... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

581: Counting Chickens and Eggs

You've got chickens. Six of them to be precise. They live in a hutch in the back garden and each morning you let them out into a fenced-off area of lawn. They cluck about the place, occasionally making futile flapping leaps up to or down from the fence. Every morning you provide water and food, and in return they buckbuck appreciatively and present a freshly laid egg. But wait. There are only five eggs. The evidence of the second sentence suggests that one should expect to see six eggs. Perhaps it's just an anomaly, a statistical blip. Check back the next day; hutch open, buckbuck, food water, still only five eggs. Again and again, day after day. One chicken is not pulling its weight.

Of course you are going to want to root out the dodger, prune the wastrel and expunge the weakling, but what is the best way to do it. I am going to set forth the best ways of identifying which chicken has laid which egg. This is very important. Unless this is done you may find the other chickens thinking well she's getting away with not laying so why am I bothering to squeeze one out of my cloaca every day just so that big thing can carry it away into its giant hutch. When this happens you'll soon find they all stop a-laying. This is simply to be avoided blah blah blah.

The first method is to obtain some pellets of uranium. This shouldn't be too much trouble so don't quibble about technical difficulties. You'll also need a Geiger counter and some chicken feed. Day one: take aside one of the chickens and feed her, separately from the others, with a mixture of chicken feed and uranium pellets. Test, with the Geiger counter, the eggs that are laid the next day. If none of them register as radioactive you have found your lazy chicken. If one is radioactive then the first chicken is off the hook. Repeat the process with the next chicken, and the next... until you have an answer. Don't worry about the radioactivity in the eggs, you can still eat them. Radioactivity is full of health-bringing properties and will lend you a warm attractive glow.

If, for some reason, you find it difficult getting hold of uranium (you're pathetic) then you may want to try this next method. Take six different colours of paint, in tubes, and squeeze each tube into the the cloaca of each chicken. The next day each egg will be brightly coloured in five of the six chromas. This method has the advantage of only taking one day and one night, whereas the previous method could take up to a week. You will be delighted by the brightly coloured eggs which are fun for children and adults alike.

The last method requires six boxes big enough to comfortably house one chicken for a night, but where are you going to get those from. Although it's pie-in-the-sky nonsense I may as well indulge. Stick the chickens in the boxes. Next day each box will contain one chicken and one egg. One box will contain a chicken but no egg. There is your slacker. Eat it. Or give it a telling off. Or give it therapy; ask it to open up about its relationship with father and mother; about its thoughts and worries. Take it to the chicken doctor to have its pipes examined. If he asks why the chicken is glowing and its back end is stuffed up with paint then run, run as fast as you can.

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