Winning and Losing at Chicken

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

  • 1 Corinthians 1:26-27

For those who are worried, the photo is a stock photograph from  I have not hit anything head on, at least as of the time of writing this.

Either a suicidal maniac or a fool invented the game of chicken.  I wrote about this a few years ago, but it has bothered me lately.

The playing of a game of chicken is that two motor vehicle drivers face off in jousting fashion.  They drive down the middle of the road to see which driver will lose his nerve and veer toward the ditch to avoid the head-on collision.

That is the game.  The person that has a will to live, in this case, is the loser, and the person too stupid to realize that the game is a losing proposition is the winner.

But if neither lose their nerve, they both lose their lives.  I guess by the rules, they are both winners, but the prize better be a good one – one that you can use in the next life.

But if you veer away from danger, others call you the “chicken.”  You lost the game, but you won a very valuable life lesson.  Life is not worth throwing away to win a stupid game invented my someone who was not mentally stable.

And if you win at the game, you may not live much longer.  Your ego will force you into playing the game again, and the other person may be crazier than you.  And the old rule of evolution is hereby debunked.  There is an annual award called the Darwin Award where someone dies by being stupid and thus proves Darwin right when he said only the strongest survive.  You can find lists of winners and runners-up out there.  There is no limit to human stupidity, and even though death was involved, you keep reading, wondering why.  These Chicken players have been around for decades; they have survived.  They have obviously reproduced.

The game is not exclusive to Pennsylvania in the USA.  I have seen it around the country and in a few other countries as well.

Why do I bring this up?  The traffic down the backroads between our home and dialysis is getting heavier.  Maybe the COVID scare has lessened.  But the “chicken” scare has replaced it.

I go into the ditch or at least on the edge of the paved road every day.  I am a natural loser, and as such, I have lived a much longer life than these so-called “Chicken winners.”  They may soon become chicken dinners, roasted in a fiery crash.

But are they playing the game at all?

I think maybe 80% of them are so self-absorbed that they do not realize there are other drivers on the road.  Even in the predawn moments, they somehow miss the bright lights headed straight for them.

Maybe 10-20% of them are so stupid that they have no idea where their car is on the road.

If that was 20%, then there is no one left to simply be playing “Chicken” but a friend of my wife told her that the most favorite game in the state of Pennsylvania was chicken.  There has to be a few if that is the most favorite game.

But sadly, I think of those who were just confused, like an old lady in Tennessee who did not know that she had entered a divided highway, going the wrong way.  I stopped short and waved for her to turn left at a crossover in front of me.  She decided to go into a business’s parking lot to her left, and luckily those drivers stopped for her also.  I have no idea if she got home.

I also remember the driver who never looked up.  I had moved as far as I could, next to a tree, and he was probably steering based on the modernized collision alarms on his mother’s or father’s SUV.  I wonder if he still drives that way … if he is still around.

It is such an easy thing to wait until you get to work to answer the text, do some computer work, or even eat that sausage biscuit.  And yes, one of my old bosses, near the top of the bad boss list, would arrive at work with his laptop flipped open, running some calculations that he started after he had put the car into drive, look at the road for five seconds, and then five seconds of adjusting the calculations while the car was still moving, and then jerk the steering wheel to avoid the accident…  But hey, he got a bonus and I did not, so who was the stupid one?

We have souls that will live forever, but our present bodies have an expiration date.  And I do not want to waste my expiration date because you were not looking where you were going.

Not much of a theological argument today, but it felt good getting that off my chest.

My second highest irritation while driving is when you are at an all-way-stop (3, 4, or more stop signs), everyone is hesitating for a few seconds, then they all go at the same time, and then they have to slam on the brakes and wait for someone else to go.  Why?  The rules of traffic flow only count when a policeman is nearby.  As soon as you assume you have the right of way, someone else is more aggressive and in a bigger hurry.

Whatever happened to loving one another?

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


Add yours →

  1. Linda Lee Adams/Lady Quixote January 2, 2023 — 6:56 pm

    In the 1990s, I lived in Pennsylvania on the corner of a busy street that was about a mile away from I-30. A large grocery store was on the opposite side of the street, directly across from the townhouse where I lived. In a typical month, there were at least two accidents in that intersection. From inside the house, these accidents sound like a small bomb exploding. I would grab my first aide kit and the cordless phone, both of which I kept near the front door, and run outside. I was usually the first person on the scene.

    After witnessing so many accidents, I now really hate to drive. I can only imagine how much worse the traffic there has become, especially now that everyone has a cell phone to alleviate the boredom of driving.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A long time ago, I went on a trip with a friend who read while she drove down the highway! She was peeved when I told her she had to stop. I’ll never forget it.

    Liked by 1 person

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