The other day I spilled 18 eggs inside my refrigerator. It is important to clarify that these were not 18 cooked eggs. I wish I could tell you this happened as the result of some sort of impressively ambitious recipe — there I was, carefully transferring my delicate yet comically oversized soufflé, when suddenly — but the truth is it was a moment of pure karma, the universe doling out an unpleasant bitchslap which I have to admit was well-deserved.

I’ll begin my process of attempting to deflect blame by pointing out that when your family eats a staggering amount of eggs on the daily and yet you have not yet progressed to backyard farming, it’s a better deal to buy those stacked flats of eggs that are surely filled with hormones and sorrow as opposed to whatever health benefits the expensive brown free-range organic packs claim to offer. The problem with that strategy is that you then have to figure out where 36 goddamned eggs can go in the fridge, no easy feat if you’ve recently stocked up on groceries and there’s no extra room to be found.

Let us also turn our attention to the egg tray in my refrigerator. It is, you know, a tray — an area that is clearly meant for eggs but offers no storage feature aside from a lid that drops down. It works great if what you have is a standard 12-pack of eggs. Put the carton in, shut the lid, bam. ♫ You’ve got eggs! ♬

However, if what you have is 36 eggs and no tray-sized container, you might be tempted to come up with a creative solution for the tray problem. You might oh-so-carefully stack 18 eggs in a tupperware-type holder, then put that container — brimming with eggs, too big for the area, somewhat precariously balanced — into the egg tray. When other people in your family react with various levels of concern to this setup, you may repeatedly issue a statement based on something that vaguely sounds like it could be true: “The weight of the eggs will keep it in there!”

It was later the same day that I went to the fridge for a drink, had the thing happen where the door gets slightly stuck, carelessly gave it a bit of a yank, and —

Narrator: The weight of the eggs did not, in fact, keep it in there.

Have you ever had to clean up a spilled egg? Multiply that mess of mucus-y clear goo, gloppy yolk, and sticky bits of shell eighteen times over and put it everywhere in the fridge. Down in the drawers, somehow sprayed over milk containers and jam jars and bags of celery, puddled under the fridge itself.

Really I cannot overstate how time-consuming and gross this was to clean up, especially once a sea of floor-egg mixed with several tumbleweeds of dog hair, but I will say that I was quite stoic about the entire thing. As soon as the container tipped I was like oh noooooo but also well that wasn’t exactly surprising, was it. (Eggs, in Thanos voice: WE ARE INEVITABLE.)

In conclusion, play stupid games, win stupid prizes. I pretty much never want to see an egg ever again in my entire life, but I did go ahead and order a tray holder.


21 Responses to “A big disgrace”

  1. jill on January 15th, 2021 11:26 am

    thank you for the laugh this morning,we have similar happenings in our household. with everything else going on right now, it was welcome. and thank you for continuing to write (about ALL topics).

  2. corinne on January 15th, 2021 11:56 am

    I once dropped a pitcher of Kool-Aid (cherry of course), somehow pulling off the lid with my other hand, and it landed on its bottom, angled slightly into the fridge, and went off like a BOMB. White fridge, cherry Kool-Aid. BLOODBATH. The fridge was in the corner of that kitchen, too, so I couldn’t open the door wide enough to get the shelves and drawers out. It took years off my life. I’m sure the new owner of that house is still finding Kool-Aid in the corners.

  3. Kim on January 15th, 2021 12:01 pm

    When we bought our house two years ago, we inherited a slew of backyard chickens. In that time we’ve discovered many joys and pains (sorry if that gets the song in your head if you’re of a certain age) in being chicken owners. The fresh eggs – un-freaking-believable at how great they taste and how much fun it is to get your little bounty every day. The downside: every predator on earth wants to eat your chickens and eggs and they will attempt to do so almost daily. I’ve learned not to get too attached and certainly do NOT name them anymore.
    How I relate that to this post: I find and have to clean up many a broken egg and the smell, depending on how long it’s been laying around, is something not of this earth. Smell plus viscosity…it’s bad.

  4. Shari on January 15th, 2021 12:36 pm

    Pro-tip from a backyard chicken farmer: save and recycle 12 and 18 pack cartons. They are reuseable! Your friends will be happy to save you a couple! That way your eggs are properly protected in the fridge plus easier to carry around.

  5. Donna on January 15th, 2021 12:37 pm

    I dropped a diet orange sunkist soda and it poked a tiny pinhole in the can so it not only sprayed but the can was spun around in a circle from the pressure. It’s been over a year and we are still finding sticky spots. I can’t imagine eggs. Just shoot me.

  6. Leslie on January 15th, 2021 12:43 pm

    I echo Jill’s sentiments. I *swear* I get a dopamine hit every time I see a notification that you’ve posted something. Sometimes, I even save reading your posts as a reward for doing a chore I didn’t want to do.

    Your writing, humor, candor is BEYOND. I don’t know what the writing equivalent to “I’d pay to hear you sing the phone book” is, but I would (Patreon, perhaps?).


  7. Donna on January 15th, 2021 1:43 pm

    Ohmygod.😂😂😂. I can identify with 12/18 of your experience. Many years ago, living in a 3-story walk-up apartment building the handles of his Safeway bag containing groceries, including a dozen eggs, tore as my husband walked up the stairs ahead of me. Egg whites can ooze amazingly quickly and gracefully down stairs. (At least the stairs weren’t carpeted….)

  8. Shawna on January 15th, 2021 2:48 pm

    Lo, that does sucketh.

    I bet your dog would have happily helped clean up some of that egg, even if the two-legged crowd in your house wouldn’t have.

