...the mundane egg, which is but an elongated circle, contains everything in itself and is the true microcosm.-- Matilda Joslyn Gage, Woman, Church and State

A microcosm of yummy, protein rich, ricket-preventing fun that is! Eggs contain valuable amino acids and vitamins, and are regarded as an excellent source of protein by vegetarians, struggling artists, and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Rotten eggs, on the other hand are just unspeakably awful. If you have ever had the misfortune to break one and get it all over you, you will know why last one in is a rotten egg! is such a dreadful thing to say.

Fortunately, a simple test exists to determine if an egg is as edible as it looks. There is a small air pocket in the large end of an egg. When the egg is fresh, the pocket is only about 1/8th of an inch deep and about as large around as a dime. As the egg ages, it loses both moisture and carbon dioxide so that the size of the air space increases, making the egg (among other things) more buoyant. So, if you submerge a very fresh egg in water, it will lie on the bottom. An egg that is a week or so old will lie on the bottom but bob slightly. An egg that is three weeks or so old will balance on its small end. And bad egg will float.

Here's a whimsical poem by Scott Mathews on the subject of this method of egg testing!
Can you eat that egg?

If not sure you ought-ter,
then place it in water.
If it lies on its side,
then it's fresh; eat with pride.

After three or four days,
at an angle it lays.
But, it still is a treat,
so go on and eat.

Ten days, stands on end,
in your baking 'twill blend.
'Cause it's definitely edible,
in your baking, incredible.

But, if it floats on the surface,
that egg serves no purpose.
'Cause a floater's a stinker!
Out the back door best fling 'er!

The first thing you have to consider is this; do you really want to know? What are you prepared to do, if the egg turns out to be rotten? Sometimes it is better to not get involved, or to simply walk away; and it is easier to walk away if you accept not knowing if the egg is rotten. Only if you are righteous, and your cause is righteous, only then can you deal with the rotten egg. And this is before delving into the other complexities which make rotten eggs so vexatious. What might seem rotten to one person might seem ripe to another person; and what does it matter to you, if the egg is rotten? Some things are not worth fixing. If you live in a nightmarish neighbourhood, it is futile to fight the evildoers; the magnitude and frequency of punishment required to destroy the evil would itself be evil, and evil breeds evil. If the rotten eggs want to live in a hell of their own making, let them. That is punishment enough. They punish themselves. To release them from themselves would be a kindness. Let them rot.

Therefore, the thoroughly rotten eggs do not concern us. They are not worth the effort. We must concentrate on the partially-rotten eggs, those eggs which are approaching rottenness. The eggs which bob at the bottom of the pot, rather than floating to the surface. Inevitably, all eggs become rotten if they are not eaten, and this is a metaphor for the human condition, and one reason why the solution proposed in the science fiction prophesy 'Logan's Run' is so desireable; eggs are laid to be eaten, and they enjoy being eaten, it pleases them to perform the function for which they were born. Just as it pleases the binman or the policeman or the waitress or the farmworker to perform the function which God has given them, so it pleases the egg to be boiled, smashed open and slobbered into the white-hot furnace that is my stomach. These people, these eggs should be destroyed before they reach old age. It is the only way. It pleases them to die.

It would please the rotten egg even more, to disrupt my stomach; the rotten egg would love that. And I must prevent it from wreaking its chaos, for I do not exist to please the egg, the egg exists to please me. Eggs want to hurt me, and I will not let them. They make themselves rotten because they despise me and they want to hurt me, just as the binman or the policeman or the waitress or the farmworker - they in turn make themselves rotten, because they despise me and want to hurt me. The lower orders are against me. They despise themselves. Hate is all they know. God has made it so. God does not hate me. He recognises me for what I am, a potential partner. He is testing me. His rotten eggs are testing me.

So, how does one spot the rotten eggs, sent by God to hate me, to test me, to upset my stomach and to upset my balance. The balance which I have worked on all my life, my life's work is the balance, is in the balance. Equilibrium, eggs do not stand upright, they roll. They are a force of chaos, for they do not rest. Chaos does not rest, that is why it is chaotic, it moves without order or pause. Decay itself is chaos, uncontrolled motion without order or pause, a rebellion against the order of consciousness, just as my body will one day rebel against my mind, turn on me, die, and bloat and rot, like a rotten egg. No amount of mental order will prevent my death. We are rotten eggs, we hate ourselves and God has made us to test ourselves, he has given us a lifetime to reconcile our coming decay.

The rotten eggs. All eggs are rotten. That is how to tell if an egg is rotten. Intention is the key. Does the egg smile? Is it sincere? Look into its eyes; can you see the sunshine, or just a concrete wall? Is there light and life in the egg, or decay and subterfuge? Lies, lies.

The naked egg.

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