At the End of the Day

It’s on days like this – a Bank Holiday, and boy are they glad of it – with the rain sloshing down non-stop from morning til night – that one gets to thinking about the meaning of life. Well I do anyway. And I concluded that, one way and another, when all’s said and done, in the final analysis at the bottom line when the fat lady sings, at the end of an Easter spent scoffing eggs, life does indeed turn out to be mainly a question of eggs.

After all, I think it was The Magnificent Mankowitz who said, “To make an omelette, first you need to break eggs”. Or as Geithner might say, “To make an omelette, first of all leverage it to produce four trillion eggs”.

When we’re young, people egg us on, after which we often wind up with egg on our faces. Drop an egg on the floor, and you’ll probably get eggy. Use too many, and you’ll over-egg the pudding. Look at a chicken, and you’re immediately into that eternal debate about who came first. But there is an old saying that goes, “He who would have eggs must endure the cackling of hens”, within which I sense there’s a clue about the order of play re this one. A propos of not much, by the way, did you notice there that ‘He’ must endure the cackling of ‘hens’? Why isn’t that, “She who would have eggs must endure the boasting of cocks”? Just thought I’d ask. Show that, here and there, I can be pc too.

Life is about learning from mistakes. Actors talk about “having laid an egg” after that production of King Lear set on a Peruvian shrimp farm. The director doesn’t, but that’s directors for you. Anyway, the actors have to save their butter and egg money until a better part comes along. Then they’ll have a nest egg.

In corporate life, it doesn’t do to put all your eggs in one basket. Much better to give some support to Phil’s plan to launch Low-Alcohol Meths, while keeping in with Herbie’s idea for Instant Pain. You see, one day they might both be running the entire place, even if they can’t find their buttocks in the dark: for they are eggheads, and this makes them instantly admirable.

As we get older and become grannies, people will try and teach us how to suck eggs. We will growl, and for some time afterwards they will have to walk on eggs around us. And finally – as our sands of time run out – they will do so in an egg-timer.

For as the man said, eggs are eggs.

I wonder if, like me, you’ve ever thought about that last one there. I think it was probably at some point in 1952 when I first wondered, “WTF is that about?” I mean, what else would you think: Tulips are potatoes? Garages are bananas?

Thus did I reach a conclusion today about eggs: that ‘eggs are eggs’ was the point at which the inventors of egg-related phrases ran out of ideas. It was time, in fact, to move on to some other symbol. Like bricks. Which you can’t make without straw. And with which you can make firewalls, however pointless they might be.

So there you have it. In the 1960s, there was an actress called Samantha Eggar. I developed a lust for this lady so overwhelming that all critical faculties were blown away when it came to her abilities as an actress, and taste in hats.

Was this anything to do with the fact that her name began with ‘Egg’? I think that, on reflection, the answer is “No”.

However, today in 2012 – 3 million years after we ceased to be fish, and a good 2 million years after we left the chicken coop – we still start life as an egg.

Although most of us like to see ourselves as good eggs, we’re really curate’s eggs. Except, you know, maybe Mother Theresa. I think of her as a Faberge Egg.  And Theresa May is a Duck Egg. You need to come from Lancashire and be over fifty to understand that one. But the trick of life – surely – is not to end up as a bad egg.

If you just chanced upon this latest example of my genius, you might like to visit the explanation of what The Slog as a whole is all about.