Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road? The Must-Read Embassy Edition

— Domani Spero

Updated 5/7/14 @1109 am PST (see additional entries below).

Updated on 5/8/14 @0807 am PST (scroll down to see where this embassy version originally started).

One of our blog pals sent  us this interesting chicken question of the day: why did the chicken cross the road? (thanks N!).  A question that has been repeated and changed numerous times since it first saw print in 1847. But the embassy edition below has some of the most interesting answers to that question.  Our source says that this has been doing the rounds inside the walls.  Sending around funnies like this could get folks in trouble with their information systems security officer (ISSO). As a public service to our readers, we’re republishing this here so you don’t have to forward it to all your friends with a dotgov email. We have no idea who wrote this up or from which post this originally came from, but can we just agree that this is pretty hilarious?


QUESTION: Why did the chicken cross the road?


Ambassador’s Staff Assistant to Management Counselor: Please draft a reply for the AMB’s signature as to why the chicken crossed the road. Please send in your response NLT COB today.


Buildings & Maintenance Officer: We don’t have any space for the chicken in the New Embassy Compound (NEC) if it crosses the road. The chicken either needs to go back or move to the USAID compound.


Management Counselor: Let’s get an expert from Washington to come and help us determine why the chicken crossed the road and/or to help the chicken cross the road.


Assistant RSO: Did the chicken request country clearance to cross the road? We can’t just let every Tom, Dick, and Henrietta cross the road. They must be able to provide proof regarding the mission essential nature of their crossings as well as prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they are entitled to 6×6 inches of space at the NEC. Chickens without country clearance will be summarily returned to the other side of the road and left to fend for themselves.


Regional Psychiatrist: We should all try to understand why the chicken felt it had to cross the road


via funnyjunk

via funnyjunk


Health Unit: The chicken should definitely NOT cross the road until we have determined what our response will be in the case that the chicken is carrying Avian flu.


Protocol: Before the chicken approaches the road, it must be determined if the chicken will be referred to as His Excellency, Minister Counselor or Madam President. The chicken must receive an invitation to cross. Said chicken must RSVP and bring invitation and photo id to cross the road. Once invitation is accepted, the seating plan will be organized and chicken may be Guest of Honor.


HR: We don’t care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to ensure that the chicken has spent 365 days on this side of the road and no more than 63 days in other locations due to R&R and/or RRBs. Also, there must be a new chicken to take their place and there must be a one-week overlap before the old chicken can cross the road because we don’t take gaps on this side of the road.


FMO: That darn chicken still hasn’t filed a travel voucher since the last time it crossed the road and cannot cross the road again until all his vouchers have been approved.


Public Affairs (Day 1): EMBASSY PRESS RELEASE – Today a substantial milestone was achieved when the chicken took the next step in the evolution of independent, democratic government when it crossed the road — cautiously looking in both directions first — without the involvement of the Embassy or U.S. military. Though there are bound to be bumps on this long road to peace and prosperity, we are encouraged by this positive sign.

Public Affairs (Day 2): EMBASSY PRESS RELEASE – We remain encouraged by the step taken by the chicken to cross the road. Though no USG advisor took part in the actual crossing, we acknowledge that there were some USG advisors present at the time. This remains a great day for the chicken and a substantial step towards fully independent democratic institutions of government.


Consular Section: Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (as currently amended) requires us to have less concern for why the chicken crosses the road than for what will compel the chicken to return to this side of the road after a temporary stay on the other side. This section of the law is specific and demanding and all applicants to cross the road are presumed to be going to the other side to stay permanently unless they can demonstrate to the adjudicating officer that they have ties to this side of the road that are so strong that the applicant will be compelled to return to this side after a temporary stay on the other side. While the ownership of a nest or coop on this side of the road or even leaving chicks or unhatched eggs on this side of the road may contribute to the chicken’s overcoming the assumptions inherent in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (as currently amended), in and of themselves they do not constitute “compelling ties.” While ineligibility under Section 214(b) is not permanent and the chicken may re-apply to cross the road at any time, it is doubtful that the Consular officer’s decision will be different in the absence of a substantial change in the chicken’s current circumstances. It will probably be in the chicken’s best interests to wait at least one year before re-applying to cross the road. I regret that I am unable to give the chicken a more positive reply at this time.


USAID Director: Of course, we rebuilt the road so that the chicken could cross said road. But we shouldn’t be expecting that chicken to cross the road on their own – it’s too much work. So we’ve arranged for two subject matter expert chickens to come in and help the first chicken out.


