An age old question, and one much debated in intellectual circles. Here, then, is the answer to this most intriguing conundrum, as dictated by some of the worlds greatest sages...

Why did the chicken cross the road?

... and while you are reading this, please keep a score of the number of names you recognize and double that if you know the original quotations and its relevance. There are 84 referenes total.

Plato: For the greater good.

Karl Marx: It was a historical inevitability.

Hamlet: Because 'tis better to suffer in the mind the slings and arrows of outrageous road maintenance than to take arms against a sea of oncoming vehicles...

Doug Hofstadter: To seek explication of the correspondence between appearance and essence through the mapping of the external road-object onto the internal road-concept.

Machiavelli: So that its subjects will view it with admiration, as a chicken which has the daring and courage to boldly cross the road, but also with fear, for whom among them has the strength to contend with such a paragon of avian virtue? In such a manner is the princely chicken's dominion maintained.

Hippocrates: Because of an excess of light pink gooey stuff in its pancreas.

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

Jacques Derrida: Any number of contending discourses may be discovered within the act of the chicken crossing the road, and each nterpretation is equally valid as the authorial intent can never be discerned, because structuralism is DEAD, DAMMIT, DEAD!

Thomas de Torquemada: Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out.

Robert Anton Wilson: Because agents of the Ancient Illuminated Roosters of Cooperia were controlling it with their Orbital Mind-Control Lasers as part of their master plan to take over the world's egg production.

Timothy Leary: Because that's the only kind of trip the Establishment would let it take.

Douglas Adams: Forty-two.

Nietzsche: Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you.

Henry IV: Paris was worth the crossing.

Aleister Crowley: Because it was its True Will to do so.

Oliver North: National Security was at stake.

Sappho: For the touch of your skin, the sweetness of your lips...

J.R.R. Tolkein: The chicken, sunlight coruscating off its radiant yellow- white coat of feathers, approached the dark, sullen asphalt road and scrutinized it intently with its obsidian-black eyes. Every detail of the thoroughfare leapt into blinding focus: the rough texture of the surface, over which countless tires had worked their relentless tread through the ages; the innumerable fragments of stone embedded within the lugubrious mass, perhaps quarried from the great pits where the Sons of Man labored not far from here; the dull black asphalt itself, exuding those waves of heat which distort the sight and bring weakness to the body; the other attributes of the great highway too numerous to give name. And then it crossed it.

Malcolm X: Because it would get across that road by any means necessary.

B.F. Skinner: Because the external influences which had pervaded its sensorium from birth had caused it to develop in such a fashion that it would tend to cross roads, even while believing these actions to be of its own free will.

Carl Jung: The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being.

Gary Gygax: Because I rolled a 64 on the "Chicken Random Behaviors" chart on page 497 of the Dungeon Master's Guide.

Trent Reznor: Because the world is FUCKED UP and it HATES ITSELF for being such a PITIFUL WHINY USELESS SHIT!

Dorothy Parker: Travel, trouble, music, art / A kiss, a frock, a rhyme / The chicken never said they fed its heart / But still they pass its time.

T.S. Eliot (revisited again): It's not that they cross, but that they cross like chickens.

Jean-Paul Sartre: In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.

Jean-Luc Picard: To see what's out there.

Darth Vader: Because it could not resist the power of the Dark Side.

Ludwig Wittgenstein: The possibility of "crossing" was encoded into the objects "chicken" and "road", and circumstances came into being which caused the actualization of this potential occurrence.

John Constantine: Because it'd made a bollocks of things over on this side of the road and figured it'd better get out right quick.

Albert Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.

Gandalf: O chicken, do not meddle in the affairs of roads, for you are tasty and good with barbecue sauce.

Baldrick: It had a cunning plan.

_Princess Bride_ section

Wesley: It's terribly fashionable, I think everyone will be doing it in the future.

Fezzik: Because if it did not it would be like a toad!

Inigo: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You crossed my father's road. Prepare to die.

Aristotle: To actualize its potential.

Roseanne Barr: Urrrrrp. What chicken?

George Bush: To face a kinder, gentler thousand points of headlights.

Julius Caesar: To come, to see, to conquer.

Candide: To cultivate its garden.

Bill the Cat: Oop Ack.

Buddha: If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature.

Moses: Know ye that it is unclean to eat the chicken that has crossed the road, and that the chicken that crosseth the road doth so for its own preservation.

Joseph Conrad: Mistah Chicken, he dead.

