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photo of chicken surviving wihtout a head Chicken dinner was the plan on Pa Olsen's Colorado farm in 1945 and he sent his mother-in-law out to do the dirty work. She grabbed young chicken Mike, got him by the neck, the ax swung and she botched the job. Like unlucky chickens everywhere, Mike went careering madly around the farm without his head. If a chicken with its head cut off can be lucky - Mike was. He somehow survived the decapitation with his brain stem in tact. Accused of being a hoaxer, Pa Olsen had his chicken oddity verified at the University of Utah and by the Guinness Book of World Records. Olsen then went on a whirl wind, barnstorming tour of the United States (joined by a two headed sheep and a few other barnyard freaks). Mike was fed through a syringe and by all accounts roosted and strutted like any other full headed chicken. Chicken Mike ran around the country for eighteen months before luck caught up with him and he choked on a corn kernel and passed into lore.

John McCain is just wrapping up the eighteenth month of his Presidential Campaign. Eighteen months of surprising new directions and unpredictable behavior have him challenging Chicken Mike's record for running around the country without a head. All of the foxes and the hens and the sheep and wolves in Washington quieted down this week as it looked like the Wall Street barnyard was about to go up in flames. These situations call for a line of bipartisan water buckets and calm assurance - not a headless chicken looking to bask in the glow.

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