CLO: Can you call the Housing Office?  We forgot to arrange meet and greet for the chicken when it arrived here after crossing the road.  But we do have a happy hour planned for Friday afternoon to welcome the chicken to the embassy.


Seabees: Upon inspection, we found that the road had been built according to standards, except the road crossing safety equipment. The safety equipment was paid for by the USG but not installed, nearly leading to the death of the chicken.


Refugee Officer:  This displaced chicken may be intending to seek asylum or refugee status in order to escape the persecution of the genocidal meat eaters and war criminals who are annihilating the chicken population through widespread and systematic attacks using inhumane instruments of torture such as butcher knives and skewers. Furthermore, they are subjecting the chicken population to the mental anguish of knowing their loved ones are being served weekly on the Kebab Grill.


MSG POST 1: Cluck and Cover, Cluck and Cover: Chickens are crossing the road.


Second Big Voice from PA System: Attention in the Embassy, Attention in the Embassy: The explosion you just heard was an IED hitting a chicken crossing the road. Do Not React. I repeat, Do Not React.


Supervisory RSO: A military age chicken (MAC) was crossing the road as the Ambassador’s motorcade was passing by with lights and sirens blaring. The Ambassador’s bodyguard in the follow car fired several BBs that landed in the front of the MAC. The MAC continued its aggressive approach and the bodyguard then fired two well-aimed M4 rounds at approximately 25 meters. The MAC came to a complete stop. The motorcade continued to its destination without further incident after the remains of the MAC were recovered by personnel from the Road Kill Café.


RMO: There will be a Town hall meeting in Road Kill Café to mourn the loss of one of our finely feathered friends. The DCM will be available to answer your questions and the RSO will give a presentation on road safety procedures and practices.


Political Section: The fact that the chicken crossed the road shows that decision-making authority has switched to the chicken in accordance with the transition of power. From now on, the chicken is responsible for its own decisions.


USAID Contractor: We were asked to help the chicken cross the road. Given the inherent risk of road crossing, and the rarity of chickens, this operation will only cost $326,004.


Officer from an unnamed, non-State Department Agency: We cannot confirm or deny any involvement in the chicken-road-crossing incident.


Employee Association: Obviously he was crossing the road because the new Employee Association-run bar is on the other side of the street.


Translators: Chicken he cross street because bad she tangle regulation. Future chicken table against my request.


OBO: (no response)


Thanks for the laugh!

Updated 5/7/14 @1109 am PST: The original drafters of this embassy edition left out a few, so – many thanks to our readers for the contributions below:

Political Counselor:  Mr. Ambassador, if you would allow me to go back to my office and work on this critical Chicken Issue, I’m sure I can come up with a draft response within the next two weeks or so.  But, you have to understand, that given the complexity of this issue, my response will need to contain numerous caveats.

Economic Counselor:  Mr. Ambassador I have just analyzed  the parameters of this Chicken issue, and I can state with certainty that, given a constant temperature dew point spread, the Chicken in question crossed the road at 3.2001 MPH plus or minus .001 MPH.

Management Counselor (reader suggested rewrite):  Mr. Ambassador, how would you like the chicken to cross the road?

Security Protective Specialist (submitted by SPS from Post X): Provided QRF and AIC for a Chicken crossing the road.  Overtime charged 12 hours.

General Services Officer: Was there an approved NSDD-38? Is there full ICASS buy-in? Did the chicken fill out a housing questionnaire and is there an assigned sponsor to put in a motor pool and expeditor request? Did the chicken follow all of the travel regulations including City-Pairs and the Fly America Act and did the chicken provide notification for its UAB and HHE shipments?

Defense Attache Office:  Do you think we can get the military Aged Chicken (MAC) into West Point?  It will greatly increase our mil-to-mil relations with the chickens of the world.

Security Assistance Office:  Selling the newest rifles to the chicken to protect it as it crosses will support our industrial infrastructure and build our mil-to-mil relations.

Regional Security Office/OMS:  The access request did not specify which side of the road the chicken would be on.
Political Office/OMS: Was the chicken Leahy Vetted?

Front Office/OMS:  The chicken submitted a decision memo regarding crossing the street, however, it was not in the correct format. Please see the Executive Office Handbook, Page 14, and resubmit.


Updated on 5/8/14 @0807 am PST (thanks Baghdad Anne!)

The day this post went up  one of our readers told us this reminded her of something see saw when she was in Iraq. Today,we learned where this originated.  “It was a group of us in Embassy Baghdad back in May 2007.  We started with one that appeared in “Imperial Life in the Emerald City” and updated it and expanded it considerably.

To read the original version, check out Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road from Baghdad Anne.



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