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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "It's No Use Crying over Spilt Milk" (without using the actual phrase or literal exampl (02/07/08)

TITLE: Kamikaze eggs.
By Josiah Kane


That cookery lesson was a real disaster. I still acknowledge that my children will have to learn to cook but David, my oldest, is running out of time. Ever since he was four he has been helping to make cakes. Contrary to Marie Antoinette’s famous saying, no one can live on cake. At least at thirteen the boy could chop vegetables and mix things without spraying half the blend onto the floor. I thought that I could trust him to complete the simplest recipe alone. So I tried to get him frying eggs.

The first problem was his scientific nature. He wanted a precise, mathematical recipe. But I don’t know what the egg: salt: pepper ratio is. I don’t care. I just crack the eggs carefully and plonk them into the silicon-coated pan until they’re ready. I tried to give him an approximation, but evidently it wasn’t quite right.

Then came the matches. What came over my boy, I don’t know. He can light a candle easily enough when he needs it for an experiment. But today there were fifteen matches crowning the rubbish in the bin, their heads a peppering of grey-black spots, before even one reached the gas.

Next, under careful supervision, David broke into the eggs. He did not manage the procedure without slicing the yolks, but at least we avoided having to pick minute pieces of shell shrapnel out of the oil, white and yolk for the next ten minutes. The third egg slipped splashing into the slop. Thankfully we managed to fish it out and split it properly without too much hassle. I was getting so annoyed by this time, but worse was still to come. I didn’t notice that David had put far too many eggs into the pan at once. They merged together into one large mass, so thick that so the top was still raw by the time the base was cooked. He knew that he needed a fish slice to flip the egg, and acted as if he knew how to use it. Nonetheless, I suggested that he slice the mass, maybe anticipating what was to come. Two neat, crosswise slits made flipping four times easier.

So David slipped his tool under one of the quarters. He gave it a quick flick and it turned perfectly, landing in the space it had just left. Without waiting David repeated the procedure, and the second part turned. This time it folded back onto itself three times, resulting in some very difficult correction. “Are you planning to catapult the next one into my face?” I laughed.

Maybe that made him angry. Maybe he was just bored, or clumsy. David leaned forward while trying the flip, hooking under the last quarter as well. Number four twisted over the edge of the pan, off the stove, and literally exploded near the gas cylinder. The yolks pasted walls, stove, cylinder, and my face with the warm, slimy fluid. I was so busy yelling (and David running away) that neither noticed the third quarter, which David had intended to flip, had landed on the edge of the pan. It had been cut right through. I yanked the pan away and saw to my horror another smouldering eighth of the meal perched on the diminished blue flame.

David had not thought of buttering the bread first, so we then had to do that while the egg cooled rapidly. So now I am sitting at the table, with my wife and two children. One of them is looking very ashamed; the other, disgusted. Meagre portions of lukewarm egg are quivering on hastily buttered bread. I want to seize David’s portion and hand it to John, his brother, but neither boy is eating. The only one who did well out of this was our dog. And even he turned his wet black nose up at first before greed got the better of him. I know that I shouldn’t, but I can’t help not wanting David back in our kitchen. Does he need to be told whether something is potentially volatile? I think I’ll let my wife take over cookery lessons.

Suddenly I hear “Come on dad, it was only a couple of eggs!” before a slice of poorly buttered bread hit me on the nose and both my sons raced happily out of the door. I sigh to realise my wife wouldn’t like me engaging in a food fight. I guess they’re right. It was only a couple of eggs.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 02/16/08
Ha,Ha,Ha! I could see the whole scene. My son is also the scientific type, wanting to know all the details.
You must be from a different culture. I never heard of a fish slice. I assume it is like a spatula.
Good writing!
Marlene Austin02/18/08
Delightful descriptions. I'm assuming your fixing poached eggs. Your children must have your sense of humor to end the meal with buttered bread on your nose. :)
Marlene Austin02/18/08
OOPS - sorry. I meant to type "you're fixing poached eggs." :)
Joanne Sher 02/22/08
Congratulations, Josiah, on placing 9th in your level with this piece. Great work!