“I Dream of a World…

Where chickens can cross the road safely

“In today’s world, can chickens safely cross the road?”

In order to answer this pressing question, I sought out one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject.

The following is an exclusive insight into a social issue that affects us all. My journalistic quest for truth took me to the village of Killin, in Stirling, Scotland. An area known as The Gateway to the Scottish Highlands.

There, I met with Douglas Carl-McSanders, a local animal rights activist. On the one hand, Douglas is viewed by some as a simple-minded fool. On the other hand, some perceive him as a pioneer of positive social change. On the third hand, to the indecisive, he is viewed as a populist figure. Although, I can’t help but wonder if they’re right.
Douglas agreed to meet me at a secret location. It was in a more remote location than my lost tv controller. And I was under strict orders to keep the details of the meeting secret.

So, there I was at 2 pm, in Killin’s much loved public house, the Dochart Inn. I was sitting there waiting for Douglas to arrive. Three conspiracy theorists walked in and sat at the bar. Now, you can’t tell me that’s just a coincidence. Next thing I know, a David Hasselhoff lookalike walked in and sat at the bar.

“It’s a pleasure to serve you, Mr Hasselhoff,” said the bartender.

“Just call me Hoff,” he replied.

“Sure,” said the bartender. “No hassle.”

I then got the bartender’s attention and ordered the pelican curry. It was really nice but the bill was massive. The bartender told me Douglas was always late when meeting in such circumstances. I hadn’t felt such misattribution of arousal since that recent argument I had with my partner the other day. She was saying that I didn’t understand what irony was. Which was ironic as we were both waiting for a bus at the time.

So I got chatting with the bartender to gain some local insider knowledge. According to local folklore, a hermit lives in the glen, the very same man who invented the part of a map that explains what each symbol means. But, then again, it may just be a legend.
Douglas recently informed the authorities he had received death threats. He understandably believes it to be the work of opponents of his activism. The local police, initially suspected the retired kilt maker, because of his chequered past. However, a source close to Douglas told me that there are whispers that the local deaf community are behind the threats. Apparently all the signs are there. But their leader is apparently refusing to say anything on the matter. I guess it’s easier for him to keep his hands shut. All that’s needed is a handful of words for him to be incriminated.

This exclusive story brings the tale of Carl-McSanders and his quest for social justice and equality for all sentient beings to the attention of the general public. This story is even more exclusive than the author’s recent BBBC exclusive for insomniacs everywhere; Only Four More Sleeps Until Christmas.

LSA: “So, Douglas, thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed by the BBBC. So tell me, Douglas, what is the purpose of your activism?”

DMS: “Chookies!”

For international readers, ‘chookies’ is an everyday Scottish word for chickens.

LSA: “Thank you, Douglas. I commend you for the work you do for animal rights. Your reputation precedes you, I read somewhere you were in the middle of doing something with PETA.

DMS: “Yer bum’s oot the windae! Peter an’ me war schpoken tae bae the poleece. The stag canny press charges!”

LSA: Thank you for clearing that up Douglas. In preparation for today’s interview, I did some reading up on the mistreatment of chickens. Correct me if I’m wrong Douglas, but my understanding is that in the US alone, over 24 million chickens are being killed every single day for human consumption. And that you are fighting to stop this senseless killing of a fellow sentient being.

DMS: “Aye!”

LSA: “And I would also like to add, that your relentless fight for public awareness of such exploitation, hasn’t gone unnoticed. You appear to effortlessly, yet intelligently, abstract these socially acceptable acts of abuse into an undeniable moral argument of right or wrong. The British public is listening to you Douglas Carl-McSanders. The British public agree with you that these killings are even more senseless in the context of overwhelming evidence informing us that reverting to a plant-based diet, is the best course of action available to us, to combat climate change. Carl, what are your next steps in promoting public awareness of these two points?”

DMS: “What yer talkin’ aboot?”

LSA: “Douglas, I’m talking about the animal rights work you are currently doing.”

DMS: “It disnae land!”

LSA: “I’m sorry Douglas, but I don’t understand”

DMS: “The local helicopter that disnae land in the Highland mist.”

LSA: “Are you talking about the one in Paris or the one in Orlando, Florida?”

DMS: “I’m talkin’ aboot the mist.”

LSA: “Missed what?”

DMS: “Yer aff yer heed, yer eejit! I dinnae ken aboot the killin’s in America. And I dinnae ken aboot eatin’ any plants!”

LSA: “So Douglas, what actually is it you are campaigning about?”

DMS: “I’m talkin’ aboot all the chookie jokes. These neverendin’ ‘why did the chickin’ cross the rood?’ jokes. We have aw tauld them. And we have awe larghed at them. An’ some of us stan’ by and dae nothin’. I ask yer, yer wee laddie, hoo mony of us spare a thought for the poor chookies that are the target of these jokes? Cos of awe these jokes, the poor chookies have a bad life.”

Douglas then went on to tell me about his founding of the ‘Killin Freedom for Chookies’ activism group. And how he aims to use his movement to campaign against ‘why did the chicken cross the road?’ jokes.

LSA: “So, Douglas, where did you get the idea from, for the name of your group?”

DMS: “I was thinkin’ of callin’ the groop, The Village People, but yoong Hamish McDougal told me the name was awreddy taken. Hamish is an odd wee lad, he wears a skert insteed of a kilt. An’ he is always talkin’ aboot black chookies. His da’ says he is always lookin’ on his computer for black coocks.”

Douglas then talked at great length about his activism. Every day, Douglas tirelessly protests, outside Killin’s village joke shop, shouting “KFC, KFC”. Douglas told me, it is the support from the local community that keeps him going. According to Douglas, passersby regularly throw tartan paint at him as a sign of support and solidarity. Douglas is a genius. Even more genius than the individual that put the ‘b’ in subtle.

Spending time with Douglas has challenged my perceptions of social injustice and those that fight for it on the behalf of others. Douglas is clearly not a village idiot, as some would have us think. Douglas is, in fact, a social futurist.

I now find myself sharing the core beliefs of Douglas’ battle against such discriminatory jokes against chickens. Like Douglas, I now dream of a world where chickens can cross the road, without having their motives questioned.

Douglas’ parting words will always stay with me. I think he said something like, ‘don’t run with bagpipes. You could put your aye out or even worse, get kilt.’

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Because it got sick of constantly having its motivations questioned.

When Lee Serpa Azevado is not writing as the Chief Correspondent for the British Bonkers Broadcasting Corporation (BBBC), he can be found writing satire.

Originally posted in Medium publication MuddyUm, 3rd December 2019.

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