Bernie and Kurt were longtime friends. Best friends, really. They were also roommates that had lived together for years. Complete opposites, Bernie and Kurt found that the age old truth was indeed correct: opposites do tend to attract, at least most of the time.
One day Bernie and Kurt were sitting in their living room. Bernie was staring intently at the T.V. while Kurt read his daily paper. As the images floated around Bernie’s mind from the television program he was watching, Bernie turned to Kurt with an abrupt and somewhat strange question.
“Is it true, Kurt?”
Shaken from his reverie, Kurt looked over the top of the newspaper. “Is what true?”
“The age old question, Kurt. You know….why did the chicken cross the road?” Bernie stared vacantly at his friend.
“What, Bernie? Why are you talking about chickens?” Kurt responded, irritation edging his voice.
“Because, Kurt. I have heard the question many times. Why? Why did the chicken cross the road?”
Kurt set down his paper with a rustle and a bustle. “Why are you asking ridiculous questions? That’s not an age old question! That’s a riddle, Bernie. A ridiculous riddle.”
Bernie shook his head. “No, Kurt. It’s an important question. Kind of like the one about the chicken and the egg.”
Kurt stared at Bernie. “What’s up with you and chickens, Bernie? It’s a chicken. Who cares about a chicken?”
Bernie was taken aback. “Well, you seem to care a lot about chickens, Kurt.”
“I care about chickens? When do I care about chickens?”
“When you eat supper…and sometimes lunch…”
Kurt threw his hands in the air. “I care about chickens at supper and lunch because I’m hungry! Not because I care about a ridiculous riddle regarding a chicken crossing a road! Since when have you ever seen a chicken cross a road, Bernie? When?”
“Okay then. There’s the answer to your question.”
“What answer, Kurt?” Bernie scratched his head.
Kurt sat forward in his chair, pushing his newspaper onto the ottoman in front of him. “CHICKENS DON’T CROSS ROADS, BERNIE. THAT’S THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION.”
Cowed by Kurt’s irritation, Bernie was silent for a moment. Kurt watched him for approximately thirty seconds then sunk back into his chair, reaching for his paper again.
Sensing that the confrontation was over-at least temporarily over-Bernie said, “That doesn’t answer the question, Kurt.”
“Are you kidding me, Bernie? Are you kidding me right now?” Kurt plunged forward in the chair, almost nose diving across the ottoman.
“NO? NO what?” Kurt ground his teeth together. Then the thought occurred to him that it was ludicrous to be this angry over a riddle that some person most likely made up in the midst of a fit of complete and total boredom.
“I’m not kidding. It….doesn’t answer..the question.”
Kurt sighed and shook his head. “Okay, Bernie. If you want the question answered so badly, go find a chicken crossing a road and ask it yourself.”
“But chickens don’t speak English, Kurt.”
“Enough! Enough! I don’t have an answer to your question! I don’t know why a chicken would cross a road, I don’t know why it would WANT to cross a road and I sure am not going to ASK a chicken a question! ENOUGH! This conversation is over! Good night, Bernie!” Kurt jumped off the chair, tripped past Bernie and ran to his room, slamming the door.
“But Kurt, it’s noon…”
“Done! I’m done! Putting on my earbuds now. DONE Bernie!” he screamed from his bedroom.
Shrugging, Bernie clicked the remote to turn the sound up on the T.V. and lay back in his recliner. I’ll ask tomorrow when he’s in a better mood. I wonder what got into him. He’s so cranky!