A Loose Egg
“Be careful when you open the fridge,” I said, “there’s a loose egg rolling around in the door.”
My girlfriend laughed. “You should start one of your blogs with that,” she said.
“With that. That there’s a loose egg rolling around in the fridge door.”
“Because it’s funny,” she said, “a loose egg.”
“Is it?” I said.
“Yes,” she said.
“A loose egg,” she said, “it’s just an aesthetically-pleasing combination of words. The two ohs. The two gees. The gloopiness of ‘loose’ and the suddenness of ‘egg’. And the word ‘egg’ doesn’t often follow the word ‘loose’ so it’s unpredictable too.”
I was impressed by this level of comic analysis. Good value, my girlfriend.
“Loose,” I wrote in my notebook, “Egg.” And then because it didn’t seem like enough, “Unpredictable.”
“Honey,” she said, this time less sure of herself.
“Yes,” I said.
“Why is there a loose egg rolling around in the fridge door?”
“Because,” I said, “we have new eggs.”
We’d done the groceries that morning and I’d done the unpacking.
“Why do new eggs mean a booby-trapped fridge?” she asked, reasonable.
I’d gone to put the new eggs in the fridge to find the old box still there, still containing a single egg.
I couldn’t bear to leave it there, the old guard occupying an otherwise empty box, surrounded by eleven empty spaces once occupied by now-eaten fellow eggs.
To put the fresh box containing twelve new eggs–twelve promises–next to last week’s lone survivor felt cruel.
I binned the old box and nested the lone egg carefully in the top compartment of the fridge door, vowing to have it for breakfast tomorrow. It would be safe in there for one night and it would never have to meet the newbies.
Our fridge, for reasons best known to the good people at Benelux Electronics, does not have one of those molded plastic compartments for eggs. Don’t go thinking it’s got one of those. The egg just rolled about loose in the door.
I gently wedged the egg in place with two bars of fancy chocolate, but wasn’t convinced it would stay put. This is why I mentioned it to my girlfriend. To be on the lookout for it.
“A loose egg,” she said, “in the door.”
“Yes,” I said, “because of the new eggs.”
There was a pause.
“New eggs,” I said, “Is that funny too?”
“No,” she said, “Because it’s plural.”
“Correct,” I said, “Just testing.”
I looked down at my notebook. It said, “Loose Egg. Unpredictable.” It was exactly the kind of note that would haunt me in a few weeks’ time when I tried to work out what on Earth it meant.
To help its meaning stay in my memory, I showed the note to Samara.
“Are you going to remember what that’s about?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said decisively, “I will”.
“What do those other notes mean?”
Further up the page, my handwriting showed that I’d once been excited about “False Tales” and “Stoat:Hospital”.
Intriguing colon, that. Possible ratio.
“I don’t know,” I admitted, “But I’ll definitely remember this time. The loose egg, I mean.”
“A loose egg,” she corrected me.
“Yes,” I said.
It had been a productive morning.
A little later on, I went to the fridge for some orange juice. I opened the door gently and looked for the egg. Samara had cut a single cardboard eggcup out of the old box and, in it, the egg now sat like a little ovoid king.
“The egg,” I said.
“I made it a little holster,” she said, “you know, because of the new eggs.”
We closed the door slowly and watched the fridge light blink out.
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