A missing hard-boiled egg

The USC School of Cinematography

by cheri block

I hard-boiled a dozen eggs on Tuesday.

One broke when I dropped it into the pot, leaving eleven. The water bubbled steadily, changing their nature from fragile to hearty and tearful to solid. Maybe I should take a hot bath too, I thought.

I showered them with cold water and left them to cool in a small silvery colander.

Eleven lovely little dollops of protein I placed side by side in a plastic container. They rolled over a bit, still slick from their hot baths but firm with conviction.

The Judge came home from work,  A Long Day’s Journey into More of the Day. He hadn’t eaten dinner.

The next afternoon, we both ended up in the same kitchen.

I do my best to guard my nest, but somehow, one egg was gone.

I didn’t notice.

“Oh, one is missing!” he teased.

The scrub brush continued its assault on a coffee pot.

Later that day, while at yoga in Pigeon Pose, the substance of the conversation returned to me in a scrambled message.

Pay attention to the details of life.

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About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
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43 Responses to A missing hard-boiled egg

  1. Christopher says:

    Distinctly Kafkaesque.

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you!!
      I am now trying to write a long paper (hence my delay in responding to your comment) about Kafka’s The Trial and its comparison to Faulkner’s Light in August.

  2. imagenmots says:

    There would not have been wings without wax and feathers.

  3. Cyberquill says:

    I don’t understand. You dropped twelve eggs into the pot, one broke, and then you showered “them” (how many at this point?) with cold water before you placed eleven eggs into a plastic container. So what happened to the one that broke? Where in the process exactly did it get lost? You never took it out of the pot? Or it vanished during or after being showered in the colander? You say you “didn’t notice.” But breaking a physical object usually doesn’t result in its disappearance. The former doesn’t cause the latter. One may not notice that it broke, but broken items don’t simply dissolve.

    In my experience, when an egg breaks open in boiling water, there’s broiled egg floating in the water all over the place. Impossible not to notice. And if you dumped the contents of the pot into a colander at the conclusion of the boiling process, after taking out all whole eggs, a bunch of shells and broiled egg mass must have remained in the colander. Where do you think all that stuff came from, if not from a broken egg?

    • Cyberquill says:

      CORRECTION: I mean poached, not broiled. When an egg breaks open in boiling water, there’s poached egg floating in the water all over the place. (I haven’t worked a brunch shift in a long time, so I’m getting a little rusty on the egg preparation minutia.)

    • Cheri says:

      You are absolutely right. This piece left out a detail (hence the message) that could set a smart guy like you off in the wrong direction. For clarification purposes: One egg broke before I put the other 11 in the water.

      I tend to miss certain subtleties and details because I am thinking of other things. To this end, I am dedicating my spring to noticing the details, which, I suppose is why I am beginning a long study of Faulkner’s work. Have you read Faulkner, Cy?

      • Cyberquill says:

        I started reading As I Lay Dying once but didn’t get very far.

        I’m still confused about the egg breakage. You say you “didn’t notice.” But when a raw egg breaks, it’s a mess. Had you cleaned it up in a trance or something?

        Keep in mind that you’re under oath here.

        • Cheri says:

          I’d like to see you read Faulkner again.
          I recommend The Light in August, the easiest of his novels to understand. ( So I am told…)

          OK. My whole piece is a mess. I broke the egg in the sink BEFORE I put the other 11 in the pan, so there was no mess in the actual pot I boiled the eggs in. These comments remind me of my message.

          • Cyberquill says:

            So the broken egg vanished down the sink drain and you didn’t notice? Also in addition to the pot, a pan has now somewhat inexplicably entered the story line.

            For extra ease of comprehension, perhaps I should get the German translation of The Light in August. One with lots of pictures.

            • Cheri says:

              I did notice that I had broken an egg before they all were put into the water in the PAN.
              I didn’t notice the Judge had eaten one of the eggs.
              His comment reminded me of the many details I have failed to notice, first among them this week is the ambiguity in my writing.

              • Cyberquill says:

                Ah, so we’re talking about the loss of two eggs, one that broke in the sink and one the judge ate, and it was only the latter event you didn’t notice.

                Contrary to your first line I hard-boiled a dozen eggs, you only hard-boiled eleven to begin with, leaving a total of ten after the judge’s misconduct.

              • Cheri says:

                That’s correct, Mr. Cy.
                Don’t forget to capitalize The Judge.

              • Cyberquill says:

                The article too? Must be some judge. I mean Judge. Let’s just go whole-hog and call Him THE JUDGE.

            • Cheri says:

              You need to read this book in English!

  4. Richard says:

    11/12 V. Good

    Perhaps this might be added somewhere…
    I shook away the remnants of the lost egg and each shell yielded to my soft touch

    Unless, that is, Californian eggs come with soluble shells.

    • imagenmots says:

      Another possibility would be that Dinah gobbled it before Cheri could even move.
      Paul C.

      • Cheri says:

        Oh are you right, Paul. She is the hungriest dog I have ever owned and licks the hardwood floor for crumbs.

        She waits until I open the dishwasher, hoping that a morsel has dropped in the water.
        Disgusting.

        The Judge banishes her from the kitchen when she behaves like this.

    • Cheri says:

      Oh Gosh, Richard.

