Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Background:

This speech was created when I entered the 2003 humor speech contest. It was well received but didn't win any awards. It is centered around the age old question of why did the proverbial chicken cross the road...

Actual Speech:

Good evening TME, fellow TMs and honored guest. My topic tonight is very significant. I have taken great pains in trying to answer one of the fundamental questions that have been puzzling the human race since the dawn of time.

The question that I speak of is none other than:
Why did the chicken cross the road?

Why indeed. What on earth could have possible induced this poor fowl to undertake such a perilous journey. You see ladies and gentlemen, as long as there have been roads and poultry, there has always been this profound question about the crossing of the chicken. In fact, this question is so important that some people believe its answer contains the secret to all the mysteries of the universe. Many great people have tried explaining this phenomenon and I would now present you their thoughts.

Before I start though, we must dispel all skeptics from the crowd. We must be able to say for sure that the chicken actually crossed the road. For this purpose, I would call upon the words of the ultimate believer – FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder. Mulder would say - You saw the chicken cross the road with your own eyes. How many chickens must cross the road before you believe it? How many Scully?

Now that we believe, let us start with a taking a religious viewpoint. Let us start with the words of Buddha. Buddha once observed that asking this question – Why the chicken crossed the road denies your own chicken nature. Annnnddd if you are wondering what that means? …. Do not look at me. I have no idea what so ever too.

Now if you are like me and you can’t understand the depth of the above statement, perhaps Moses would make more sense to you – Moses proclaimed once long ago in Jeruselam - 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 in the world.

Oh well, if religion doesn’t provide the explanation that you seek, perhaps philosophy is the key. Let us visit Ralph Waldo Emerson - widely regarded as one of America's most influential author, philosopher and thinker from the early 19th century. Now according to Raplfie, the chicken did not cross the road but he transcended it. Once again, if you have no idea what that means, join the club.

Alright, so philosophy did not help us. Lets us try looking at it in a evolutionary manner. Perhaps Darwin can help us shed some light. The father of evolution figured that: Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically disposed to cross roads… It was after all, the logical next step after coming down from the trees.

Then again maybe not…what we need I think - is a scientific explanation. Quantified measurements and logical reasoning. We present this question to Einstein and the most acclaimed physicist of our time replied that whether the chicken crossed the road or the road moved beneath the chicken depends upon your frame of reference. Well, Einstein was too smart for the rest of us anyway.

His predecessor had a similar notion about chickens too. Mr, excuse me I mean Sir Isaac Newton theorized that Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest. Chickens in motion tend to cross the road. He was absolutely right too… As anyone trying to stop a moving bus would tell you.

Since I’m running short on time, I would wrap it up by repeating what my Grandpa told me about the chickens in general. He may not have been as famous or influential as the previous mentioned people but he made a whole lot more sense, as senior members would probably agree. My grandpa always used to say - 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.

Thank You!

By, Vijay Balasegaram

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