OBSERVATIONS AND RAMBLINGS FROM A CRANKY OLD GUY (May 2022) -By: Jeff Spaulding
Written by Staff on May 6, 2022
As I write this on Easter Sunday, I want to share something that has roots going back thousands of years, but for my family, it’s something we’ve participated in for at least fifteen years.
Tradition. In my family, rather the family of my wife, this tradition began way before I was involved. The form of this tradition went off the rails, my fault I am proud to say, shortly after I became a grandfather.
Its origin is based in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, and called “Egg Cracking.” It’s quite simple, everyone is given a hard-boiled egg, the idea is to “tap” or crack the egg of your opponent. The last person to hold an uncracked egg at the end is the winner, and receives (in my late father in law’s words), “fabulous prizes.”
The first time I played, it was cute, but kind of dumb, but a free lottery ticket is a nice incentive. As the years went on, our daughter gave birth to her first child, our first grandchild, Chris. When he was about three, he was fascinated by the game and wanted to play.
Chris is truly my grandson, he has a very good sense of humor, and can not only give a good joke, but take one too. That’s when I thought I would play a little gag on him. I sat next to him, and was set to “crack eggs” with him. What he did not know was that my egg was not hard-boiled, it was raw, if I hit it just the right way it would splatter directly in his face.
The two competitors began combat, and I was set to put the yolk on him. This was my intention. In reality, I was so pumped up to break the egg in his face, I put too much pressure on the raw egg, and I did shatter it, in my hand, on my face, on my glasses, actually over most of me.
Chris laughed so hard I thought he would pee his pants. He thought it was so funny about what happened to Popsie. The next year, with his mother’s help, he sat next to me again. Somehow, I had another raw egg (I really didn’t know that time, going forward is a different story). When the time arrived, something told me something was going to happen. It did, he lunged, mine cracked, and the previous “accident” suddenly was “accidentally” recreated.
A couple of years later, Chris had a new brother in Zach. That’s when the wheels came off the bus. Chris, with his mother’s help, told Zach of the trick they play on Popsie. Zach, the devil child he is, of course wanted in. This is where things went tragically wrong.
This beloved tradition of cracking eggs for a chance of fabulous prizes, changed to hard-boiling a couple dozen, with some raw eggs included to boot, and “beat the crap out of Popsie,” where they enjoyed taking the eggs and smashing them all over me, rubbing them into me, all in good fun, naturally. As they did that, the actor in me (and being a major fan of slapstick) would earn my Oscar with every ooch, ouch and yowl I could muster.
They really didn’t hurt, for the most part, until the boys got older, and stronger. At one point the egg count was 5-6 dozen, and don’t complain to me about starving kids in Third World Countries, let them buy their own damn eggs.
A few years later, here comes a new brother for Chris and Zach in the form of Mason. At first, he was a little hesitant in tossing an egg at Popsie, but got into it quickly, throwing his first one, quite strongly, directly in my nuts. Since I wasn’t planning any future children, no harm no fowl.
The tradition still continues, with some changes, after all I am 66 and went through a heart attack and bypass surgery. Now it’s a dozen per grandchild, all raw, no more hard-boiled, we do it in the backyard, and I need a chair. Their smiles and laughs are all the proof I need to know that this tradition will continue, until I eggspire.
Be hearing you