with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road – A Twist on a Tale

Cruising around, fussing over odds and ends in my life, I decided to put Brent’s name in Google and see what the search came up with. Usually it is filled with tons of links to his famous Interactive Fiction computer game, She’s Got A Thing For A Spring, but this time I found a couple funny things.

One was a link to his Boy Scout Troup – number 26 – and a story about some coin passed down from Eagle Scout to Eagle Scout. Since the page is poorly designed, I thought I would see if this was really the Brent VanFossen from Tulsa, Oklahoma, or another man masquerading as my husband, the Eagle Scout. Indeed, it is the Tulsa group and they are having their 50th Anniversary in just over a week. Darn! Too bad we’re so far away.

I send the info to Brent via email and he’s supposed to post a note about where he is and why he can’t be there and how brilliant he is to be living in Israel right now when any sane US Citizen would be on the first plane out of the Middle East as soon as possible, or sooner than possible if they had two brain cells to rub together. Unfortunately, we seem to have an absence of common sense over the past 5 years and we are STILL HERE! I’ll check on the page in a day or so and see if he really wrote something decent or not about himself, the famous nature photographer, world traveler, fantastic and perfect husband, and brilliant engineer…I love bragging about my best friend.

I also found a very funny posting about the tale of Why the Chicken Crossed the Road written in Interactive Fiction (IF) game style. It is really only funny to people who know the people listed, are familiar with their games and writing style, but I still think it is hysterical. Several people responded and answered the question using their version of how these particular authors would have answered the question in their game style. It pokes fun at them and tries to answer this age old, and dumb, question.

Anyway, I loved it so much, I’m reposting it here with a link to the original. These games, and the authors mentioned, are some of the most brilliant things in the world. I really love the games and many people get really addicted to them for their ingenius use of imagination. In many ways, I think they are much more entertaining and stimulating than most of the computer games out there today, shooting up cartoon characters and solving ridiculous puzzles that go no where. Anyway, here is the joke:

IF Answers to “Why did the chicken cross the road?”
(beware: in-jokes abound)

Matt Kimball:
Adam Cadre The next version has six more euphemisms for the chicken crossing the road.
Joe Mason: To go home and kill himself.
C.E. Forman: Because I didn't get any feedback on PTF.
Ian Finley: He forgot God in his pursuit of science and crossed the forbidden road.
Michael Gentry: This unspeakable act can never be understood. The chicken is now in Danvers Asylum.
Rybread Celsius: The chiken pulls its mask off. It's really yore friend!
Miron Schmidt: You are now on the other side of the road.

Joe Mason:
Matt Barringer: You cross the road. It is full of gangsters. They shoot you.
Daniel Ravipinto: When the chicken crossed the road, it made a choice.
David Dyte: To get to the Rubber Chickens' Picnic.
Brent VanFossen: From the north, an eerie crowing rises above the wind and the rattling of the leaves in the surrounding trees. The large rooster in front of you lifts his head, as if to listen, but does not move.
Whizzard: It'll cross the road soon! I swear!
Kent Tessman: Won't somebody PLEASE port the chicken to the Mac?
Ivan Cockrum: As you behold the majestic sight of the chicken floating gracefully across the road, a sense of wonder settles in your heart. You decide that you hate your job.
Brian Moriarty: All chickens lead to Kensington Gardens.

Den of Iniquity:
Graham: You don't need to refer to that in the course of the game.
Zarf: Yes, it's deliberate.

Brent VanFossen:
Joe Mason: The asphalt underfoot is slick with water, reflecting the unbroken black clouds above. The road is deserted at this time of night, but you can dimly hear the clucking from the opposite side, beyond a high chain-link fence. There, a chicken paces, wet from the incessant rain, unable to surmount the barrier which prevents its crossing.

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