Today’s guest post comes to us from Brian Powers and his delightful wife Adele. You may remember Brian from the post “This is your Brain on Egg Puns”, in which he played a major part. Today it seems the egg motif is back, as Brian helps us navigate one of life’s complicated questions: which egg would you rather get hit with?
A few nights ago my wife and I were walking home and we began to discuss the custom of throwing tomatoes at a bad performer. An East Indian friend of ours had just told us that in her country the custom is to throw eggs rather than tomatoes! This got us thinking about whether being hit by an egg would be more or less painful than being hit by a tomato.
A firm, unripe, green tomato would feel like being pegged with a baseball but a rotten tomato would not hurt nearly as bad (although what it lacks in pain infliction it would more than make up for with mess).
With eggs, though, this is not such a simple matter; there are so many different ways to prepare an egg—boiled, scrambled, poached, fried, in omelet form, etc. I began to compare the experiences of being hit by eggs prepared with a variety of methods. Below you will find my analysis followed by a helpful chart. I’ve graded each egg-preparation method with 1-5 stars, 5 stars being the ideal egg with which to be hit. I hope this makes a big difference in your life.
The impact stings when an uncooked egg cracks against you and the albumen and yolk splatter everywhere. As an added bonus, you may become infected with Salmonella (not painful immediately, but in the long run this will be a rather unpleasant experience).
Egg drop soup
Legends tell of unlucky Mongolian soldiers storming Chinese castles only to have cauldrons of boiling egg drop soup dumped upon them from the “murder holes” above. The egg is not really the dangerous part of the egg drop soup; what you really need to watch out for is the scalding soup portion.
There are essentially two types of dinosaur eggs: fossilized and non-fossilized. It just plain sucks to be hit by a fossilized dinosaur egg (since it’s basically a rock). Non-fossilized dinosaur eggs, however, don’t hurt nearly as much because (a) they are not fossilized and (b) they don’t exist. If, hypothetically, one did exist, you would need to watch out for the baby dinosaur inside—if it hatches at the moment of impact it could mess you up good!
You generally shouldn’t worry about having Fabergé eggs thrown at you—they are very expensive—but if you find yourself in one of those rare situations, watch out! These are very heavy and usually have sharp metal ornamentation. On the upside, if you are able to catch one you can sell it on eBay for a pretty penny.
Besides the obvious mess involved, you’d better hope you are being hit by just the nog—not a GLASS of eggnog! On the other hand, some eggnog is spiked, so that might cushion the blow (assuming you want to and/or are able to imbibe any).
The shell is absent. The albumen is solid-yet-soft. But watch out for the yolk! It’s still runny and you can still be infected by Salmonella. Also, the cooking process produces an aerodynamic egg that can be thrown with precision—so beware! This one is literally a wolf in egg’s clothing!
You might think that being pelted by a fried egg would be a pleasant experience, but there are a few factors to keep in mind. First of all, the egg will be oily so you risk staining your clothes. Secondly, because of the shape of the fried egg, there is a good chance it will be thrown like a shuriken: with the crispy edges acting as a spinning razor blade of death. Finally, you must beware the bomb of hot gooey yolk within, which will not only cause a big mess but could burn you! The sunny-side-up egg is not to be trifled with!
While deep frying will thoroughly cook an egg (and keep the mess to a minimum), you must bear in mind that it will be quite oily and, if it comes straight out of the deep fryer, you can sustain severe burns. A final warning: because this is a Scottish delicacy, there is a good chance the egg-thrower is a Scottish soccer hooligan—or worse, a bagpipe player.
Individually, deviled eggs are no worse than unshelled boiled eggs. The danger, however, lies in their numbers; we all know that deviled eggs travel in trays! If you are hit by one, you can be sure there are more to come. The exposed yolk is another danger—be careful it doesn’t accidentally get into your mouth; it will raise your cholesterol level and cause hardened arteries.
A variation on the boiled egg. Just as messy, just as painful—but slightly more festive.
The solid albumen and yolk pack quite a wallop but, on the bright side, you won’t have to worry about the mess or the Salmonella—and there’s always a chance the egg-thrower will remove the shell beforehand.
Being hit by an omelet is a scary thought, not because the omelet will hurt or be particularly messy, but because if the egg-thrower goes to the trouble of preparing an omelet to hurl at you he must be very angry. So you had better hope that he is satisfied with just the omelet or you may have Belgian waffles, hash browns and a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice coming your way as well.
Assuming the egg-thrower is kind enough to remove the foil, catching it in your mouth could be a pleasant experience (Editor’s note: unless you choke and die). Otherwise, it will feel like being pegged with a rock. Be careful not to get chocolate on your clothes.
Caviar is gross but, besides the mess, there’s really no risk. What you want to watch out for, though, is the deranged egg-thrower; anybody willing to throw caviar at you is clearly a demented individual—either that or he simply has more money than he knows what to do with and may need a good friend with a few suggestions.
The over-easy egg is the Nerf Ball™ of the fried-egg world. The deadly yolk napalm of its sunny-side-up cousin has been totally neutralized, allaying most danger of mess or pain. If you have to be hit by an egg, this is a good one to choose.
Egg salad sandwich
This one is more messy than painful. Don’t worry about being hurt by an egg salad sandwich—unless, of course, you eat some accidentally and have a heart attack some 20 years later. Watch out for the mayonnaise and mustard, pickles, celery, onions and other foreign objects.
The main benefit of having scrambled eggs thrown at you is that their consistency will severely hinder the aim of the egg-thrower. On the other hand, there is a good chance that the eggs will break apart at the midpoint of their trajectory, which will create a “cluster-bomb” effect that results in countless smaller pieces of egg showering upon you from above. Then again, the rubbery quality will cause them to simply bounce off. As long as you aren’t the one who has to clean up the egg afterwards, this is a pretty good choice.
You have very little to worry about if you are being pelted by blown eggs. Empty egg shells suffer from a debilitating amount of wind resistance, so it is virtually impossible for the egg-thrower to reach any effective projectile velocity. If you are barefoot, however, then watch your step.
Thank you, Brian, for that post, which has enriched my life and, no doubt, the lives of many others. Next time maybe you’ll expound on certain Mongolian legends and wolves in eggs’ clothing….
Until then, you can find Brian elsewhere on the internet, including at the blog The Daily Mixed Metaphor and in the very funny short films at The Big Things. He is also the little-known proprietor of the “highly accurate” Benjamin Franklin historical anecdote archive, BenInvented.