      The broken egg went down the sink before I placed the other 11 in the pan.

      I am using cage free organic eggs…

      My touch was obviously not that soft or I wouldn’t have broken one egg.

      Christopher is right: this is Kafkaesque…

      • Richard says:

        One day, with hard work, I might get it. All things are possible.

      • Richard says:

        Got it!

        Caught mid-cycle. That’s what it’s all about. Who’s counting anyway? It’s how I conceived my second! You’ll have to swap Yoga for Pre-Natals. Congratulations to you and the Good Judge!

        Pour me another coffee.

      • Richard says:

        Oh – you know what I mean – ante-natals,

        I’m all of a dither. Time of the month, y’know.

        • Cheri says:

          Richard,
          These comments are very funny. Thank you for the laugh!
          I thought you were a tea drinker, but if it is coffee you desire, I make a mighty strong cup (tempered by French vanilla coffee creamer).

          Where did you pick up on mid-cycle? You must be reading for detail. 🙂

        • Richard says:

          Oh, my dear! Of course, you weren’t at the Tupperware party before this one. We were all talking about it. We all drop eggs mid-cycle. It looks as though the Good Judge managed to catch it.

          I always have coffee mid-morning. 😀

  5. Chourou says:

    Cheri! Chourou is back. It’s been a while since I last dropped by. You know, we had a devasteing quake hit with tsunami and explosions of some nuke plants here in Japan. It’ll have been a year on March 3rd tomorrow(at Jp local time) . My fam and I are completely safe, but a huge number of ppl died or injuerd, and others are still evacuating from the areas where were destroyed all over or badly contaminated with radiation….anyway, I’m happy coming up and talking to you here again! 🙂 Talk to you later. Stay safe, TGIF!

    • Cheri says:

      Dear Chourou,
      I am so happy to hear from you once again. Thank you for your reassuring comment which lets me know that you and your family are OK after the terrible tsunami and subsequent nuclear reactor leaks. I was thinking about you just two weeks ago, wondering what had become of you. I have slowed down on the blogging, mainly because I am a student again and have too much other writing to do!
      Will you let me know what you are doing these days?

  6. Chourou says:

    OH, I mistyped! “March 11th”, indeed!

  7. Christopher says:

    Those wishing to read “Light in August” can do so by *clicking here*.

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you Christopher! I think I will finish my paper before I do this…too much to prejudice my thoughts (which come more slowly these days….ahhh…..those synapses).

  8. Christopher says:

    “…..”the substance of the conversation returned to me in a scrambled message…….”

    This tells me clearly that you really wanted to scrambled the eggs, rather than to hard-boil them.

    This created a conflict within your unconscious mind, causing you to break one of the eggs.

    Had you listened to your Unconscious, and scrambled the eggs, you wouldn’t have broken just one. So The Judge wouldn’t have noticed, and a minor trauma would have been avoided.

    There’s a lesson for all of us here.

    • Richard says:

      12-1 = 11
      11+1 = 12
      12-1 = 11

      evidence of heinous crime

      End of term report:
      Literacy Christopher has excelled, as usual.
      Psychology A remarkable talent.
      Cooking Shows promise.
      Numeracy Could do better. 🙂

    • Richard says:

      The lesson is really about Keynesian economics, Christopher.

      The extra egg, borrowed from next week, simply disappeared down the Good Judge’s throat. 😀

    • Cheri says:

      OK Christopher, I am emerging from my immersion in Kafka/Faulkner. Whew…
      Are you suggesting that I had a Freudian slip with the eggs?

      You are “cracking”me up.

  9. imagenmots says:

    In an eggshell it would seem that eggs were not the only scrambled things here.

    • Richard says:

      I am, Paul, in the business of general confusion. 🙂

      As you must be aware, there has to be an interval between boiling an egg and removing the shell. It was in this interval on the first day that The Good Judge removed the extra egg which The Good Teacher had added to the other eleven for boiling (note that TGT had boiled a dozen eggs). When he was alone in the kitchen, TGJ shelled it and ate it. TGT then shelled the remaining eggs, that is to say, eleven, and laid them side by side in the plastic container, although she supposed at that stage that there were a dozen. Recall that, although one egg was missing, the Good Teacher didn’t notice.

      It took a whole day for TGJ to confess.

      It is true that the evidence regarding the number of eggs TGT hard-boiled and where exactly the broken egg fell might be somewhat contradictory. I have, though, to decide the matter on a balance of probabilities and, on balance, I am impressed by TGT’s general integrity and prefer the sequence outlined above. Judgment accordingly.

      • imagenmots says:

        Now, my brain is scrambled. I’ll go have a glass of wine to unscramble it.

      • Cheri says:

        Richard,
        Your talents as a brilliant legal mind are manifest here…
        Your talents as a mathematician are here.

        • Richard says:

          I note you are careful not to opine on the measure of those talents.

          Irony can sometimes be hard to bear 🙂

          • Cheri says:

            Dear Richard,
            Thank you for reading this silly blog post and using your usual creativity and FUN to respond to what is really a very average post.

            I am so tired tonight. I finished a very long paper and sent it off an hour ago. I wanted to respond to you gentlemen who are so clever and patient…

            Thanks for reading, all.

  10. Cheri says:

    I got that, Richard. Thank you!

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