross the road. A jaywalker is a person who crosses the road carelessly, instead of at a designated crossing lane. Sometimes jaywalkers get ran over. Why? Because they think they have what is called the right of way. They think that since they’re people and they’re walking, then vehicles should slow down and let them pass. This would be the case at the designated crossing place or at a pedestrian crosswalk. But what makes people think that they have the right of way against something that can run them over? If something much bigger then you is barreling in your direction, you do not have the right away. You have the right to die, that’s all you’ve got. You can’t get in the way of progress or machines with rapid acceleration. Maybe jaywalkers do it as a statement, like those people that lie down in front of tanks.
Trains cross the road. If you see one of these crossing the road in front of you, then you need to slow down and/or come to a complete stop, because these things do have the right of way. No one's ever successfully run over a train.
Vultures don’t cross the road, they just eat the things that do. They don’t care why the chicken crossed the road, or the possum, or the deer, or the turtle, or the jaywalker. They don’t care too much for snails, because there’s really nothing tasty about a squished snail, and the vulture doesn’t want to go through the snail’s gooey remains and pick out the little pieces of broken shell. So the vulture is the only one who benefits from failed road crossings. Of course, there’s also some types of people that’ll stop and pick up a dead animal on the side of the road for eating purposes. And these are the same people that won’t pick up French fries that they find on the sidewalk. What’s the difference? I mean, really? Have you ever wondered why they put fast food restaurants on the side of the road? Maybe fast food is the road kill of modern eatery. Maybe they just want to place the restaurant as close as possible to the food source. I’m not saying that fast food is made of road kill. Those two things don’t even belong in the same sentence, because road kill is dead for the simple reason that it wasn’t fast enough. So that’s where vultures come in. They eat the things that try to cross the road and fail at doing so. They’re the road’s natural clean-up crew. Eating road kill since 1893.
(Continued) You make the long trudge home and finally arrive around 3 in the morning, covered in mud and your hair all messy. For the next couple of days, you read the newspaper, just to see if they mention the murder of any chickens. As time goes by, a week, two weeks, you begin to realize you just got away with it, and then you start to relax. No one even reported the chicken missing. It turns out, no one even really cared. And then you’re finally able to sleep like a baby, until one night, around midnight, you're awakened by a loud noise and you open your eyes, only to see that chicken standing over you, the one that you’d murdered. “Remember me?” the chicken asks, with angry eyes. And then it beats you to death in your own bed. Yes, it survived that brutal road crossing and had now come for its revenge. So has that ever happened to you? The whole running over a chicken, only to have it hunt you down and beat you to death thing? You might laugh at the idea, but I bet you won’t be laughing when you run over that chicken tomorrow. You’ll be thinking, “Crap! This can’t be happening. I just read about this. I hope that chicken doesn’t follow me home and murder me while I’m in my pajamas.” There’s a simple solution. Once you hit the chicken, stop the car, get out, and make sure that chicken’s dead. I don’t care if it’s still breathing. Cover it’s mouth and nose with your hand, and say, “Shh, little chicken. Go towards the light.” Otherwise, it’s going to track you down and pummel you to death in your own bed. Choke the chicken. That’s my advice. Nothing wrong with choking the chicken every now and then. If you run over something in the road, at least have the decency to kill it.