Broken Eggs and Shattered Glass
. . . with my sincere thanks to those late night pranksters!
September 12, 2005
On a recent Saturday evening at around midnight, my wife and I were just about to turn out the light and go to sleep when we
heard the sounds of a group of people talking in the street, outside our home. Then out of the blue came two loud thuds above
our bedroom window, followed by the noise of laughter and people running away down our street.
We both jumped out of bed, I turned on the external lights and rushed outside unsure of what had caused the two thuds or what
damage I could expect to see. The silence of the night was broken by the distant sound of people laughing and at that moment I
was of a mind to chase after them, however, running bare-footed on the road in the dark is not a very wise thing to do.
I could hear dripping noises on the driveway and the flood light above our garage helped me to identify just what had happened.
Our home had been the victim of an egg bombing!
Being faced with the prospect of cleaning up this sticky mess in the early hours of the morning was not a pleasing thought, on top
of which I was less than impressed that we had been singled out for this annoying prank. I decided that it was too late to clean up
the mess, as it would disturb our neighbours, so it could wait to the morning.
Early next morning with a bucket of warm water and scrubbing brush in hand, and with the extension ladder placed on the front
wall, I was now ready to wash off what was now two dry yellowish, egg grit impregnated, 1 metre long patches above our front
My task was made even more challenging by the two large canvas awnings which protect our bedroom windows from the heat and
glare of the afternoon sun. My annoyance with the late night pranksters was again building to the level of the night before.
After retracting each of the awnings, something we rarely do except when there is are very high winds, I then climbed the ladder
to clean up the first patch of egg stain and then move the ladder to clean the second patch.
As I climbed the ladder for the second time, I noticed that the glass in a small window just under the roof line was very badly
cracked. On closer inspection the crack ran around over half of the outer edge of the window pane. As the awning protected the
window, it was clear to me that the damage had not been caused by the egg bombing. As I carefully placed my hand on the glass,
I discovered that the pane of glass was very loose and had the window been closed with any force, it would have most likely
shattered and the glass dropped to the drive way, some seven metres below.
Just a few metres away, we have a basketball ring and on most days of the week there are up to six young people who play in the
immediate area, including both my sons. My thoughts immediately turned to what could have happened if the broken glass in the
window had gone undetected for much longer and then suddenly shattered. The likelihood of my two sons and their friends being
seriously injured was extremely high.
After quickly washing the remaining egg stain off the front wall and with the help of Tom, my youngest son, I got to work with
some heavy duty masking tape and secured the cracked window as best I could. Within 24 hours the cracked window had
been replaced and all was back to normal, except for the small bits of egg shell I kept finding on the front drive way and stuck to
our garage doors.
Over the next few days, I realised that had our home not been bombarded by those eggs late on that Saturday night, I may not
have discovered the broken window pane before it shattered and came down all over our drive way.
Even though it had been an annoyance at time, the broken eggs and the stains were cleaned up very quickly, however, the pain
that could have been caused by the shattering of glass would never gone away and would have haunted my wife and myself,
forever and a day.
The cold shudder that ran down my spine when I first discovered the cracked window and the thought about the consequences of
someone being seriously injured or even killed, made me realise just how very lucky we had been.
Frequently in life, the small things that happen to us may have a negative impact and cause some form of pain, sadness,
discomfort or personal aggravation. It is often said that we should not 'sweat the small stuff' and always look for the positive
outcome or the silver lining in those dark clouds of the current circumstance, even though at the time that is not always an easy
thing to do.
My personal experience with the egg bombing on that Saturday evening reminded me that in most cases there is always a flip
side to everything that happens to us and that often the flip side can provide a positive outcome or an even greater benefit, if
not now, then at some time in the future.
From now on whenever I see or break an egg, I will think of the egg bombing incident and say a thank you to those late night
pranksters. Equally, I will always be reminded of Jean-Paul Sartre's quote:
'What is important is not what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us'
--- Written by Keith Ready - July 2005
Keith Ready is an Australian based business adviser and trainer whose specialty is working with his clients to improve top and bottom line business performance in a measurable way, through people.
You can visit his website at www.agiftofinspiration.com.au
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