the age old chicken question

The Age Old Chicken Question

As of today, I have been gone for exactly seven months. This date is special for me because 1.) it´s the first day in seven months that I used a telephone, and 2.) it´s the first day in my life that my health and life are completely uninsured (my travelers insurance lapsed today!). Thus, reason number one was in last-minute-and-ditch-attempt to rescue reason number two. Claro? But it didn´t work. Those silly insurance agencies insist on having “working hours” which apparently don´t coordinate with my everyday-is-Saturday schedule *scoffs*. So we will go uninsured for the weekend, a risk that holds a rather lofty position on the danger-and-death barometer of life given my most recent adventures with chicken busses and Bruces (see update entitled “Where´s My Double?).

Actually, in the last week I got two questions from readers regarding the “chicken busses”… which I will re-address now. (Since I can´t be bothered to to rummage through the archive dump, I shouldn´t expect you to).

Reader Question 1: What is a chicken bus?

Chicken Bus: As defined by the completely unofficial and unrelated to Solgersauras:

A “chicken bus” is essentially an old-American-Yellow-BlueBird-School-Bus converted into a Rainbow-Repainted-God-Proclaiming-Dice-Swaying-Mean-Machine mode of Central American transportation. To get from point A, to any point E, L, S or E in Central America, a traveler WILL, inevitably, adventure in one of these buses, (which is a sweet skip down grade-school-memory-lane when you see “MC Hammer Rules” or “Johhny and Susie 4 Ever, San Jose, California – 1984” carved on the back of the seat in front of you). The “chicken” part? Now I WAS about to launch into the basic common traveler-route-rumor about the orgin which claims roots in the idea that when riding in one of the these busses, there is a 90% chance that you will have a chicken or a few children on your lap for the duration of the trip. (Think “Opening Scene” of the original Indian Jones Movie.) OR that they pack in passengers like they would a truck full of chickens (7 persons per 4 seat row). BUT, that was before I dropped the word “chicken” into www.dictionary.com and got the following: (and this IS official…yet still unrelated to dinosaurs)

“Any of various foolhardy competitions in which the participants persist in a dangerous course of action until one loses nerve and stops.

Again, please refer to last weeks entry entitled, “Where´s my Double?”. Judge for yourself if it qualifies for the above definition.

Leading me to the SECOND reader question:

Reader Question 2: I saw a picture of an overturned chicken bus in Guatemala in the news. Was that related to terrorists attacks?

I, too, saw a picture of an overturned chicken bus on the front page of the paper today. And there was a picture of one that went over a cliff in yesterday´s paper. And I saw a picture of a chicken bus in a river the day before. And tomorrow, there is a 99% chance that, in the paper, there will be a picture of another chicken bus in some other precarious, life-threatening, doom-inspiring and goose-bumping scenario. Fact of Guatemalan life: At least one chicken bus per day will LOSE in their chicken game of “various foolhardy competition in which the participant persists in a dangerous course of action until one loses nerve and stops.” And the next day, the outcome will be recorded in bloody detail (because unlike the US, Central American press has NO shame in printing photographs of decapitated, dismembered or otherwise destroyed human bodies in full color) and *oh so ironically* distributed ON the busses, during morning commute, to passengers.

*contemplates for a minute and makes note to self*

FIRST thing Monday morning: Renew travel insurance.

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