Sobriety and Egg Testing
“The Egg Testers’ Union of New York City have done well to decide that no person shall be considered in good standing as an egg tester who is addicted to strong drink. Sobriety is desirable in every walk of life, but it would be difficult to mention any vocation in which it is more imperatively demanded than in that of the professional egg tester. There have been statesmen who have made some of their ablest public deliverances while half seas over; hod carriers who could carry their heaviest loads superimposed upon a jag; clergymen who could deliver their most powerful exhortations when in the condition of how-came-you-so; prize fighters who could strike their most telling blows while standing up on a skate ; and temperance lecturers who could score their greatest number of pledge takers when their trolley was off. But neither history nor mythology mentions an egg tester who ever accomplished a noteworthy feat of egg testing when he was loaded. The many reasons why an egg tester should keep sober are as patent to the layman as to the professional manipulator of the ovarious bounty of man’s sedentary provider. Perhaps the best of these reasons has to do with the matter in hand. If an egg be dropped by a nerveless egg tester, the damage is total and beyond repair, except through a miracle; for has not the poet truly said:
“All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty up again?”
Not only should the hand of the egg tester be as steady as though controlled by nerves of steel, but his vision should be clear and direct. The expert can tell at a glance whether
” Within a wall as white as milk, Behind a curtain soft as silk, Bathed in a bath of crystal clear, a yolk or a chicken doth appear.”
Again, the egg tester should be firm on his legs. Some of the most complete (we use this form of speech advisedly) wrecks on record have been the result of a tipsy man inadvertently sitting or kneeling in a basket of eggs.
From the view point also of his obligation to society it is imperative that the egg tester shall always be at his best. Not only does it depend upon him whether the matutinal boiled egg of the bon vivant shall open fit to satisfy his epicurean taste, or shall prove to have been suitable only for the seagoing omelette; but he must not err in the more delicate classifications which separate the family egg from the fashionable boarding- house egg, the fashionable boarding-house egg from the plain boarding-house egg, and these from the “cooking” egg, the egg utilized for raw material in various arts and industries not culinary, and the egg that is bestowed as a token of displeasure by audiences whom the entertainments have failed to please.
The more this subject is considered, the more important does it appear that the professional egg tester shall be a man of uncompromising sobriety. Let the Union adhere to its position, and it shall receive the moral support not only of all total abstainers and all who are temperate in their temperance, but even of those whose conduct falls far short of the temperance standard of the Egg Testers’ Union. Casual Essays of The Sun. Published by R.G. Cooke, 1905.