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There were a dozen broken eggs in Aisle 22, whose mess was it?

Tonight I went shopping for groceries. There were a dozen broken brown eggs in Aisle 22, whose mess was it?

A dozen broken eggs.

Did someone drop the eggs and then walk away?

Whose mess was it?

Perhaps the person who dropped the eggs was someone whose mother always picked up after them. Perhaps the person never had to clean up their own mess. As a child they spilled milk and left bread crumbs on the kitchen counter. Their mother said, “It’s okay honey. I will do it for you. Go and play.”

They left their dirty dishes on the kitchen table and never carried them to the counter or put them in the dishwasher.”It’s okay honey. I will do it for you. Go and do your homework.”

They never washed their own laundry or cleaned their own room.”It’s okay honey. I will do it for you. Go and watch your television show.”

Then they grew up and moved away and dropped eggs in the grocery store and walked away.

It wasn’t their fault that the eggs fell. They didn’t have to clean it up. Let someone else clean it up. They were trained to walk away.

“It’s easy to make a mess when you’re not the one who has to clean it up.”
― Criss Jami, Killosophy

As I walked to the office to tell them the sad story of the smashed eggs, I saw an employee walked towards Aisle 22 with a spray bottle and a roll of paper towel.

As he walked past, I said, “Eggs?”

He said, “Yes.”

Perhaps the person who dropped the eggs had offered to clean up the mess. And perhaps the store manager had said,

“It’s okay honey. I will do it for you. Go and have a nice day.”

Whose mess was it? 

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About Pamela Hodges

I write slice of life stories to help you know you are loved, valuable and worthy just as you are. I am a writer, an artist, and a cleaner of seven litter boxes. I live in Pennsylvania with one husband, four cats, one dog and two birds.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Well, clearly the eggs belonged to the chicken, so even before the mess there was a theft of eggs. And since chickens cluck rather than speak, likely no theft report was filed with the police. Maybe the eggs were heartbroken and dove off the shelf?:)

    • John,
      When I find the chicken I will get her to file a police report. Does she have to live in Scotts Valley to file with you? Have you ever had a chicken in your office?

      • The chicken must file the report in the jurisdiction where she lives. I have not had a chicken in my office but have felt like a chicken in my office!

  • Berdeane Bodley

    Good for you to be writing about it, thanks for all you do in a day……loved the way you told it………xxooxx

    • Hello Mother Dearest,
      Thank you mom. I know you were the kind of mother who made me clean up after myself.
      Not that I ever listened. My room was always a mess. But I did learn to not leave crumbs on the counter and clean my dishes. Good job, Berdeane.
      xo
      Love your daughter.

  • Or perhaps the person was elderly and reached over with shaky hands and misjudged her ability to hold them. You’re right. We don’t know who broke them. I bet there are a lot of different scenarios.

    • Anne,
      What a good idea. Who knows what happened. Or maybe it was a skunk trying to steal a dozen eggs, or maybe it was Humpty Dumpty trying to make his escape.
      If it was an elderly person, I hope the store was kind to her.

  • Hmmm. Eggs. I guess if I had broken them I would have gone for help. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t let you clean them up, so maybe the person isn’t as thoughtless as it would appear at first glance…one would hope anyway!

    • Hello Donna,
      Yes, that makes sense. The store would never let a customer clean up their own spilled eggs. A manager could get fired for “parenting” her customers.
      Perhaps what interested me most, is the mystery of the broken eggs.
      I wanted to know, “the rest of the story.”

  • Tani

    I would love to hear what my students would write about this! Now I’ve got a story forming in my head…really, what would make someone leave a dozen eggs on the floor?

  • It’s an issue in our staff lounge. Some just walk away. I picked up a loaf of bread on the floor once at a grocery, & an employee came to me to say he’d never seen anyone do that before. I understand that sometimes we are careless & do something without noticing, but a dozen eggs? Good slice, Pamela!

    • Donna Smith

      I think that’s funny! I do the same thing! Sometimes I put things back in the right spot if they’ve been put back wrong. I think it’s a good thing. not sure my kids didn’t think I was crazy.

    • Hello Linda,
      Thank you for your encouragement.
      One day you will pick up a loaf of bread on the floor in a grocery store and be on a television reality show. “Who Will Pick Up The Bread”?
      I try not to be careless. And I hope my friends will tell me to pick up my own smashed eggs if I make a mess.

  • rachel reads

    Love the connection you make with learned behaviors. This is so true! I am always amazed that people can be okay with leaving someone else to clean up their messes. These are things I try to pay attention to in teaching – helping students learn to do tasks for themselves. #sol15

    • Hello Rachel,
      Oh, I hadn’t thought about the story in relation to teaching. I do want my students to be able to do tasks for themselves as well.
      Thank you for your perspective.

  • Pam Stegink

    Wowie, I can only imagine who would leave such a mess. How did they not know the eggs broke in the middle of aisle 22? Weren’t there witnesses? So many questions. I love that you explored this tiny moment from your day and that you also posted a picture of the mess in our blog post.

    • Hello Pam,
      Just a small slice of egg. Instead of a small slice of pie. Or an orange. I was curious to know where the carton was that the eggs were in. And who dropped them. A friend suggested it might have been an elderly lady.
      I would have stayed and helped her.
      It was a mystery.

  • cshuler

    I loved the open-ended question in your writing. But, even more so, I loved the way that you took the time to look at the issue from more than one perspective.
    We may know someone else’s story so we should definitely never assume the worst. Staying positive is the way to go!

    • Hello Cshuler,
      I don’t know who dropped the eggs, but it made we think about messes and who is responsible to clean them up.
      Yes, staying positive is the way to go. Thank you.