Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Desperately Seeking Something

Spring is a glorious time of days filled with sparkling sunshine, blooming flowers, and flooded basements. I can tell it’s spring at my house when the sewer backs up and the toilet overflows like a baby with a double mouthful of strained peas. The plumber marks his annual trip out to my house on his calendar right next to “Order New Mercedes.”

About the only thing I hate worse than the first flush of spring is the annual Easter egg hunt at Dad’s farm. This year, Easter comes at the first of April, so it’s possible that the two events may coincide like a slingshot-launched rock and a plate glass window, only in this case the thing that gets launched is a good deal less desirable as a projectile than a rock.

I’m just as helpless at the egg hunt as I am in cases of explosive plumbing malfunctions. And to make matters worse, now that Easter is rolling around like the last jelly bean in the bowl, I’m running out of ways to disguise my nonconformity. It’s like trying to disguise one of the white keys on a jazz piano. I’m seek-challenged. I couldn’t find the spots on a ladybug without a field guide and labeled specimen. If it were up to me, all the hidden eggs would find a home in the wild.

I can hide eggs with no trouble. I’m the one that thought of putting the cracked one under the seat of the car when we were kids. It’s still there. I’m anticipating an ugly phone call from Dad any day. Reminder to self: Sign up for caller ID.

But when it comes to finding eggs, I can scramble all day and come up with nothing but an empty basket. Especially now that I’m at the stage of life where every morning starts off with a hunt. As I get older—I won’t say mature as that can lead to lawsuits from the false advertising people—I couldn’t find a lost thought with an All Points Bulletin and a Vulcan mind meld. I haven’t been able to locate my belly button since the baby was born, and I wouldn’t recognize my own knees in a police lineup. Note to self: Order college graduation announcements for the baby.

When I was a kid, the Easter Bunny used to hide “pity eggs” out in plain sight to make sure I could find them. He could have dyed them neon colors, dotted them with iridescent sequins, and implanted them with a tracking device that emitted a sound that would shatter Plexiglas, and I would still wander from shrub to shrub saying, “Am I hot? Give me a hint.”

Last weekend, while rearranging furniture in an attempt to find my glasses, I discovered a plastic candy-filled egg in one of the nooks in my desk. Inside was a tiny candy bar huddled in a faded wrapper.

The kids acted like it was a moon rock. “Look! It’s one of last year’s Easter Eggs that we never found!”

That does it. I’m through with egg hunts. It won’t bother me if I never see my navel again, but if my chocolate detector is lost, I’ve got nothing left to dye for.


Jeanette Levellie said...

Perhaps you need glases; not the kind with brandy in them. Or, could you be shape-blind? We all know about color blind, but if we discovered a new disease, we can write books, go on Dr. Phil and yell at people who tell us we're looney, and get rich and famous.

We'll name it eggopia. Are you in?

Jeanette Levellie said...

I meant glasses.

Amy Mullis said...

Jeannette, I don't care how you spell glasses (I have trifocals, but not with egg-finder powers), I'M IN!

Anonymous said...

You outdid yourself with funny one-liners in this post. I can't even pick out my favorite one, although the one about finding a lost thought and picking out your knees in a line-up are two of the top contenders. You're a jewel, Amy!

Linda and Birdie Puggins