Here’s egg in your eye
It’s impossible to say how the trajectory of the flying egg intersected so perfectly, so elegantly, with the open window of Martha Lorch’s Jeep Wagoneer. Entire after-school physics tutorials were spent trying to reconstruct the event. Charts were constructed, dotted lines were drawn, calculations were made. In the final analysis, even Mr. Compton had to agree that what happened was nearly impossible.Nonetheless, the egg was propelled by the hands of fate. Physics be damned: that little unborn orb of chicken-matter was destined to splatter and humiliate and the feeble laws of improbability weren’t going to stop it.Stuffed into the way, way backseat of Martha’s Jeep, I felt the effervescent happiness of a freshman who, for the first time, had been accepted by the upper classmen (or, at least, hadn’t been humiliated or rejected). In the opening hours of the great, annual VMS vs BMHS egg fight (a long-standing tradition that was eventually squelched by the hyperactive efforts of do-gooder parents), Martha had announced that her Jeep Wagoneer would serve as the mothership of the VMS fleet. It was mean, green, and its rusty bulwarks could handle as many paint-stripping eggs as Battle Mountain’s brigade would care to offer.Outnumbered four-to-one by our enemy, we knew Martha’s Jeep was our only chance for victory. We planned on packing all 18 of us into Martha’s car and streaking through the battlefield (aka the East Vail golf course), with our best athletes launching eggs from the mothership’s leeward side.But, as everyone loaded up, I noticed I hadn’t been included in the plans.This wasn’t surprising. Frankly, I was amazed to be included in the pre-war planning process and was hoping, at best, that someone “cool” would tell me all the stories afterward.But, at the last minute, Chris Slevin noticed me and kindly told me to jump in the back and find a seat.Little did he know he was sending me to my doom.Squashed among a heap of other freshman, smooshed against the back windshield of the mothership, I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t going to be much assistance in this particular battle. It was all I could do to keep my three cartons of eggs from squashing between my contorted knees. Martha, on the other hand, was primed for battle. Just as we came into firing range, she opened a small crack in the front window of the Jeep and released a defiant howl.In that moment, my fate was sealed. A sentry posted on Battle Mountain’s front lines launched a solitary egg toward the car, where it whizzed through the miniscule crack in Martha’s window, grazed past her nose and, I swear, hovered for a moment above the center console.The forward momentum of the car did the rest of the work. Blazing ahead at breakneck speed, the rear of the car quickly caught up with the egg, which miraculously missed the protruding heads, arms, legs and elbows of everyone else in the car and smacked, loudly and with great force, right into the middle of my freshman-sized forehead CRACK.This, I have always thought, proves that the laws of physics are inferior to the social laws which govern adolescent social life.An hour later, for example, I was soaked in egg juice, bruised and battered by an army of black-robed Huskies who ambushed us during one of our ill-advised flanking maneuvers.When I returned to headquarters for a regrouping, I noticed that the seniors, veterans of three other egg wars, were dry and happy. We freshman, however, had been the “point of the spear,” so to speak. And, as a result, you could’ve fed a small country with the amount of egg pulverized into our sweaters.Unlike the generations before us, we were never to have our vengeance. The egg fight was discontinued the following year, much to our disgust. The authorities were concerned about “egg damage,” and we were subjected to long lectures on the bestial nature of violence and the negative effect of eggs on house and car paint. The police became involved, and the following year they prowled the battlefield in their tinted Saabs to prevent the outbreak of war.This story only occurred to me this week because recent news coming from local high schools has been rather bleak. I thought a story like this would have twofold meaning: first, I thought it would remind people how mischievously innocent high schoolers can be how entertaining our antics appear when viewed through the mists of time, so to speak.And I also thought it would show something else: Is it just me, or are the youths in this valley living a harsher existence? If there were an egg fight held this year, would the radical elements bring guns and drugs to the event? Would eggs be replaced by rocks at some point? Would kidnappings take place? Beatings? Sexual assault? Gang warfare? What happened to the days when our teacher’s and parent’s most troublesome problem was the paint damage caused by midnight egg raids?I suppose our innocent youth, like most things in this valley, has been lost to the simple, but unstoppable effects of growth. VTShare your stories and comments with Tom Boyd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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