Wake Up and Smell the Eggs, Part 2

By Craig J. Clark

John had never wondered what kind of person had cause to shop for groceries in the middle of the night, but now that he was doing so himself he had time to observe his fellow shoppers as he encountered them in the aisles. He passed one woman three times, but refrained from saying anything cheesy like “So we meet again” or “We’ve got to stop running into each other like this.” In his experience, it never paid to socialize with anybody missing that many teeth.

One by one he ticked off the items on his roommate’s list, studiously avoiding any impulse purchases. As he passed the bread aisle, though, he picked up a loaf of white bread. While he was getting eggs, he might as well make French toast. He couldn’t remember whether he had any cinnamon, though, which necessitated doubling back to the baking aisle. It was there that he succumbed to the temptation to get a box of brownie mix. After all, he was going to have the eggs. Might as well get multiple uses out of them.

Returning home, John put his groceries away and took a moment to decide how many eggs he wanted to waste. No doubt about it, what he was doing was going to be a waste of some perfectly good eggs. Four seemed like a good, even number. Placing them in a salad bowl, he carried them up to his bedroom.

Leaving the light off so as not to draw attention, John kneeled on his bed and positioned himself in such a way that he could see where he was dropping the eggs. Taking one in his hand, he extended his arm out the window as far as it could go and let the egg drop. It landed on the roof of the car with a satisfying splat, but when he surveyed the damage, John was chagrined to find that it looked unmistakably like it had been dropped from above, with the yolk radiating out from the central impact zone. Maybe if he aimed at one of the windshields it would look less incriminating.

Taking care to aim properly, he lobbed the second egg at the front windscreen. It landed right where the driver would have to look out, which was perfect, but again it looked like somebody had dropped it from a great height. The last thing John wanted was an irate neighbor knocking on his door, cracked eggshells in his hand, demanding an explanation. He had to make it look like the work of kids, random hooligans. Would he have to egg some other cars, then? He didn’t want to, but it might be necessary. He looked at the two eggs in the bowl beside him and thought of the eight still in the fridge. He also thought about the French toast and brownies. He didn’t want to have to put them off.

Creeping downstairs, John went into the kitchen, again leaving the light off. He opened the window, which was right over the car. From here the evidence didn’t look quite so damning, but he didn’t want to take any chances. If he leaned out far enough, maybe he could get a good enough angle that it looked like the eggs had been thrown by someone at ground level.

Leaning back in so he could grab the eggs and be done with it, John suddenly needed to use the toilet. He probably could have held it, but bodily functions came before prankerism. As he headed for the bathroom he briefly considered urinating on the car, but decided that would be a step over the line. It’s always good to know one’s limits.

* * *

“You really need to learn your limits,” said the driver.

“Hey, I know my limits because I cross them all the time,” said the passenger.

“That sounds to me like the definition of not knowing one’s limits.”

“Sounds like we need to agree to disagree.”

“If you say so. Is this your apartment complex coming up on the right?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Thank God.”

The car pulled into the complex and drove around back. As it came to a stop, the passenger turned to the driver.

“You know, if you don’t like how much I drink when we go out, you shouldn’t offer to drive.”

“I offer to drive because I know how much you like to drink.”

“Touché. Well, thanks for the ride, man.”

“No problem. You need me to walk you to your door?”

“I think I can manage, thanks.”

The passenger stepped out of the car and magically became a pedestrian, but no one was around to be awed by his transformation. He waved as the driver left and then took a cautious step in the direction of the apartment entrance. He steadied himself on a car that was parked next to the building and hazily recalled that it was his. What he couldn’t figure out, however, was why it was sticky to the touch.

Before the situation could fully register, he heard the kitchen window above him open and watched, fascinated, while a man leaned out, a pair of eggs clasped in his free hand.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing?” he asked.

Startled, the man involuntarily squeezed both eggs and watched helplessly as they oozed their contents all over the hood of the car. He met the eyes of the man below him, a sheepish look on his face.

“Umm… Making eggs?”


| Leave a comment

your story tickled me greatly.
John is a mischievious little devil.

It's nice to catch a glimpse of the car's owner, even if it's brief. Does his friendship with someone responsible and seemingly level-headed say anything about his own level of responsibility? It must, but at the same time, Mr. Responsible doesn't seem like car man's biggest fan (I guess, more specifically, drunk car man). All of this, of course, makes one wonder: does car man sing?

Oh, and by the way, I believe your recent commitment to a weekly story is paying off. This piece felt ever-so-slightly tighter and more polished than the last few, all of which have been very good. It just seems like the practice is sharpening your already honed skills.

I'm glad you think so, Chris. I won't have a story next week because I'm going to be at SXSW, but I'm planning on keeping this up as long as the stories keep coming.

I like, especially, the bits where his shopping gets side-tracked, as that happens to me often. The sudden need to use the toilet was funny because I've been in that situation -- where I finally settle in to do something, but then move my body in just that right way that makes me have to stop what I was finally about to do (often after much time and planning) and pause to, ah, refresh. The embarrassing charms of human physiology, I guess.

The best part about this tightly-woven tale, is the miraculous transformation of the one dude from passenger to pedestrian. A nice touch.

Leave a comment

Entry Archives

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Craig J. Clark published on March 6, 2008 12:34 PM.

IAD2: Prints for Sale was the previous entry in this blog.

Harvest Time is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.