Self-editing is overrated. Or is it?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

About that chicken...

Boy, the response about the Subservient Chicken has been interesting, what with people thinking that it might possibly be a real person who is just sitting around waiting for you to tell him what to do.

Fortunately, the world's most handy website (most well-known for helping to get your Aunt Nellie to stop bugging you about how NPR is closing tomorrow, or how Bill Gates will send you a million dollars if you send email - HE WILL NOT, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE - PLEASE, PEOPLE, JUST STOP SENDING THIS EMAIL! LET IT GO!!)

Quoting Snopes:

Input a suggestion into the box, and then wait to see if the chicken (or person in a chicken suit) will cooperate. Start off by typing "riverdance" or "throw pillows" and then let your imagination run wild. There are a lot of things the chicken won't do (and that is probably a good thing), but is a fun distraction.
The garter-clad subservient chicken can be prompted to do one's bidding in response to a variety of keywords. Some of the more amusing entries to try are:

* die
* strip
* dance
* lay egg
* sing
* eat
* elephant
* read
* fly
* clean room
* Michael Jackson dance moves such as "moonwalk"
* Riverdance
* The "elephant"
* Lay egg
* Walk Like an Egyptian
* Yoga
* Rage
* Spank
* Taco Bell
* Fight
* Read a book from his bookcase.

When told to perform sex acts, take off his mask, or do anything the Subservient Chicken considers offensive, the chicken walks up to the camera and shakes a scolding chicken finger in disappointment. When told to eat food from rival fast food chain McDonald's, he approaches the camera and places his finger down his throat, while when told to eat Burger King he has a more positive response. The chicken responds to the command "smoke crack" by smoking, but when told to "smoke a bong" he waggles his finger scoldingly.

Actually, the chicken has a repertoire of about 300 different actions, each triggered by the entry of one of the combinations of nouns, verbs and other parts of speech programmed into its "vocabulary." A complete list of trigger words and the clips they invoke has already been posted to the Internet, although it appears the clips can no longer be viewed directly from external web links. (That is, if you want to see the chicken jump, you have to go to and enter the command "jump" — if you try to go directly to the URL for the "jump" clip, all you'll see is the chicken waving an accusatory finger at you.) A Subservient Chicken Request List has also been established to chronicle the actions the chicken will or will not perform.

So there you have it. No chickens were harmed in the making of this website. People, however, were irreparably damaged.


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