Egg rolling (I'm doing it wrong)

Posted in: Real life

So while the rest of the country was out enjoying their holiday by being far away from their places of residence and causing traffic congestion on all the major highways, I spent Easter at home with family where we went out to watch Clash of the Titans and then order pizza for dinner. OK, that's pretty average-sounding, but our family doesn't watch movies together very often nowadays so the movie was a plus for us (we actually wanted to watch The Hurt Locker but it isn't in NZ cinemas yet. Clash made for a good substitute and we were thoroughly entertained by it).

On top of those activities, I used an afternoon to roll an egg down a hill.

Cheese rolling

Despite the Wikipedia article claiming the world-wide appeal of the tradition, I had never heard of egg rolling until about 2 weeks before Easter.

I was having lunch with a friend (the one who inspired me to write the Dirty Laundry story e-mail) and when we got to talking about what we were gonna do for Easter, she mentioned her home-country (Scotland) tradition of egg rolling. I responded with an inquiring look and the words "Egg rolling?!?" in a high pitch voice that you'd more likely find in a pre-teen child. She answered with basically what it says in the History section of the Wikipedia Egg Rolling article - that it was a symbol of the rolling away of the rock from Jesus's tomb - adding that it drew strange looks from her New Zealand friends when she did it last year.

Me being one to try new and silly things, I said I'd give it a go.

So fast-forward 2 weeks to Easter weekend. It was the afternoon and already I was screwing-up because I dropped my egg too hard into the pot of water causing a small crack to appear when it hit the bottom which let seep a little yolk. I kept telling myself that the crack added 'character' to the egg, making it look like it was battle-hardened and prepared for the challenges it was going to face.

When I had a cooled-down my battle-hardened egg, I took it outside with me and started surveying the neighbourhood for steep inclines.

I should have probably researched the topic a little more before I even began. When egg rolling was explained to me, the first assumption I made was that it was done using uncooked eggs that would splatter when they reached an obstacle or the bottom of the hill. My second assumption was that the rolling was unassisted and that you had to find a hill steep enough so that with an initial push, gravity and science would take care of the rest (Wikipedia article instead showing children pushing the egg along a non-steep lawn).

When I told her of my first assumption, 'laundry lass' said that you could use hard-boiled eggs and I felt a bit stupid at not having thought that. I didn't tell her of my second assumption because she probably already suspected I was lacking a few brain cells with my first assumption and I didn't want to give proof to her suspicions.

So while I couldn't find a nice steep grassy hill, my family's house was on a nice steep concrete road.

Steep road
Steep roads - Wellington is full of 'em

Lesson learned: concrete wreaks hell on an egg shell. I pushed the thing once to send it on its way, and I could see the egg falling apart as it went down the road. The egg never made it all the way to the bottom, more often stopping by veering left or right and hitting the gutter, but when I picked it up to take back up the road to roll again the shell was badly cracked, even peeling in places. The initial crack that it received in the boiling process didn't seem so bad any more.

So I did this countless times on several streets around the neighbourhood and subject my poor egg to a lot of stress, resulting in what you see below.

Egg rolling down the road, and the aftermath
"They see me rollin'..."

Like laundry lass, my actions drew several stares from people, namely strangers and passers-by: a group of girls just walking down the street, my neighbour washing his car, and the drivers and passengers of every car that narrowly missed my egg; pretty much everybody except my family who really didn't want to be associated or seen with me at that moment. It's not every day you see a guy taking photos of an egg and rolling it down a suburban street.

So, how did you spend your Easter?