Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Incredible Inedible Egg

Posted By on Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 2:04 PM

I buy farm fresh eggs every week or so from a guy who sells them at my office. I know they're farm fresh because every now and again I encounter something that George Carlin described as "not the end of an's the beginning of a chicken!!" I only pay a buck a dozen for them, so you won't hear a complaint out of me.

Ironically, the fellow who I buy them from used to work for us before a round of lay-offs a couple of years ago. I cannot believe that he drives to a farm in Watertown to pick up eggs and delivers them to me in Donelson for a dollar, but I know that deep down he just enjoys the camaraderie of visiting us and I'm happy to see him.

All of this is to let you know that I have no financial concerns about the dilemma I am about to describe. On the Friday before Memorial Day weekend I cut out of work a few hours early to head up to our cabin in Sewanee. My ex-coworker, let's call him "Billy," (because that's his name) showed up in my office at about 4:00 with two dozen eggs.

Billy extends credit to all of his customers, so despite the fact that I wasn't there, he left the eggs in a Kroger sack in the middle of my desk. When I arrived back at work on Tuesday, there they sat.

They didn't smell bad or look any different, but the egg cartons recycled from many sorts of store brands all had large refrigeration warnings on them. Intellectually, I know that it's warmer than room temperature inside of a chicken and in a hen house, and that in Europe and South America practically nobody refrigerates their eggs. Still, I was leery.

click to enlarge rotten_20egg.jpg

So much so that I didn't do anything with them for a week. They just sat on my credenza while I imagined the bacteria enjoying a salmonella fiesta inside those ivory shells, like the blood orgy from Rosemary's Baby. I even consulted some food experts who also contribute to this blog as to how I should handle the situation. To a (wo)man, the consensus was "They should be fine to eat. But I wouldn't do it personally." Gee, thanks for the enlightenment.

In the end, I allowed procrastination to make the decision for me. I knew Billy would be back the following Friday, and I didn't want him to see that I had wasted two dollars worth of poultry embryos that he had schlepped a hundred miles for me. So during lunchtime, I went out the back door of my office and threw them at the dumpster one at a time. I intentionally left the door shut. I guarantee it was $2.00 worth of fun.

So what would you have done? Was I being overcautious? You know what they say, it only takes one case of projectile vomiting to ruin your entire day.

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