The Topic At Hand: How Do You Like Your Eggs?

Spoiler alert : The action takes place in Paris. Not Paris Indiana, Virginia or Idaho but Paris, the city right next to Disneyland Paris.

The water is boiling and the bubbles are bubbling. I open the door of the fridge. I grab an egg. I enjoy the coolness of the shell. I close my fingers around it, and something tickles my palm.

Are eggs “dead”? Ghosts of chickens that will never be born? Could this one be an oracle, trying to read my future by touching my palm? Fortune or chaos?

2013 : Annular solar eclipse in the South Pacific.

2214 : A new astrophysical theory is being proven : indeed the Universe is much smaller than we thought.

2221 : triple conjunction between Mars and Saturn.

There is something between my skin and the calcium skin of the shell. I take the egg with my right hand, revealing a feather in the palm of my left.

An urgency roams under the skull that is my own shell.

Sacra Conversazione (Holy Conversation) by Piero della Francesca (1472)

Sacra Conversazione (Holy Conversation) by Piero della Francesca (1472)

2222 : The First Inuit Pope is elected. His original name is Pauloosie Qulitalik. He now becomes Peter II. By pushing the wrong button, he brings Catholicism to an end. Christians call it a pagan conspiracy. Pagans call it a “Pope art” miracle.

Sacra Conversazione detail (see the egg?)

Sacra Conversazione detail (see the egg?)

Perhaps the feather is simply a sign that the egg came from a real chicken. A feather somehow got stuck to the egg (with yolk from another, less fortunate egg?), and stayed with it all the way into the carton. In that case, I should take comfort in the knowledge that it doesn’t come from a laboratory.

2426 : Pluto’s second orbit, since its discovery. A Plutonian year lasts 248 terrestrial years. If there were trees on Pluto, flowers would not stop blossoming for 62 consecutive years. In Fall, the surface of the extra solar planet would disappear under a monumental carpet of dead leaves.

The chicken is a bird and a bird has just one orifice. Anal and genital united.

Regarding chickens, French uses creepy expressions such as quand les poules auront des dents or avoir la chair de poule, literally meaning when chicken will have teeth and to have the chicken flesh, but more idiomatically translated as pigs might fly and goosebumps. So, if one wanted, one could say When pigs fly, I will have goosebumps, and in the saying, mention chicken twice.

Concetto spaziale, La fine di Dio² (Spatial Concept, The End of God) by Lucio Fontana (1963)

Concetto spaziale, La fine di Dio² (Spatial Concept, The End of God) by Lucio Fontana (1963)

The water is still boiling and the bubbles are still bubbling. I drop the egg in the water, forgetting to look at the expiration date printed in red on the orange shell.

2536 : The quantum super computer called Blue Hal calculates the last digit of Pi, the so-called irrational and transcendental number. Outraged, the scientific community calls it a miscreant mistake, a pale masquerade.

I ask the egg to go away. It comes back to me metamorphosed as a cosmical egg, a symbol of the origins, the past and the future united in one. A story of unity like the anal and the vaginal of the chicken united in one. As we do know the scientific-mythical Big Bang will end in a Big Crunch.

Good news and bad news:

2640 : The audience of St. Pennos Church is listening to the last note of the 639 year long performance of John Cage’s organ work entitled “As Slow As Possible” which began in 2001.

4444 : Man lands on Makemake, one of the largest dwarf planets of the Solar System, discovered in 2005. The first sentence pronounced is not “That’s one small step for (a) man; an even smaller leap for mankind”. Instead the astronaut quotes Marcel Duchamp: “There is no problem because there is no solution”.

Claes Oldenburg, "Fried egg in pan", 1961

Claes Oldenburg, "Fried egg in pan", 1961

6212 : Venus occults Regulus.

6970 : After 5000 years, the time capsule of the 1970 World Fair in Osaka Japan is opened. It was designed as a U.F.O., all curves, volutes, and chrome.

7054 : The year 7053 is skipped to allow the transformation of the Gregorian calendar into the more accurate Leonean calendar, created by Pope Leo LXIX in 2112.

8763 : Walt Disney is cryogenically thawed. He wakes up in a reality that is also a cartoon.

8920 : The first hermaphrodite bisexual robot gives birth to a pseudo-genetically engineered baby. The creature is natural, oviparous, mammal and artificial. Techno-creationists call it the final proof of the Darwin Hoax. The baby’s first words are I don’t think, therefore I am.

