That Stupid Question

Photo by: J Hardy Carroll

The two girlfriends walked down the sidewalk, studiously ignoring the stares of people passing them. They turned a corner and saw a building being prepared for demolition. On the sidewalk a sign read: “Sidewalk closed. Please use other side.”

Henrietta stopped dead in her tracks, eyes bulging.

“Are you okay?” asked Hennesey.

Henrietta pointed at the sign. “That’s it! That’s the answer I can finally give!”

“Answer to what?”


“What question?”

Henrietta took a deep breath. “Whenever people learn that I talk, what should the next logical question be?”

“Why did the…?”

“No! They should ask, ‘Why can you talk?’ Right? It’s logical.”

“I guess.”

“THEN, they can ask the stupid question. Anyway, it’s self-explanatory isn’t it? There might be a movie theater over there. The market. Anything!”

“That’s true,” murmured Hennesey. “Still, you can’t let if ruffle your feathers…”

Henrietta pulled out her cell phone. “I’m taking a picture of that sign.”

“What for?”

“So when people ask me that STUPID QUESTION, I can show them.”

“Seems over-dramatic,” said Hennesey. She shrugged her chicken feathers and clucked. “I just say, ‘I crossed the road to get a taco!’ ”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction:

Author’s Notes:

Just in case folks aren’t familiar, the age-old, waaaaay over-used joke is: Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side!

A few years back someone published how historical figures would answer “Why did the chicken cross the road?” These are some of my faves:

Ernest Hemingway:
To die. In the rain.

H.P. Lovecraft:
To futilely attempt escape from the dark powers which even then pursued it, hungering after the stuff of its soul!

Tom Clancy:
The Mark 84 gargleblaster that the chicken
carried, at the heart of which was an inferior ex-Soviet
excimer laser system, had insufficient range to
allow the chicken to carry out its mission from
this side of the road.

Howard Cosell:
It may very well have been one of the most astonishing
events to grace the annals of history. An historic,
unprecedented avian biped with the temerity to attempt
such an herculean achievement formerly relegated to homo
sapien pedestrians is truly a remarkable occurrence.

Robert Heinlein:
The more widely dispersed chickens are throughout
the Universe, the better the long-term prospects for
the survival of the chicken species.

John F. Kennedy:
The chicken chose to cross the road in
this decade not because it was
easy, but because it was hard.

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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20 Responses to That Stupid Question

  1. Joy Pixley says:

    LOL, you really sucked me in on this one! Another hilarious and creative take, Eric. And yes, I would think the question about how they can talk would be the first one!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. James says:

    Henrietta and Hennesey. LOL. Oh, and I liked Hemingway’s best.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha… this made me laugh out loud!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so funny! Thanks for giving me my biggest grin of the day.

    The Other Side – my story

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great take on the old joke! I never saw the punchline coming. Definitely a story to crow about! 🙂 (I had to say that…)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I laughed at this. Great story Eric, and the quotes are so cool. Like the others, Hemmingway’s one was fantastic,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. List of X says:

    Really liked the story, but now I have another stupid question:
    Where does a chicken keeps her cellphone?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mandibelle16 says:

    Good one! Interesting bases in that age old joke and loved the answers from different writers! It made me think of this extremely depressing post/writer in American poetry.

    I think the poet and Thomas Hardy who wrote some most depressing poetry but a very good classic novels – ‘Tess d’Urbervilles’ etc. (even though the endings were never completely happy) would have said something like: “To meet their ends via the farmer” but it would have sounded meloncholly and utterly hopeless in his words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you! Yeah, the answers from different writers are fun. I’m not so familiar with Thomas Hardy, but I always thought John Steinbeck was near the top for most depressing (I couldn’t finish “Grapes of Wrath”). Maybe he would write, “In that bleak horizon, forever distant, always unreachable, he sought he release from the gripping pangs tearing at his soul. The chicken knew he would die before he reached that far shore, but onward he marched, hope but a distant memory.”


      Liked by 1 person

      • mandibelle16 says:

        Yes that’s very John Steinbeck for sure. I’ve only read “Of Mice and Men” and seen the excellent movie. The ending for that is very grim as well and your pov from him seems very accurate.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Lyn says:

    I finally get enough internet access to read and respond and this is what greets me. Oh goodness me, Eric… I’m still shaking me head. I really needed this belly laugh today 🙂 Gotta have a needle stuck into a lump in my neck in a couple of hours to see if there are any nasty little aliens hiding. You must have had a good dose of “groaners” this morning 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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