Opinion: Egg-throwing maniaPOSTED: 10/31/11 12:27 PM
There was this rather obvious ad on the government information page in the local newspapers addressing children who travel on school buses. Amidst all the well-intentioned warnings to these kids to behave themselves (or else), there was a line that almost read like a recommendation. It went a bit like this: During Halloween don’t throw eggs from the school bus and don’t throw eggs at school buses.
It sounds like a good piece of advice. During our stay in the United States we once got a job from a guy who did not have an egg on his face, but he had plenty of eggs on one of his cars. Our job was to make the darn car egg free again. Believe it or not, this was not a walk in the park. It took hours upon hours and when we finally gave up, most of the eggs were gone but there was still some left as well.
Obviously at that time we were unaware of what Chris Carson had to say about drive-by egging (trust Americans to invent a smooth expression for anything) on the eHow web site, probably because this web site did not exist yet at the time.
Here is some of Carson’s borrowed know how about car egging.
An eggshell is mostly made up of calcium carbonate, but also contains magnesium carbonate, calcium phosphate and protein, as well as small amounts of other organic substances. The yolk contains all of the egg’s fat, zinc and vitamins A, D and E. Most of the egg’s phosphorous, manganese, iron, iodine, copper and calcium content are also present in the yolk, while the white contains most of the niacin and riboflavin.
The shell can scratch the paint, and, in some cases, it can go all the way to the bare metal. The inside of the egg will bond to the surface of the car if left to sit for too long. The method you use to “unbond” the egg can either save your paint or result in an expensive repair.
First, remove the shell pieces by hand to avoid further scratching. Then hose off the car with plain water. If the egg has “fried” onto your car’s surface and will not come off with plain water, it is time to move on to phase two. Mix equal portions of household ammonia and white vinegar, soak a soft cloth (like a washcloth) with the mixture and hold it against the egg until it begins to soften. Gently pick at the egg with a fingernail. The commercial product “Goo Gone” or a bug and tar remover may be used instead of the vinegar and ammonia mixture, but again, you must keep the egg soaked with whatever you are using—and be patient. The only thing you will accomplish by rushing the removal process is damage to your paint job.
Your car’s paint should show no trace of the egging. However, if white spots remain on the clear coat, use more vinegar and scrub with a washcloth. You may also be able to buff out any residual staining and light shell scratches when you wax your car.
Many people believe the egg itself has corrosive properties that will damage a car’s paint. However, the only things that can damage the paint are the shell, which can scratch it, and the removal process. If you take the time to properly remove eggs from your car, any damage should be minimal.
Huh, had we known this all those years ago, we could have made ourselves proud. Instead we wore ourselves out.
Now let’s get back to this sentence in the government information page, the one that basically told kids not to throw eggs at school buses, thereby almost giving the impression that it is okay to throw eggs at any other car.
It is not, of course, but unfortunately Halloween-egging is a lot of fun – at least for the kids that do the throwing.
The warning on the government information page reminded us of a famous line in one of our high school underground magazines (we’re talking 1967 here). That line was: “Tuning up a moped if forbidden and therefore fun.” In Dutch it sounds even better: Het opvoeren van een bromfiets is verboden en daarom leuk. We do not remember the name of the author who wrote this immortal sentence; what matters is that we remember the words.
Since one of our high school buddies wrote this line forty-odd years ago nothing much has changed. Kids will be kids and nothing is more fun than doing something that is actually forbidden.
The Prohibition did not work for alcohol-thirsty America last century, and an egg-throwing prohibition during Halloween won’t work either, we suspect. But kids would probably get bored put of their skulls with the practice if their parents organized an official Halloween egg-throwing competition that gave kids the opportunity to throw as many eggs as possible at a moving vehicle. Since this would be a cultural event, Minister Rhoda Arrindell ought to make her car available for it.
We suggest to divide the egg-throwers up in teams, whereby the winners get bragging rights and the losers get stuck with cleaning up the minister’s car – based on the method described in this article.