A tour de force of writing styles

You don’t need to read an author’s body of work to understand their writing style.

I can give you a page – or a paragraph – from a famous writer and you can probably guess who it is. Well, if they’re famous enough.

A little experiment: How would some famous authors and celebrities answer the question, “Why did the chicken cross the road?

ERNEST HEMINGWAY:
To die. In the rain. Alone.

THE BIBLE:
And God came down from the heavens and He said unto the chicken, “Thou shalt cross the road.” And the chicken crossed the road and there was much rejoicing.

ARISTOTLE:
It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK:
To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

FREUD:
The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON:
The chicken did not cross the road. It transcended it.

BUDDHA:
Asking this question denies your own chicken nature.

MACHIAVELLI:
The point is that the chicken crossed the road. Who cares why? The end of crossing the road justifies whatever motive there was.

KARL MARX:
It was a historical inevitability.

BILL O’ REILLY:
To steal a job from a decent, hardworking American.

DR. SEUSS:
Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes! The chicken crossed the road. Why it crossed, I’ve not been told.

GRANDPA:
In my day, we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken had crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

New bonus answers:

BILL GATES:
I have just released the new Chicken 7, which will not only cross roads, but will also lay eggs, file your important documents, balance your checkbook and compete with Apple’s Smooth Eagle.

JERRY SEINFELD:
Why does anyone cross a road? I mean, why doesn’t anyone ever think to ask, “What the heck was this chicken doing walking around all over the place, anyway? What is wrong with that chicken?

PARIS HILTON:
Huh?

21 thoughts on “A tour de force of writing styles

  1. Trump
    It was a tremendous chicken. The most tremendous chicken ever. It’s name was Pussy Chicken and every chance I got, I would grab it.

  2. There’s something so different about chickens that we’ll probably never know the answer. It could be as simple as the chicken home-world being invaded by aliens who devour them and one chicken just had enough.

  3. Acquisitions editor: “While your story is well written, road-crossing chickens do not fit our editorial vision. We wish you the best of luck with your writing and egg-gathering careers.”

  4. What a blast from the past! I haven’t seen these since the 90s. Here are some of mine, also from that era:
    Hillary Clinton: What did you expect her to do? Stay at home baking cookies?
    Ross Perot: Because all the jobs moved to Mexico. Now that’s just sad.
    Frank Costanza (from ‘Seinfeld’): If the rooster has sex with the hen, then who has sex with the chicken?
    Bill Clinton: I did not have sexual relations with that chicken.

  5. Jung:
    In the dream, you are the chicken, the road, and the mailbox awaiting a letter from you in the person of your mother. As the chicken, you have volition so must act. As the road, you have no volition so must endure being crossed. As the mailbox, you are conflicted about what to write.

  6. Nora Roberts:
    The chicken didn’t give a damn about the road separating them any longer. He strode across it and yanked her into his feathery arms. Without her, he was flightless and lost, but when she kissed him, his heart threatened to burst from his chest and soar above the clouds.

    Shakespeare:
    First Chicken: Who bid you to stand with us?
    Third Chicken: MacBird
    Second Chicken: He needs not our mistrust, since he delivers our offices and what we have to do, to the direction just.
    First Chicken: Then cross the road and stand with us.

    Hee, hee. 🙂

  7. I love this post. So funny and clever, as are other people’s suggestions above. Here are my contributions.

    Oliver Jeffers:
    The chicken sat. He wanted to cross the road. But he was alone. And he was afraid.

    Leonard Cohen
    Oh, the chicken laid itself on the road, for all to see. He wished he was better than you, and better than me.

    John Irving
    If it hadn’t have been for the man who bought the chicken and freed it, it never would have crossed the road, and I would still have a mother.

  8. Margaret Mitchell,

    “I’ll think of it all tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow I will think of some way to get the chicken back. For after all, tomorrow is another day.”

    Arthur Conan Doyle,

    “Elementary Watson. The worms were longer on the other side.”

  9. JRR Tolkien:
    Frodo watched the chicken, tears glistening in his eyes as he said to Sam, “That chicken carries my burden on its thin legs. Yet it is I alone who must wander through the burning wastes of Mordor.”
    “No, Mr. Frodo,” said Samwise. “If I can’t carry you, at least I can carry the chicken.” With a mighty heave, he hoisted the fowl into his last cooking pot.

    Keanu Reeves:
    Dude. A chicken. Woah.

    Basho:
    Pecking for beetles
    A cluck on the busy road.
    Can it really fly?

  10. Jack Kerouac:
    Sunlight drifted through ’56 Chevy’s windows onto the hard lines of Dean Moriarty’s wise face What the hell A chicken he screamed and drove the car into mass of feathers blood feces mad clucking as Old Bull Lee smiled a junkie smile and I passed into the landscape of murdered poultry that defines the Nation of Meat…
    (and so on for about 20,000 words).

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