Every Easter, my family has an Easter egg cracking contest. This is when we go head to head, egg shell to egg shell, and try to crack the other person’s egg. I used to think everybody did this when I was young. And when I found out we were the only ones, I thought everybody else was crazy. As I get older, I’m finding out we are the crazy ones. I guess this is an old Polish tradition. I don’t claim to know the history, but according to Google, it’s an Eastern European thing. So I know there are other people who crack their eggs, just nobody I know.
It’s always such a highlight of our Easter dinner. We compete before dinner so the cracked hard-boiled eggs can be used to make deviled eggs to go with the meal. There have been eight players for the past couple of years. Last year, there would have been nine, but Ellie was sleeping, making her ineligible for competition. We set it up like the March Madness brackets and the winner would receive a scratch-off lottery ticket. Who is the reigning champ? Let's review last year's game:
First to the cracking court was my dad and me. He won the coin toss and chose to “hit” instead of being hit. A hush fell over the crowd and we each gripped our egg with athletic precision. It was age versus youth. Father against son. Generation against generation. Which one of us would make it to the Final Four? Dad lifted his arm and swung. Crack! We both looked at our eggs. Nobody’s egg cracked. He swung again. Crack!
And I won! Dad hung his head low in disappointment as I would be advancing to the Final Four. Better luck next year, dad.
Next up was my brother and my uncle. The same situation; age versus youth. My brother made his moves swift and swung. CRACK!
He won! Well folks, it seems so far youth is dominating this first round. But there are still two games left, anything could happen!?
The tables turned for the second half. Aya played and lost against my mom. And my sister-in-law lost to my grandma. The “old” and “youth” were tied. This was getting interesting folks. The Final Four was going to be a nail biter.
The next series began with my brother and me. Brother vs. brother in a fight to the finish. Who wanted in more? CRACK!
Ohhh nooo! I was eliminated from the contest! With one swing, my egg was cracked and it was all over. I was out of the running. BOOO! I think someone has a wooden egg!
The next game would decide who would be playing in the final championship. Who would be playing my brother for the title? You’d think my mom would take my 91-year-old grandma out of the running, but grandma did beat my sister-in-law. There was still a good chance she could win.
Grandma held her egg in her shaky hand (note; my grandma has had shaky hands for as long as I can remember and as a joke within the family, we always refer to them as “grandma hands”). It’s a good thing these are already hard-boiled, otherwise they’d be scrambled after grandma had them. My mom swung and CRACK!
Grandma won! My mom was out! Grandma would be advancing to the final championship!
The final championship game; my brother vs. grandma. The young whippersnapper vs. the sweet old lady. Everyone was anxious for deviled eggs, so we were ready for this contest to end. My brother had a look of determination in his eyes. A bead of perspiration running down his forehead. He tilted his head from side to side to loosen up a bit. My grandma was playing it cool, but we all knew she wanted the title badly. Scratch-off lottery tickets are like grandma’s kryptonite. The coin toss was in her favor and she chose to hit. This was it! Swing, CRACK!…
And grandma takes home the prize as the 2011 Egg Champion!
If I remember correctly, she won the last couple prior years, too. I think
maybe this game is fixed.
This year, we are all preparing for another go at the title in the 2012 Easter Egg Contest. And this time, Ellie is eligible for competition (if she's awake). It's going to be an interesting round of games as four generations battle it out for the title!
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