To the King goes the spoiled eggs
This Sunday, millions of bonnets will be tied around chubby cheeks brimming with jelly beans. Tiny lace anklets will be turned down to kiss new shiny shoes. Little boys will wrestle with neck ties and combs, while their fathers replace camera batteries and mothers poke cloves into the holiday ham. In our house, it will be no different; we will hunt for our baskets and pick off the cellophane grass that sticks to our chocolate bunny. However, in addition to these traditional Easter activities, our family will also be preparing for a springtime slaughter.
For as long as I can remember, the highlight of our family's Easter celebration was not an egg hunt, but an egg scramble. Every Easter, our family tradition was to take our freshly dyed eggs and proceed to smash them against one another's similarly colored eggs in round robin style (although I‘m sure any self-respecting robin would be appalled at the practice). Whichever egg didn't crack was crowned the “Kinger.” The champion enjoyed the accolades and cheers from the rest of the table for the year, as well as an all-you-can -at buffet of deviled eggs and egg salad sandwiches.
A bizarre practice for many, I realize. This annual game spanned generations and common sense. My grandparents, parents, Aunt, Uncle and sister became adversaries in a sport that was a little inane and a little profane. Some of my most endearing childhood memories always include hearty laughter and egg shrapnel.
In addition to the actual game, there were various cheating techniques everyone was also expected to master. The only “rules” were that you couldn't get caught. The men would start out by sliding their huge rings up to the knuckles for added armor. I distinctly remember Easter looking much like a mob bosses dinner with more gold on their fingers than Tony Soprano. One year, my grandfather applied epoxy to all of his eggs and smashed nearly every one until we finally figured it out. Other attempts at deception were much more obvious; such as the “Nail-Embedded egg” which was cradled in the “Nail Embedded Glove.” Both looked like medieval chicken torture devices. As ladies, we were more into the homeopathic methods of strengthening the shells. On Good Friday our kitchen looked like a chemistry lab in which we tried different agents to produce homemade Teflon eggs.
Although she could tell you that boiling the eggs with cider vinegar would make them stronger, Gram could not tell us where the tradition of “Kingers,” began. She just explained that she had always done it, and it probably came from her German side of the family. Diva cavemen must have raided pterodactyl nests just to play this bizarre game.
Regardless of where or when it started, it always ends with smiles and shared laughter.
-- Tracey Henry, Suburban Diva