The other day my superior called me into his office. I work as a clerk in a biotechnology company. There were rumours that the company was planning a downsizing, so I went with some reluctance. To my amazement, as soon as I stepped in, he asked me if my wife and I liked chicken. I had to make him repeat the question. “Everybody likes chicken” I said at last. Then he handed me a box and said he wanted us to taste THAT chicken. “There is no danger to health”, he added, “we’ve only added a gene very common among species that inhabit the deep sea.” As I was wondering what kind of gene that was, I opened the box and was blinded by a flash. Inside was a luminescent chicken. “It’s an experiment”, he explained, “It ought to make chicken meat more attractive to consumers.” Above all, I had to keep it a secret: “Only your wife should be aware.” In the evening, on my way home, I was worried. My wife is very picky about food: no artificial additives and nothing of the sort. So, as I drove, I was racking my brains trying to figure out how to convince her that the luminescent chicken was a free range chicken raised on a farm in the traditional way. You shouldn’t keep the brain so busy while driving, especially on winding secondary roads. Predictably, I had an accident. I was unscathed but the car had turned into a pile of iron. Its lights were out, and it was already dark. But there was a glow near me: it was the chicken! Apparently, it got tossed through the window. I impaled it on a long branch to serve as a lantern and scrambled up the slope to the road. My home was only a couple of miles away. I started walking while the chicken lit my way. Suddenly, my heart leapt: someone was shooting at me! There was no way to turn off the lantern; so, copying a smart quarterback, I grabbed the chicken and threw it away. The shots followed it and hit it squarely in flight. Half an hour later, the area was cordoned off and illuminated by powerful spotlights. In the middle of the road a black helicopter full of soldiers had landed. Hidden in the undergrowth, I didn’t dare to move so as not to expose my presence. A team of forensics began to collect the remains of the chicken scattered on the road and carefully deposit them in what looked like refrigerators. When it was all over, I returned home, and my wife told me that all the TV channels were abuzz with the rumour that a UFO had crashed nearby and that an alien had been shot and the remains of his body retrieved. The next day, authorities issued a statement denying any extra-terrestrial encounter, and they forwarded to the press photos of my crashed car as well as the remains of the chicken. However, no one believed the official version according to which a luminescent chicken had crashed its car. Certainly, it was not believable.

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