Tonight my house was egged. I had just gotten home and was on the phone with my brother, so I was a bit distracted by bad news and dinner (in that order). I didn’t notice the first couple of bangs. Then there was quite a flurry, and then the tell-tale yelps as a couple of newly-minted freshmen beat a hasty retreat.
Friends may expect me to be angry, but I’m not. After falling trees, wild animal encounters and other acts of nature against the House of Nonsense, I’m relatively sanguine about humans. Like modern-day Tom and Huck, they used all their resources and intelligence to have the greatest adventure of their life.
They were going to get That Lady, You Know the One Who Lives By Herself? Yeah, That Lady. She Who Would Learn that Freshmen Were Much Manlier Than Middleschoolers.
If they had jobs, they would have pooled all their money just to pull off this caper. But they didn’t, so they took turns begging until a parent (or perhaps stepparent or dad’s girlfriend) gave them some money. Then they went to the party store to buy a dozen eggs. It was a long walk – almost a mile – unless they took their bikes. They had to lie many times, to many people, especially parents. But it got easier with practice. By the time they reached the store, they loudly explained to each other in front of the old Chaldean clerk that yes, they were definitely good guys for buying Mom (or Grandma or somebody) the eggs so that she could bake a birthday cake for a small child lying in a hospital bed.
On the way back to their respective homes, they exchanged glances and discussed in furtive whispers their daring plan. It would be Epic. The Epic-est. Was that even a word? Yes, it probably was.
Then they’d waited for my next-door neighbors to head out, leaving the street to fall under the spell of cool, sweet darkness. But time passed. Too much time. They grew impatient.
Where is That Lady, the One Who Doesn’t Have a Dog or a Man to Protect Her from Tough Guys Like Us?
For a time – too long of a time, really – I became the Most Important Person in their lives.
I was working late tonight, oblivious to the cruelty I inflicted on my teenaged foes. So cruel. They must have been so anxious, wondering why their intended victim didn’t appear. Then their anxiety turned to boredom and perhaps they even considered Looking for Something To Do.
But then, it happened! After hours of furtive peeks through the blinds, they saw a flash of light at the That Lady’s House. Oh, the excitement! The stifled giggles and surging pulses as they ran swiftly yet oh-so-stealthily toward the Enemy. So intent they were, they didn’t even notice when they walked through a fresh dog pile and tracked it down the street. Or maybe they did, and the stench added to their feverish anticipation.
They fumbled a few eggs with nervous hands, but the bravest of them managed to hit one against the lowest step of the porch. It was a magical moment, but frightening, like the first time their voices cracked. After that, they threw eggs as fast as they could, faster than humanly possible because at that moment they were something less than human. One of them – later they would argue who – struck the window near the door. The long streak of yolk was visible against the back-lit blinds.
Back to home-base they went, their faces flushed with their own bravery. Later, pretending to go upstairs to play games, they’d relive the epic adventure of The Egging. And when they went their separate ways, each would lie awake in bed, recalling the memory of his delicious triumph over and over and over.
Nothing could ever compare. Someday when one of them got his first kiss from a girl – assuming he became interested in girls, because one never knows – he would think, “This kiss makes me feel something. Something nearly as awesome as that time I egged a lady’s house.”