I have a friend whose name is Larry. He's the smartest guy I know, so filled with knowledge that it seems like he's just a vessel through which wisdom and intelligence course through like a river of universal explanations. But Larry's wisdom isn't a given, because it only surfaces when he's drunk. I have an incredible thirst for knowledge, which is why I carry a hip flask wherever I go, so that if I accidentally run into Larry someplace, he can take a swig and be my Mentor, my Socrates once again. Let me give you an example of Larry's power. This is a transcript of a conversation we had one night at the pub. As Larry got more and more inebriated, he got more and more in touch with cosmos, receiving a majestic inheritance of knowledge that us lesser mortals can only crave for.

ME: So, Larry, what do you think about it all? LARRY: All what? ME: You know, everything. What's the answer to it all? LARRY: Hey don't you go Douglas Adams on me, I'm still on my first. ME: Oh, ok.

We chatted idly about women and Pet Shop Boys, until after Larry's third pint I felt it was time to probe the first subject again.

ME: So, Larry, what do you think about it all? LARRY: Methinks... I think... Yeknow... Chickens. ME: Umm. Chickens? LARRY: Chickens. ME: Like the little white birds that make good curry? LARRY: Chickens. ME: (silent).

I knew that this was big. Larry didn't want to elaborate his poultry-centric view of the universe, so I dropped the subject and waited until we had downed two vodka shots and a jar of smoked almonds.

ME: Chickens, huh? LARRY: Thazzright, cheechee-chickens. ME: But how's chickens the answer to everysi... evertim... thingamall? LARRY: They's, they's, they's good food. Good food is top impertance. ME: So's, like, the meaning of everything is getting well fed? LARRY: No, you twat. No. No. Chickens is good food, nutrich... nutmeg... nutritious. But the secret isn't in gastrononomonopoly. ME: So what's the secret then? LARRY: (silent).

We were both pretty drunk by now, so I decided not to drink another drop in order to remember the grand answer the following day. But I made sure that the drinks kept a-coming to Larry. By now I was really enchanted by Larry's oneness with the universe and the insight on chickens he and William Carlos Williams alone shared. Larry was almost out of the game, so I had to be quick and precise with my inquiries.

ME: Tell me, Larry, why chickens? LARRY: I'll tell ya, I will, I'll tell ya, I will. ME: (polite pause). LARRY: Chickens iz, chick chick chickenz. And beavers. Yah, beavers. ME: Beavers?! LARRY: Haw haw haw, beavers! And dams. Damn dams. ME: So, chickens and beavers? LARRY: (fast asleep).

So I missed my golden opportunity. I felt betrayed. I'd have change my opinion about Larry's so-called wisdom, if he hadn't, very uncharacteristically, e-mailed me the next afternoon. Here's the e-mail:

Dear Simo, I'm sorry for bailing out on you yesterday, but I guess alcohol got the best of me again. I feel indebted to you for cleaning the vomit out of my mouth and calling a taxi. Too bad I couldn't remember where I lived, so me and the taxi driver just roamed around town looking for "a house with windows", which was the best I could remember about my building.

Anyway, remember chickens? I'll tell you about chickens. And beavers. And dams.

A little brown beaver was building a dam for his family. He had been going about it for months, carefully choosing the right sized twigs and branches and placing them in an orderly fashion in the middle of the stream. He was tired, but he had to finish the dam before high tide hit the river. The she-beaver approached him during one of his coffee breaks (of course, beavers don't drink coffee, but the applications of a coffee break are universal in the animal kingdom).

SHE-BEAVER: Honey, why aren't you working? The water level is already rising. HE-BEAVER: Why do I even bother? I mean, I just want to know the reason to it all, I'm sure building a dam won't mean a damn in the river of time. SHE-BEAVER: The reason to it all? What's with the metaphysics, love? HE-BEAVER: What is the purpose of this all? I mean, I build this dam, then next spring we move out, find a new river, and I start to build another dam. It's not very fulfilling. SHE-BEAVER: But darling, we're not chickens. They alone have the answer. HE-BEAVER: Do you know the answer? SHE-BEAVER: Well, I can make an educated guess. HE-BEAVER: Do share, my beautiful furball. SHE-BEAVER: When you kill a chicken, either by cutting off its head or just breaking its neck, it keeps on running. HE-BEAVER: Ah, hence the saying: "Run around like a headless chicken." SHE-BEAVER: Exactly. A chicken's brain only regulates its body functions, leaving its limbic system intact thus giving the illusion of life. As soon as you become one with the knowledge of a chicken's post-mortem afflictions, you too, my dear, will be one with everything. HE-BEAVER: So you're saying our lot in life is to work like we're already dead? SHE-BEAVER: Exactly. Now get to it, or I'll have to try the chicken treatment on you. HE-BEAVER: Yes, honey.

And that, my dear friend, is the answer to it all. Chickens. They don't need money. They don't need education. They don't need to ponder the morality of their choices. They don't need a public transportation system. They can live a full life, knowing that once they die, they'll still be a contribution to the machinations of the world.

We should all learn from chickens. Why spend our time worrying about the doing-that, howareyou and all other intricacies of society? Once we adopt the chicken mode of thought, we will truly be one with the universe.

Yours sincerely, Larry.

PS. Could you sport me 800 euros to soothe an enraged taxi driver who's got my keys as collateral for the twelve hour unpaid odyssey last night?

Chickens. The simplistic beauty of it all struck me like a ten ton sledgehammer would strike a quail egg, if it ever had the chance.

Chickens. [tags]chickens, meaning, life, drunk[/tags]

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