Mystery Egg and the Innocent-By-Sitter

20 Aug

Mystery Of The Night Club Egg

— Sherwood Anderson once wrote a book and called it “The Triumph of the Egg” and I think there’s no better title for tke latest night club comedy starring an egg with a supporting cast headed by Errol Flynn, who In his films gets top billing.

Maybe you think Flynn should get top billing here too, but if you really think about it you will see the error in such reasoning. By any yardstick, the egg stole the show.

Days ago this little episode from early slapstick days hit the headlines, and ever since the mystery of it all has taken the place of sheep-counting, with me, in those bedded moments when sheep-counting is prescribed.

Let’s reconstruct: the time Is early morning in the Mocambo, where straggling Saturday night revelers are fighting off the dawn, pitiful waifs of merriment with no place to go but home. The bar has long been closed; even the “bad ice” —if any—has long since melted. The tropical birds, in cages lining the ceiling, are calling it a day.

Suddenly melodrama begins melling. Two girls are in an argument. Then they’re in a fight Then a waiter passes with a tray. On the tray is the egg. One of the girls seizes the egg and crashes it on the wavy locks of innocent by-sitter, Errol Flynn. The Flynn role is entirely passive, even more so than recently when he was the victim in a one- punch fight with his good friend Capt Dan Topping, a fight Flynn later ascribed to the possible prevalence of “bad ice” at the party. No, you can’t give star billing to a guy who just sits and gets an egg shampoo. A star has to do something.

[Furthermore] there is no mystery about Flynn’s presence there. There is, in fact, little mystery about Flynn. Well, what about the girls? Sure, they started it all. And one of them did crash the egg on the Flynn hair-do, which was just sitting there atop an innocent by- sitter. But girls not infrequently have polita-arguments and scratch-fests in night clubs. It was the egg—the triumphant egg — that made the drama classy.

And what I like to think about, because the egg is now my favorite mystery character, is this: What was it doing on that tray? Who ordered it, and for what purpose? One of those gourmets who likes to mix his own mayonnaise? Hardly — not at that ghastly morning hour. Some bibulous gent who became obsessed with a passion for raw egg— one raw egg? Scarcely. A bachelor who wanted to take it home for breakfast? Possibly. Maybe night club habitues know the answer. Maybe all of them order one raw egg on a tray to end an evening. But what master of timing (or sublime coincidence) arranged that the egg, on the tray, should be passing at that precise instant when an angry lady was in an egg-smashing mood?

Maybe I could call the Mocambo and find out. But I don’t wanna, because then I’d have to go back to counting sheep.

— Tim

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  1. shangheinz

    August 24, 2015 at 8:36 am


    Dan Topping, one of few to topple Errol.