24 May 2012
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Two One-Egg Stories

I was walking with eggs.  Not just a portion of eggs, scrambled, fried, or otherwise prepared for consumption, but, rather, eggs in a container, as purchased in a store.  My mission was to fetch them home so that breakfast might be prepared, and in order to do that, I had to review my atrophied shopping skills.  My review turned out to be incomplete.  As I was walking, I remembered too late that one must examine each individual egg for signs of damage before purchase.  This I neglected to do, and so I spent a portion of my walk with concern that one (or more) of the eggs might be broken, in which case I would have to return it for replacement.  At the end of this blogitem I shall report on the percentage of eggs that arrived intact.

What's In The Bag?

While I was thinking about the possibility that I might be carrying a broken egg, I mentally drifted into contemplating single eggs of the past.  A story surfaced in my memory.  It occurred in the early 1970s, and involved one egg, a paper bag, a guy named Charles, and me.  Charles, a co-worker at the time, came into my work area, placed a small paper bag on my bench, and said "I bet you can't guess what's in the bag."  I looked at the bag and said with only a moment's hesitation "An egg."  Charles turned as white as a white eggshell with no laser markings.  As you know, I'm no good at suspense, so you probably figured it out now just as quickly as I guessed it then.  But you had much better clues. 

How did I know that it was an egg?  I didn't.  Why did I guess that it was an egg?  I have no idea why I did that, either.  In fact, after my fortuitous guess, I scrutinized the bag for some hint of its contents.  Other than the size and shape of the small bag, sufficient to exclude an airplane hangar, a clothes hanger, or most power tools, there was nothing eggy about it.  To be sure, an egg was a reasonable guess, but by no means an exclusive one.  Charles might, for example, have collected bibelots, and that in the bag was a Delft Blue shoe containing a small stroopwafel.  Why, then, the egg guess?  To this day I am puzzled about that encounter, and would be spooked, too, if I were of a spookable nature.

You Sell the Brownie Mix, So Why Not An Egg?

My other unieggular story has to do with Duncan Heinz Double Fudge Brownie Mix.  The story has no spooky component, and very little suspense.  For reasons lost in the haze of the 1960s, it became my intention to prepare some brownies.  This was long before the word "decadent" was added to the package, but, if you care to look at the directions, you will see that they still call for an egg.  I have read that the reason the egg isn't powdered and added to the mix at the factory is psychological. Consumers like to feel that they have contributed somehow to the preparation of the recipe.  Perhaps my psychological makeup isn't quite standard: I didn't want to contribute, I wanted brownies.  I went to the egg section of the food store, abstracted an egg from its container, and attempted to purchase it along with the brownie mix.

Have you ever attempted to purchase a single egg?  Did you try to do so in the days before store clerks were "empowered"?  If you have, skip to the end, which is getting mercifully close.  If not, know that this purchase involved the clerk, store manager, a minute or so of debate, some calculation (without benefit of calculators), and quite a bit of askance glancing with a hint of glower.  I was the recipient of those glances.  Then as now I ignored such with a sunny disposish.  I was eventually permitted my purchase, and departed for home where I could attempt to reify my brownies with a stove and my limited selection of utensils.

The End of A Different Eggra

Unlike my previous story about the chocolate eggs (which continue to be unavailable), the above are stories about real eggs, and relating them has exhausted my repertoire.  Tomorrow (or soon):  Rubber bands and the destruction of the internet.

Now, as promised, my report: 

ALL100%of the eggs arrived home without damage.  Since eggs are not known to spontaneously self-repair, I conclude that, unburnished though my shopping skills are, my failure to scrutinize each individual egg caused no harm beyond the promulgation of this blogitem.

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