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Posts Tagged ‘eggs’

Go to Work on an Egg

September 22, 2014 | by

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Before she made a living as a novelist, Fay Weldon, who’s eighty-three today, was a copywriter “at O&M, a copy group head in charge of the Little Lion egg account, first-generation IBM computers, and goodness knows what else.” As she tells it, her crowning achievement there was the slogan “Vodka makes you drunker quicker”: “It just seemed to me to be obvious that people who wanted to get drunk fast needed to know this.” Her superiors disagreed—god knows why—and the motto never saw the light of day.

What did see the light of day is “Go to Work on an Egg,” a masterly double entendre that served as the catchphrase for the aptly named British Egg Marketing Board. Weldon managed the ad team that coined the phrase, and proof of her handiwork abounds. On YouTube you can find a series of “Go to Work on an Egg” meta-advertisements in which an increasingly indignant Tony Hancock—a famous British radio and TV personality—bemoans that his career has come to this. “Ladies and gentlemen, owing to the present state of the theatrical profession, I have with great reluctance been forced to accept a job as a supporting actor to a lady doing a commercial for eggs.” Read More »

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Three Short Stories About Deviled Eggs

May 13, 2014 | by

deviled eggs

Photo: JeffreyW, via Flickr

I.

Once, when I was very young and foolish, I threw a party, the refreshments for which consisted exclusively of deviled eggs. Mind you, there was some variety: I made deviled eggs with bacon, deviled eggs with horseradish, deviled eggs with pickle relish, even a highly dubious specimen involving salmon roe. Each one was topped with something different—paprika, chopped chives, green peppercorns—and boasted a small sign. Keep in mind that this was many years ago, before we knew smoked paprika, let alone eggs stuffed with smoked trout or sriracha, but I tried. (I had also not yet discovered Durkee Famous Sauce, which would revolutionize my egg-deviling.) On this long-ago day, in my innocence, I boiled and mashed and stuffed and garnished for hours, and at the end it seemed to me that I had never seen anything so beautiful as that table full of deviled eggs. No one else was that into it. Even people who like deviled eggs seemed to understand instinctively that half their power came from their preciousness. I had to eat so many that I was sick, but I still loved them. The party was a failure.

II.

The single worst deviled egg I’ve ever eaten was in Maine in the summer of 2008. By this time I had eaten my way around town, having consumed all manner of deviled eggs—some good, some bad—but never before or since had I encountered an abomination like this. Here was what was in the deviled egg: egg yolk and horseradish. No salt, so mayonnaise. I had not known such degradation was possible. I had to throw the balance into a garbage can set under a pine tree. We had accidentally decided to picnic on a gay beach, and when I went to throw the egg away, I came upon a man giving another man a blow job in the woods. Read More »

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Happy Birthday, Angela Carter

May 7, 2013 | by

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“A day without an argument is like an egg without salt.” —Angela Carter

 

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Where It All Went Wrong

November 15, 2012 | by

In February, I got an email out of the blue from the director of the Cork International Short Story Festival—the same festival associated with the annual Frank O’Connor Award, worth 25,000 Euros. My first thought: Oh, shit, break out the champagne!

Back on planet earth, I wasn’t even short-listed. But I was being invited to read at the festival, and they would pay my travel expenses, put me up in a nice hotel, and—how could you say no?—provide free gourmet sandwiches for the duration of my time in Cork. Bless the good people programming the festival; in a year when a lot of excellent writers had published story collections, I wasn’t entirely sure why they wanted me to come. Possibly because, in my bio note, I always begin by saying, “Will Boast was born in England and grew up in Ireland and Wisconsin.” I was, in some sense, a local boy. From 1982 to 1986, my family lived in Newcastle West, a small village in County Limerick about an hour and a half drive from Cork. After twenty-five years away, I finally had an excuse to go back.

Coming into Cork, I got my first twinge of homecoming. I didn’t know this city (any childhood memories of visiting Cork are utterly gone), and yet the rolling landscape, the narrow streets, and even the color of the houses seemed already mapped out in my mind. Then I got in a cab and started speaking to the driver. I thought at first he was German, so thick and strange was his accent.

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