When I was the news director at KICD Radio in Spencer, Iowa, there were days when the news was slow. Just about non-existent, to put it bluntly. So I had to make up my own news.
One sweltering August day I decided to create some news by attempting to fry an egg on a downtown sidewalk.
I played this up heavily on my morning newscast and was gratified to see a large crowd of curious idlers milling about the rendezvous I had previously announced over the air.
I cracked the egg onto the concrete, where it stayed as raw as the day it was laid.
Finally the store owner whose sidewalk I had expropriated for my little stunt came out to demand I clean up the egg and be on my way. That created enough of a stir to give me my story for the evening broadcast: “DOWNTOWN BUSINESS THREATENS TO SHUT DOWN ONGOING SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENT!”
(That particular business never advertised with our station again — I wonder why?)
Since then I have always thought of myself as Pretty Hot Poop for thinking that bit up in the first place.
But I might have known it wasn’t original with me.
Stuck inside during a fierce August heat wave that made outside existence a virtual sauna, I recently Googled the phrase “fry an egg on the sidewalk” just to see what might come up.
Wouldn’t you know it? The New York Times scooped me on this. Seven years ago they sent a reporter to Times Square on a broiling August day, and not only to fry an egg, but to cook up a bit of tuna sashimi as well. The tuna cooked up nice, but the egg reacted just as poorly as did mine.
But wait, there’s more. It turns out that there is an actual National Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk Day. It’s celebrated on the 4th of every July. Seems to me there’s some other minor holiday we celebrate that same day, right? Darned if I can remember what it is, though.
The stunning revelation about this heretofore unknown holiday comes from the Orange Leader newspaper, out of Orange, Texas. And they know a thing or two about heat down in Texas . . . boy howdy!
They also know how to express themselves on the subject of frying eggs on sidewalks, as this compelling quote from the article in question shows: “Ruth Bishop, of Orange, had never heard of National Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk Day, nor has she ever tried to fry an egg on the sidewalk herself. Although Bishop suspects it would be possible to fry an egg on a sidewalk, she does not plan to participate in any National Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk Day festivities this year. Anna Curtis, who is visiting Orange from the Woodlands, said she tried to fry an egg on the sidewalk when she was a child but doesn’t remember whether or not it worked. She will not be frying any eggs this July fourth. “I’m going to tell my kids [about National Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk Day] to give them the opportunity,” Curtis said. Susanne York, who is also visiting from the Woodlands, has fond memories of trying to fry eggs on the pavement in the parking lot of Six Flags when she was young. Her efforts were rewarded with partial success. “The clear part turned white but the yellow part didn’t cook,” York said.”
In August it’s so very hot
that it will fry your spit or snot.
We measure it in mega-joule,
when even granite starts to drool.