Hey Man, Lay off the ChickenI don't usually ride the number 22 bus, but I was on my way to CompuWorld. I'd been riding for about 10 minutes when it stopped to pick up a load of passengers. While they were boarding, I observed a chicken slip between their legs and sneak aboard. It came up the aisle and plunked itself down across from me.
I looked it over. Beak. Feathers. Chicken.
The other passengers began casting fleeting glances at the chicken and at me. I cast a few glances back. No one spoke. Gradually losing interest in them, I returned my attention to the chicken.
It was staring right at me. Our eyes locked. Damn.
"So," asked the chicken, "what do you think of the recent bombing in Turkmenistan?"
The other passengers leaned forward in their seats, silently imploring a response. I groped for a means of aborting the impending conversation, but none presented itself. I ventured a half smile.
"Umm... I guess they had to do it," I answered.
The chicken puffed up and turned away silently. A middle aged woman rolled her eyes.
"It was a bad situation all around," I added.
The chicken ignored me. I shifted in my seat.
"You know," I said, "you shouldn't sneak onto the bus."
Behind me, a newspaper ruffled. The chicken turned.
"I've never snuck aboard a bus in my life."
My jaw dropped. I'd seen it in myself. Half the people on the bus had surely seen it. Before I could counter him, though, I was cut off by a gruff voice emanating from the back:
"Hey man," it said, "lay off the chicken."
My retort died on my lips. Fine. Fine.
Several minutes later, I got off at CompuWorld.