Break em’ from sucking eggs
by DUB MOWERY
Feb 24, 2013 | 2210 views | 1 1 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print



     To eat an uncooked egg doesn’t appeal to most of us.  There was a time when teenagers would challenge one another to eat a raw egg.  In the Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom is arguing with someone and one of them said:  “I dare you to knock it off-and anybody that’ll take a dare will suck eggs.”  Way back when I was in high school and on the Golden Gloves boxing team someone told me if I’d eat raw eggs that it would build up my wind.  When in a boxing match you have to give it your all.  After each round you are out of breathe and exhausted.  You need all the stamina you can possess.  So I swallowed a few uncooked eggs with a little vanilla favoring.  One thing about it the liquefied egg will flow quickly down your throat.  Now I haven’t got the stomach for indulging in that delicacy now days.

 

     It is a wonder that I didn’t get salmonella poisoning in eating the raw eggs.  Actually it is a dumb thing to do.  Health authorities emphasize that an egg should be thoroughly cooked before eating it.  Salmonella causes typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, and food poisoning.  A person should wash their hands after handling uncooked eggs.

     Various kinds of snakes such as the King snake and the Gopher snake will invade a hen house and eat their eggs.  I’ve heard that some farmers or their wife attempts to overcome this problem by shaping a piece of wood like unto an egg, painting it white, and then placing it in a hen’s nest hoping a snake will shallow it and have at least a bellyache.  Whether that has worked I don’t know. 

 

     Having several egg laying hens on a farm was considered essential.  This was especially true in the past when a farm family would raise domestic animals for meat, an orchard for their fruit, a vegetable garden, a bee hive for honey, milk cows for their milk and butter, and chickens for their eggs.  Probably their main meat dish was chicken!  This included fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, and cooking chicken in other dishes such as stew.  If the farm family had a surplus of eggs, milk and butter they would take it to town and trade those items at the grocery store for things they couldn’t raise on the farm.  If they had a dog that got to getting in the hen house and eating the eggs then the farmer might reluctantly have to shoot the dog.  You may recall that Johnny Cash had a song entitled: “Dirty Old Egg-Sucking Dog.”

 

     “Break em’ from sucking eggs” has become a figure of speech meaning doing something to break a person from a bad habit.  

 

     There were several of these English sayings about teaching grandma.  “Teaching grandmother to suck eggs” had reference to advising someone about something in which that person already knew about and probably more than the one advising them.

 

--Dub Mowery

 



Dub Mowery is a Gospel preacher in the Church of Christ. Presently he serves as full time evangelist for the Pittsburg Church of Christ. A native of Southeast Oklahoma, he is the author of Colloquial Sayings & Expressions (Morris Publishing, 2008)

nativeheritage@hotmail.com
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survon1
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February 25, 2013
Growing up west of Gilmer, my power drink was a dash of flavor (vanilla/strawberry/cocoa), milk, two raw eggs and honey.

It all came from the farm fresh daily.

Better than droids any day of the week.