Thanksgiving weekend, I was torturing myself trying to remove poached eggs from silicone floaty cup thingies, when my dear friend Peter said something about our family always having problems with eggs. "Huh?" I said, as the mangled egg slid onto the English muffin (which, let's face it, should be re-named Egg Sponge.)
"You know," he replied, "like the time this summer when your husband used the bug spray instead of the Pam to make the scrambled eggs."
I put down my spatula. "Excuse me?"
His wife made a little whistling sound that she makes when she's trying to only signal him, like a dog with high-pitched hearing. Except we all can hear it and we know exactly what she's doing.
Yes, it's true. My husband, renowned short-order breakfast cook especially on vacation, served poisoned eggs to his children and his houseguests, and didn't realize it until after the kids complained that the eggs tasted "funny."
"Was this the same day we took Middle Daughter to the ER for stomach pain?"
Yes, he confessed. And you never mentioned this to the ER doctor? "She didn't eat the eggs," Peter said. I remembered now, so clearly. My daughter had had stomach pain for days, and my husband, no alarmist, had suddenly called and said he was taking her to the ER. And I also remember everyone obsessing over what my daughter might be allergic too. And Peter and my husband, asking her repeatedly, over and over, "Are you sure you didn't have the eggs?"
Angrily, I remember telling them, "I don't think she's allergic to eggs, okay?"
As it turned out, they had both snuck out of the house and called the poison control hotline, and reported this entire story to Peter's wife, but not to me, because no one wanted me to "over react."
I walked over to Peter's wife and stared her down. "It's one thing for the guys to keep the secret. But about the female code, sister?"
She shrugged and said, "But your kids didn't eat the eggs. My kid did. We figured you didn't need to know."
I nodded. Okay, this made sense to me now. We carried on with our breakfast, went for a walk before they packed up to leave. It was only later that I thought to ask the next question: "Did I eat the eggs?"
When the three of them burst into laughter, I had my answer.
The moral of the story, I told my husband, is "Never fully trust men in the kitchen." No, he said, the moral of the story is "Keep bug spray in the living room."