Overthinking Rabbits and Chickens

The following is a very short piece I wrote during my senior year of college. It is about my gleeful, over-analytical reaction to a YouTube video. Revisiting the piece, I am at something of a loss to explain myself. My enthusiasm seems a bit forced, but I assure you it was sincere. While I still maintain that the video is hysterical, and probably the finest thing civilization has yet produced, I can’t help but wonder if it is the best idea to take ownership of that opinion.

Oh, well. Here it is (video added below):

Chicken Police

If I am drunk and have YouTube and my mp3 player at my disposal, there are two things I will invariably do: listen to Kate Bush’s “Suspended in Gaffa” and watch a 28-second video called “Chicken Police.” I watch Chicken Police sometimes when I’m sober, too; it is the most exuberantly funny thing ever. There are two rabbits fighting in the middle of a dirt patch. I don’t know what started the dispute. Two chickens come into the frame and break it up. Each chicken keeps an eye on one of the rabbits to make sure they don’t start fighting again. One of the chickens flaps his wings to scold one of the rabbits. The rabbit looks like an adolescent angrily cooling down. I am almost crying I am enjoying myself so much. After exchanging serious glances, the chickens (at first I accidentally wrote “officers”—they are very professional chickens) turn and wobble off together. The rabbits appear to have learned their lesson.

I wonder, sometimes, when I’m going about my day, walking to class or letting my mind wander at work, if these chickens were trained to do that. Do the owners of that dirt patch have an ongoing problem with rabbits fighting and causing a disturbance? Did they set up a little chicken police academy? If so, how did they settle on chickens? Are chickens naturally predisposed to maintaining order? It is hard to feel unhappy while considering these questions.

And why were the rabbits fighting? They look young. They have that hormonal kind of bitter self-awareness and lack of control that angst-filled teenagers have, like they are embarrassed with their own behavior but too fired up to stop it themselves. You can see the hot-faced shame after the chickens had to intervene that you’d see on a kid at the principle’s office after a schoolyard fight, chin sunk into his chest, no eye contact. The rabbits must have been fighting over something that they only in hindsight realized was stupid. A girl rabbit, maybe. Or maybe one of them was “acting all gay.” Maybe it had something to do with lettuce or carrots or something.

I do not know much about rabbits.

I’m thinking about writing another mini essay on the Jerry Lewis goat.

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