9013 : In the cult Z movie The Living Dead from Outer Space (1959) directed by Brian Zardoz, this is the year when the first extraterrestrial message is received on Earth. It turns out that the actual first signal to be received was, coincidentally, pre-recorded and broadcasted from outer space the exact same year as the release of the movie. From 1959 to 9013, it took 7054 years for the radio wave to reach us. The message is short and irreparable like an apocalyptic koan. It simply says Checking to see if you’re not a robot. Please wait.

The more I go in the future, the more it becomes fictional, “metanormal” and “paraphilosophical”. And it reminds me the reason why the theory of the origin of the universe was nicknamed Big Bang as a mockery to such a misconception. The biggest mystery becomes the biggest joke. And a giant laugh both comical and cosmical resonates in the emptiness and infinity of the universe. And an egg filled with antimatter rises at the horizon of our galaxy, the Milky Way™, like an ovoid floating in the void.

The egg is almost ready. The water is still boiling and the bubbles are still bubbling.

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    • Elaine

      Now I'll be distracted, for a considerable amount of time, with the mind-bending possibility of creating something that takes 639 years to perform. Without being John Cage.

    • Eric Eicher

      I find this essay fascinating in many ways. I especially like the Spoiler's comical (but understandable) assumption that readers will undoubtedly be Amerocentric enough to need to be walked back from thinking that any city named “Paris” must, of course, be one of the surprising number of relatively small cities named Paris in the US (there are, for whatever weird amalgam of reasons, at least half a dozen more of those than Alessandro mentions) and can reasonably be expected to recognize the reality of Paris, France only by reference to the uncanny toyland version of same conjured by Walt Disney. Numerous striking references to Disney, cartoons, and related modes of unreality riddle the piece, my favorite being year 8763's alarming discovery by a then-unfrozen Walt that cartoons and reality have somehow literally become one (surely a nightmare scenario for Disney, who thrived on keeping the two world's separate enough to be readily distinguishable playmates, but not exactly great news for any of us, despite our current world's seemingly unstoppable rush to cartoonize itself as quickly as possible). The writing here has a kind of prose poem quality at many junctures, which resonates in interesting ways with the absurdist nature of much of the humor here. I've read this piece multiple times now and keep finding my mind returning to it, even as I work on other things; it's an amazing piece of work.

    • i don't think, therefore i am
      breaks my heart a little
      don't know why

    • I imagine that, once space travel becomes popular, there will be a database of Lines Spoken Upon Landing, with various explorers arguing over who had made the best and earliest use of which famous quotes in that regard. Dibs on “something wicked this way comes.”

    • Almost lost me with “anal and genital united” but I luckily kept reading and (after reading it 3 more times) found it to be my favorite post thus far.

      If only I could find a way to stick around until 2214 and celebrate the meager size of the universe.

      Also what's the name of the hermaphrodite bisexual robot offspring? I need to know that baby's name.

      I also now have a strong desire to write something categorized as “speculation”.

    • Tara

      This is so fun. Although I think the estimate for a First Nations pope is wildly optimistic. Maybe a Quebecker could take care of that though.

      I'm not a robot!!

      I don't eat eggs much but I think I'll try to remember to make at least one crazy speculation every time I handle one. As a spiritual practice, it could honor the chicken, the egg, and my crazy hope for the possibility of one day something new(ish) under the sun.

    The Author

    Alessandro Mercuri

    alessandro.mercuri
    Alessandro Mercuri, born in 1973, studied philosophy in France and cinema in the United States at Calarts (M.F.A. in live action). He directed the documentary Alien American (2001), portrait of a woman claiming to come from outer space. Film critic Holly Willis in L.A. Weekly said : « Mercuri likes to assert that the video is neither a “fake documentary nor a real fiction”, which neatly summarizes the project’s unsettling view of the dichotomy between the real world and its multiple representations. » He now lives in Paris and works as a creative writer for the communication and film industry. He published in 2008 at the Editions Léo Scheer a literary essay, entitled Kafka Cola sans pitié ni sucre ajouté (without pity nor added sugar). French novellist and art critic Philippe Sollers, wrote in the press : « Who is Alessandro Mercuri ? I do not know. Nevertheless, he just wrote a sparkling little book. Kafka Cola, variations inspired by the famous sentence of former boss of TF1 (French TV channel) : “What we sell to Coca-Cola is available human brain time” What is this new brain substance and where will it lead us ? You’ll see.» // Here's the film version of Kafka Cola.

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