I just had one of those times. Luckily it didn’t involve the dreaded call: “Hey, Mom, I kinda sorta had a traffic accident in your new car . . .”
And luckily, it wasn’t: “Hey, Mom, close your eyes and hold out your hand. Promise not to scream, okay?” (Believe me, I was dumb enough to fall for that one. Once. And to plead my cause, I was sleep deprived. But I can still feel the tiny clinging legs of the insect that resided there for .2 seconds — before becoming a projectile that didn’t normally fly. And my shriek is still echoing off the Himalayas somewhere.)
But now, here I stand, stunned.
I’d risen early and in a good mood. I planned to make scrambled eggs and bacon. So dancing off to the kitchen, I pull out a wire whisk, a glass bowl, then twirl to the fridge and grab a carton of eggs. Still humming, I lay it on the counter and open it.
The humming stops. The jaw drops.
A bunch of eggs are staring back at me. Some terrified. Some deceased with x’s for eyes. A few happily smiling. All of it horrible.
Disclaimer: Others in the family—who shall remain nameless—like to cook, and don’t like to take two steps over, open the cupboard door and throw the egg shells away. Hence, the broken shells often return to the carton—until the next time I open it and mutter under my breath and take two steps over and dispose of them. Yeah, I know. Wears me out.
Okay. So the eggs with personalities are funny. Takes me a minute. I have a son who is a religious Calvin and Hobbes fan. Actually, a lot of us are, but he’s taken it to a cult level. We have the entire series, hardbound. The pages are wearing out from all his late nights under the covers with a flashlight, giggling like crazy.
(If you haven’t read Calvin and Hobbes, stop right now, look it up on the internet and check out the snowmen. Now do you know what I’m talking about???) Well, Bill Waterson’s evil sense of humor has infiltrated our infrastructure to the point that it’s corrupting my eggs.
And, other than the dead ones, they’re all staring at me.
So I do the intelligent thing. I close the top, put them back in the fridge and grab the other carton.
He got that one, too! But now, I’m really laughing.
Great. What do I do?
So, here’s a study for all you psychology majors. Which one of the dang things do I sacrifice first? Breakfast must be served.
I know. I’ll make pancakes instead. Takes fewer eggs. My fingers hover over each egg. This is silly, I know, but how to I kill one that’s trembling in terror? Or smiling trustingly?
Okay, I can do this. I’ll take the monster – the Dracula one in the left front corner. The mad Cyclops is next. Dang, do I really need to triple this batch? I better. I have several growing, starving teenagers.
So I close my eyes and grab, hoping it’s not the blue one in the back row with the ‘deer in the headlights’ expression.
Oops. I grabbed the one screaming with his eyes closed.
Can’t do it. I drop him back in and take the mad guy from the second row.
Does my son know the trauma I’m going through? No, he’s snuggled in his bed, swimming-pool deep in the ‘teenage sleep of the dead.’
And I’m here, agonizing in the kitchen. It’s a great relief when I close the lid, and return it to the fridge with the other carton.
But you know what? I learned a valuable lesson.
If you want to survive, don’t be mad.
Don’t grow fangs.
Smile and be happy. Even if you know you’ll be sacrificed, grin like an idiot. Chances are you’ll live another day.
So I go wake the kids for breakfast. When my son finds out what happened, he gives a maniacal cackle worthy of Calvin himself.
I give my own evil smile. Ha!
Laugh away, marker-boy. Tomorrow, you’ll make the eggs!