Last weekend I experienced a strange series of events.
It was a Saturday morning, and like most of my Saturday mornings, I decided to fry myself some eggs.
But unlike most Saturday mornings, this particular Saturday morning was different because I was at my family home, rather than at Paul’s house (where I spend most weekends).
There are many differences between Paul’s house and my own. For one, I live in the inner west, while Paul lives in the eastern suburbs. My house has one bathroom shared amongst five in my tightly-crammed terrace house; while Paul has three bathrooms – one on each level of his three-storey house. Most notably, my house stocks cage eggs while Paul’s fridge (albeit after some consultation) is filled with free-range eggs.
Now, I won’t get on to the cage vs. free range debate. All you should know is that I personally (and usually, strongly) prefer the latter. But this was a Saturday morning, and I needed my eggs as I do every Saturday morning. So after much deliberation, I reached out for the cage eggs in my house fridge.
As I let the frying pan heat, I couldn’t help but notice how small the cage eggs were. It was at this point that I realised that I actually couldn’t remember the last time I consumed a cage egg.
Sceptical of its worth, I gently cracked the first egg open on to the now-sizzling frying pan. After a flighty plonk on to the pan, there, shivering amongst a bubbling sheet of egg white, were two orange yolks, side by side.
A double-yolked egg? I was confused. I had never seen this before. Which was silly, really, because double-yolked eggs aren’t rare. But my free-range-loving self was somewhat scared of the dual nuclei bobbing in the middle of my breakfast. I decided not to over think it. I ate my mutant eggs with toast, sipped my Italian espresso and moved along with my Saturday.
The next morning, I was back to breakfasting at Paul’s house. Weekend Eggs were on the menu once again, except this time I had my favourite free-range eggs. Like a long-lost love, I marvelled at every detail – in particular, the stickered picture on the front of the carton of free-range chickens frolicking on wide, green pastures: the kind of image and peace of mind we’d paid the extra few dollars for.
As I made Paul’s three eggs, I happily watched one yolk slide out of each egg. The yolks were bright; and the yolk-to-whites ratio was everything a perfect fried egg should be. Delightful.
After cooking Paul’s eggs, my eggs were next. I reached out for my first egg, and with a gentle tap, watched the egg whites drain out before I released the yolk. Or what I soon realised, were yolks.
Okay. This was weird. Another double-yolker.
Paul laughed, “Imagine the next one was a double-yolk as well”.
Irrationally disturbed by the thought, I reached out for the next egg. As a last minute’s decision, I choose one of the remaining eight eggs at the opposite end of the carton.
Grab. Tap. Crack. Drain. Sizzle. Slide. Plop… PLOP.
Two yolks. Again.
Now this was just getting awkward.
Paul’s laugh halted in to an open-mouthed stare. Now this was too weird for the both of us. Standing silently at the stove, our four eyes were transfixed on the four yolks dancing on the pan.
I was the first to break the silence: “Okay, what the hell. What does this MEAN? Is this some kind of OMEN?”
Looking for a quick answer, I did what many of us 20-something’s do in the face of life’s queries: Google for iPhone.
The search results were as varied as one could expect. But what interested me most were the superstitions behind cracking a series of double-yolked eggs.
Superstition #1: you will be blessed with twins!
Weak and unoriginal, and simply impossible – particularly as I was nursing period pain at the time.
Superstition #2: cracking eggs with two yolks is omen that death approaching.
Er, surely an egg with no yolk could represent loss of life? I couldn’t believe this hogwash if I tried.
Superstition #3: a wedding is approaching.
Why yes, a wedding was approaching. In fact, I was attending a wedding that very day. Not bad, but still not good enough.
Superstition #4: the Wiccan tribes and Pagans believed opening an egg with two yolks indicated plentifullness and good fortune: that you may expect one thing, and your expectations will be two- folded. It usually relates to fortune in finances and romance.
I’LL TAKE THAT.
Superstition #5: this is an indication of good fortune. If you crack three eggs with two yolks, you should definitely buy a lottery ticket!
I’LL TAKE THAT, TOO.
In light of our drastic plans to quit work and relocate to Europe in two weeks, Paul and I were pretty happy with ourselves. The Wiccan tribe had spoken! My three double-yolkers had affirmed our grand plan of adventure, discovery and wisdom! My six golden yolks spoke the fate of our fortune: we will live in Europe, make money and travel! Everything will be OK! Yay!
At this precise moment of elation, I remembered I had impulsively bought a Scratchie the day before for no particular reason. As I feverishly scratched it, Paul’s mother, a religious and spiritual European woman, came in to the room. We took no time to begin telling her egg-cracking tale of my double-fortune:
“… so anyway, in two days I cracked three eggs that had two yolks. And they weren’t all from the same carton. That’s gotta mean something, right?”
Paul’s mum responded sincerely and matter-of-factly:
“It means that the chicken was going to have two chicks.”
If words were an axe, they had just cut me down from my treehouse.
I looked down at my $1 Scratchie. Nothing. Not even a $1 FREE TICKET.
But I wanted to believe the Wiccan superstition : no matter how irrational or farfetched it may seem. I wanted to reach for the stars even when gravity’s holdin’ me down.
Which is why I still bought a lottery ticket two days later.
Which is why I was filled with some kind of hope when I went to check my lottery ticket. Walking up to the newsagency counter as if it were a holy alter, I handed over my ticket with visions of fortune. Not the 10 million kind, but maybe $10? $20? $200? Just, something! Come on Wiccans, prove yourselves to me!
The rough woman at the counter snatched my crisp, unfolded ticket and speedily scanned it before scrunching it and throwing it in the bin at her feet. With a quick glance, she grunted ‘nahnuffinmate’, turned and walked away. Emotionless. As if she had just given me directions to the bathroom.
Alright, so maybe I wasn’t gonna be winning the lottery any time soon. Suck it up, Vic.
I floated through the city like a wilted flower. It was time to go home and get over this delusion. Head down, watching my own walk of shame, I saw an old homeless man sitting on the pavement outside a supermarket. He too, was looking down in dismay. But unlike me, had no home to go to; he had no money for a lottery ticket; geez, he didn’t even have a carton of eggs to fry every weekend.
I tore open my wallet and reefed out all of my coins. As I dropped them by his side, he looked up at me and smiled: “thanks a lot, love”. As I smiled back, I immediately felt an overwhelming sense of guilt wash over me.
Not to get Chopra n’ Oprah on your arse, but it was a deep moment, man. Because there I was moping about not having more money, when some people are trapped by life’s misfortunes. While they look to survive day-by-day, I’m livin’ the free range life —doing what I want, where I want, and how I want — running for the greener grass on the other side. And that’s a fortune that I shouldn’t need two-yolked superstitions to justify.
In the end, the chicken was gonna have two chicks. But instead they made one very tasty breakfast.