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 occurence.

Salvador Dali: The Fish.

Darwin: It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees.

Thomas Dequincy: Because it ran out of opium.

Rene Descartes: It had sufficient reason to believe it was dreaming anyway.

Emily Dickinson: Because it could not stop for death.

Bob Dylan: How many roads must one chicken cross?

TS Eliot: Weialala leia / Wallala leialala.

TS Eliot (revisited): Do I dare to cross the road?

Epicurus: For fun.

Paul Erdos: It was forced to do so by the chicken-hole principle.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: It didn't cross the road; it transcended it.

Basil Fawlty: Oh, don't mind that chicken. It's from Barcelona.

Gerald R. Ford: It probably fell from an airplane and couldn't stop its forward momentum.

Sigmund Freud: The chicken obviously was female and obviously interpreted the pole on which the crosswalk sign was mounted as a phallic symbol of which she was envious, selbstverstaendlich.

Robert Frost: To cross the road less traveled by.

Zsa Zsa Gabor: It probably crossed to get a better look at my legs, which, thank goodness, are good, dahling.

Gilligan: The traffic started getting rough; the chicken had to cross. If not for the plumage of its peerless tail the chicken would be lost, the chicken would be lost!

Johann Friedrich von Goethe: The eternal hen-principle made it do it.

Ernest Hemingway: To die. In the rain.

Werner Heisenberg: We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was on, but it was moving very fast.

Adolf Hitler: It needed Lebensraum.

David Hume: Out of custom and habit.

Saddam Hussein: This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.

Lee Iacocca: It found a better car, which was on the other side of the road.

John Paul Jones: It has not yet begun to cross!

Martin Luther King: It had a dream.

James Tiberius Kirk: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

Stan Laurel: I'm sorry, Ollie. It escaped when I opened the run.

Leda: Are you sure it wasn't Zeus dressed up as a chicken? He's into that kind of thing, you know.

Gottfried Von Leibniz: In this best possible world, the road was made for it to cross.

Groucho Marx: Chicken? What's all this talk about chicken? Why, I had an uncle who thought he was a chicken. My aunt almost divorced him, but we needed the eggs.

Karl Marx: To escape the bourgeois middle-class struggle.

Gregor Mendel: To get various strains of roads.

John Milton: To justify the ways of God to men.

Alfred E. Neumann: What? Me worry?

Sir Isaac Newton: Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest. Chickens in motion tend to cross the road.

Jack Nicholson: 'Cause it (censored) wanted to. That's the (censored) reason.

Thomas Paine: Out of common sense.

Michael Palin: Nobody expects the banished inky chicken!

Wolfgang Pauli: There already was a chicken on the other side of the road.

Pyrrho the Skeptic: What road?

Ronald Reagan: I forget.

Georg Friedrich Riemann: The answer appears in Dirichlet's lectures.

John Sununu: The Air Force was only too happy to provide the transportation, so quite understandably the chicken availed himself of the opportunity.

Mr. Scott: 'Cos ma wee transporter beam was na functioning properly. Ah canna work miracles, Captain!

William Shakespeare: I don't know why, but methinks I could rattle off a hundred-line soliloquy without much ado.

Sisyphus: Was it pushing a rock, too?

Socrates: To pick up some hemlock at the corner druggist.

The Sphinx: You tell me.

Mr. T: If you saw me coming you'd cross the road too!

Brad Templeton: Do you think I have time to answer questions like that? I'm not a riddle-answering service. Anyway, I've heard it before. (Moderator of Rec.humor.funny)

Margaret Thatcher: There was no alternative.

Dylan Thomas: To not go (sic) gentle into that good night.

Henry David Thoreau: To live deliberately ... and suck all the marrow out of life.

Mark Twain: The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.

George Washington: Actually it crossed the Delaware with me back in 1776. But most history books don't reveal that I bunked with a birdie during the duration.

Mae West: I invited it to come up and see me sometime.

Walt Whitman: To cluck the song of itself.

William Wordsworth: To have something to recollect in tranquility.

Molly Yard: It was a hen!

Henny Youngman: Take this chicken ... please.

Zeno of Elea: To prove it could never reach the other side.

Louis Armstrong: Man, if ya gotta ask, you'll never know!

St.Janor Hypercleats: It's legs are on fire!!

Pope Sternodox: To get to the face fuggin' bat sperm antidote pudding.

J.R."Bob" Dobbs: Cross the road, or kill me!!