    We don’t have eggs in the house since my son is allergic, and my mom has CHICKENS! We could get all the eggs from happy, well-treated, free-roaming hens that we wanted, but can’t take any. Oh the irony!

  9. Shawna on January 15th, 2021 2:55 pm

    By the way, growing up we had a dairy cow in addition to chickens. My mom always put the milk in a pitcher on the top shelf of the fridge. I was small and the pitcher was really heavy when it was full, so I generally just managed to lift it off the shelf, then swing it down when I wanted to get myself a glass of milk. As I was small, I couldn’t see the top of the pitcher and once my mom didn’t put the lid on it. I think you see where I’m going with this. Literally a couple of litres (maybe a half-gallon?) of milk EVERYWHERE!

    My dad immediately started yelling at me and I burst into tears, but my mom snatched me out of the milk epicenter, sat me on the counter, and firmly told me that I shouldn’t cry over spilt milk. I remember thinking even then about how that was also a saying, and how perfectly appropriate it was for the situation!

  10. Jaida on January 15th, 2021 3:25 pm

    No. Nonononono. That would be game over for me, time to move. I have an abnormally keen sense of smell and the smell of egg makes me wants to die. The worst cleanup I ever had to do was a Costco bottle of Tide detergent that danced its way off the washer during the spin cycle. It didn’t stink, but it took a truly astonishing number of paper towels to clean up. When we moved out of that house I made my husband leave the washer and dryer because it was worth the price of new ones to not have to face the remainder of the puddle underneath.

  11. Linda on January 15th, 2021 3:39 pm

    Okay I just realized that the title I felt so clever for choosing makes no sense, as the Queen lyrics go “Mud on your face,” not EGG on your face. HAHAHAHAomg.

  12. Sande on January 16th, 2021 10:47 am

    Not egg, but a Costco sized hamburger that leaked blood/juice. Frickin leaked everywhere…. In every crack and corner, on other stuff in fridge. I had to Google how to take the fridge interior apart (praying real hard not to shatter glass shelves) to get it completely clean. My fault, of course and lesson def learned!!!

  13. Nicolien on January 16th, 2021 12:27 pm

    Oh damn that sucks. But I’m going to save your life: eggs don’t need to go in the fridge. They’re not in the fridge in the supermarket (at least not in most of Europe, don’t know about the USA), and they don’t need to be in the fridge at home either. A neighbor of ours who used to sell eggs for a living said that unless it’s extremely hot, putting eggs in the fridge will extend the period they’re edible with a few days max (beyond the expiry date on the carton), so if you’re family is going through them at the speed you say they are, there’s no need :)

  14. Lori on January 16th, 2021 2:11 pm

    Listen, the internet was made for content like this. Your post has brightened my day!

  15. Jill on January 16th, 2021 6:17 pm

    UGH! Cleaning the fridge is already one of my least favorite jobs, I can’t imagine adding raw egg to that mix.
    My girls were fighting over snacks in the cabinet and managed to knock a large glass bottle of sesame oil onto the floor and it broke. Mopping up oil and trying not to get glass in my hands while inhaling sesame oil was…unpleasant. A whiff of sesame oil is delicious but your face inches from a puddle of it is kind of revolting. And then the whole kitchen smelled like sesame for a few days even though I had cleaned it all.

  16. Joanna on January 16th, 2021 7:59 pm

    This takes me back to the Saturday morning I dropped a giant jug of orange juice on the floor and it went everywhere – inside the fridge, under the fridge, and a giant flood right in the crack between the hardwood and the carpet. It’s going to be a humiliating biohazard if/when we ever rip up the carpet.

  17. TinaNZ on January 17th, 2021 7:45 pm

    My Saga of Stupid happened the day we arrived back from Japan (a 12 hour flight to NZ). I will blame jet-lag for my decision to make jelly (jello) in a crystal bowl. As soon as the boiling water hit the glass it exploded, showering the entire kitchen with glass fragments embedded in puddles, drips and splatters of hot liquid that almost immediately turned sticky and set. I WISH I had had your stoicism (I did not – bad words were used).

  18. Mary Clare on January 18th, 2021 8:07 am

    Ha ha ha hoo hoo! Your stories (funny and serious) remind me of the ones on The Moth podcast – relatable and so well-told. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Shawna on January 18th, 2021 11:08 am

    Following up on what Nicolien said… don’t leave your eggs on the counter! Yes, they are not refrigerated in Europe, and they are in the US, but that is because of the way each country requires eggs to be processed. Here’s an article that explains the differences:

  20. Shes on January 19th, 2021 6:35 am

    So, I used to work as the cook in a daycare, and I had one (1) large sized fridge to feed 100 kids and their teachers from. Stuff would be on the generated menus like ‘cherry jello’ for snack. Well, jello for 100 is like, A LOT, of jello. I made it in these huge industrial size cookie sheets and balanced them oh so carefully on top of the (many) milk jugs in the fridge. After I left work for the day, ‘someone’ dumped the liquid trays inside the fridge (by moving milk, likely), and….left it. So, the next morning I got to clean up set up cherry jello for 100 from every nook and cranny inside and below fridge as well as invent a new snack for the day. Was not a happy camper, and large signs were put on the fridge any time jello was made again after that!! Many many hours of clean up. Have not made cherry jello at home since, for sure!

  21. Nicolien on January 26th, 2021 1:04 pm

    Shawna, wow, that’s interesting! And also makes me glad I live in Europe ;) I guess if you could get eggs straight from a farm or a neighbor with a lot of chickens, you wouldn’t need to refrigerate them then? But might not be possible to get the quantities you need this way…

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